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Taleb reaffirms utility of cryptocurrency amid Lebanon unrest

By Lawrence Gash

Black Swan author champions Bitcoin against government control and calls for economic decentralisation

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the US-Lebanese academic, author and trader, has repeated his belief in the usefulness of cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin (BTC).

The author had returned to Lebanon, which has been embroiled in a political crisis that has already forced its prime minister to resign.

The Black Swan author stated: “Bitcoin removes [government] from the transaction...They’re trying to ‘ban bitcoin’ because they’re afraid of it. It’s important for us [the Lebanese] from now on to learn about crypto. Our collective intelligence is greater than the state’s.”

Taleb wrote the foreword to ‘The Bitcoin Standard: the Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking’, by Saifedean Ammous. He observed that Bitcoin: “...has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users.”

He added: “Its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object the establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly. This gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy against an Orwellian future."

Taleb appears to see the current Lebanese ruling class less as a totalitarians from the pages of Orwell and more as a greedy, incompetent and self-serving clique. He has routinely accused the government and central bank of running the economy like a Ponzi scheme and instead called for greater “localism”.

FURTHER READING India crypto ban: Has it happened, and what’s the financial impact?

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