U.S. Senators who attended the Banking Committee hearing on cryptocurrencies Thursday were provided two vastly different assessments of the technology and its potential, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. The hearing featured testimony from Bitcoin skeptic Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini and Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh.
In his written remarks to the Committee, Roubini criticized crypto wealth concentration, a lack of true decentralization, and the fallen value of many altcoins – which he referred to as “crappy garbage.” During the hearing, he left no doubt about his opinion of digital currencies:
"Cryptocurrencies are the mother and father of all scams and bubbles, a bubble that has finally gone bust this year."
Van Valkenburgh offered a more optimistic assessment and compared the markets’ 2018 instability to the dotcom bubble crash. He suggested that the price volatility was not odd, since the market is attempting to determine the proper value for crypto products. He acknowledged the imperfections but reminded Senators that other innovations like email were imperfect when they were first introduced decades ago.
Like other crypto proponents, Van Valkenburgh urged elected officials and regulators to adopt policies similar to those put into place in the early days of the internet revolution:
"As with the Internet in the 1990s, we need a light-touch, pro-innovation policy to ensure these innovations flourish in America for the benefit and security of all Americans."