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Opinion
Aaron Brown

What Taleb Gets Wrong — and Right — About Bitcoin

Crypto may not have an economic anchor, but art, diamonds, gold and many other things have value only because other people value them, not from any direct economic use.

The market for cryptocurrencies is crashing. 

The market for cryptocurrencies is crashing. 

Photographer: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

Bitcoin has fallen 50% since November. This is not unusual for the cryptocurrency; it did the same thing from April to July 2021, and quickly rebounded. From a pure statistical viewpoint, Bitcoin looks like a very high volatility asset without strong medium- or long-term tendencies to trend or revert. It’s not a perfect random walk with future direction independent of past price movements, but it’s closer to one than most major assets such as stocks, bonds and commodities.

This background is important for evaluating a Tweet by Nassim Nicholas Taleb of “Black Swan” fame that generated considerable attention: