Bitcoin Standard Foreword Author Getting Rid of Bitcoin

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By C. Edward Kelso

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of crypto ecosystem favorites such as The Black Swan, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game recently announced he is “getting rid” of his Bitcoin. Citing its speculative price volatility leading to an inability to “price goods in BTC,” he concluded it to be “a failure (at least for now).”

Taleb’s denunciation is particularly noteworthy due to his once fervent advocacy, culminating in writing a widely-circulated and praised Foreword to the BTC maximalist bible, The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous back in 2018. 

In it, Taleb characterized Bitcoin as “an excellent idea. It fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.”

The ensuing years found the notoriously prickly Taleb sparring with the equally emotional Ammous on seemingly tangential issues such as diet, the environment, and more recently coronavirus.

By late March of last year, Taleb shot, “Blocked @Saifedean. I block anyone who promotes conspiracy or crankish theories.” 

A few months later, Taleb clarified even further. “The claims that I blocked Saifedean Ammous based on private communication is a lie,” he assured. “I blocked him on the basis of dangerously crankish and conspiratorial public feed. I block all lunatics. Gabish?”

Just a few weeks prior, also in 2020, Taleb and yet another BTC maximalist got into a virus kerfuffle, leading Taleb to conclude, “Bitcoin is a good idea but almost all bitcoiners are total idiots, can’t get nuances beyond fortune cookies.” He was at war with maximalists over how to interpret pandemic risk, but, at least by the middle of last year, Taleb’s faith in Bitcoin remained intact.

No longer. 

Bitcoin, Taleb lamented in his finally giving up on BTC, “was taken over by Covid denying sociopaths w/the sophistication of amoebas.” 

For his part, Ammous wasted no time in passively responding: “Delighted to announce @michael_saylor has agreed to write a new foreword for the coming reprint of The Bitcoin Standard! Michael’s championing of the book & his conviction in acting upon it are the biggest compliment it received. Bonus: he actually read it!”  

 

Saylor and his company MicroStrategy, a business analytics and intelligence service, has been gobbling up Bitcoin in the form of BTC for months, and with it making major headlines. 

Edward Kelso (@cryptokelso) is a financial technology journalist, CEO of CoinFugazi.com, and correspondent for NaomiBrockwell.com

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