- Robert J. Shiller says that bitcoin owes its popularity to the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto.
- The viral nature of the ideas behind bitcoin does not prove their validity.
Nobel Prize-winning economist and a Professor of Economics at Yale Robert J. Shiller believes that bitcoin has become popular due to the mystery around the personality of Satoshi Nakamoto.
He believes that the narrative plays an important role in the growing popularity of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Bitcoin's market value hit $326 billion at its peak due to the stories that float around.
"Bitcoin was a dream in the eye of some computer scientist, and we don’t even know that person’s identity. It was supposedly an individual named Satoshi Nakamoto, but that has never been verified. We don’t even know if he exists. There’s an element of mystery to the narrative, which is important," he said in the interview with Yale News portal.
The ideas of anarchism and unnecessary of governments also fed into bitcoin's success, according to Shiller. He explained that people liked the story about a financial institution that is out of the government’s reach.
"That’s a powerful narrative. It strikes people as fun and exciting like any viral video does, although it isn’t a sign of the validity of Bitcoin’s core concepts," he added.
Shiller pointed that mystery stories had been popular through out human history. Moreover, they have a power to generate news, like when someone comes forward and claims to be bitcoin's creator.
Notably, that earlier Shiller compared Bitcoin to dinosaurs, saying that it would disappear in 100 years time. However, barring the economic aspect, he thinks that bitcoin is an incredible social phenomenon.
Bitcoin price analysis: BTC/USD spikes to $7,500, Robert Shiller says Bitcoin will die out like dinosaurs
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