American comedian and television host Bill Maher mocked bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including dogecoin, on his show Friday. He quoted several bitcoin critics: Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and “The Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb.
Bill Maher Admits He Doesn’t Get Bitcoin
Television host and political commentator Bill Maher mocked bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on his Real Time with Bill Maher show Friday. Naming bitcoin, dogecoin, and a few other cryptocurrencies, he said as far as he is concerned, dogecoin is “the same as all the other cryptocurrencies because the whole thing is a joke.” He called dogecoin “Easter bunny cartoon cash,” and likened cryptocurrencies to Tinkerbell’s light. “Its power source is based solely on enough children believing in it,” he asserted.
Claiming to have read articles about cryptocurrencies and had it explained to him, Maher said:
I still don’t get it and neither do you or anyone else.
Maher then talked about Satoshi Nakamoto, stating that the pseudonymous bitcoin creator’s names “are the Japanese words for monopoly money.”
He then said “money had to originate from and be generated by something real somewhere, to which cryptocurrency says no it doesn’t,” and quoted Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, Warren Buffett. “Maybe this is why Warren Buffett says, ‘cryptocurrencies basically have no value and they don’t produce anything. What you hope is that somebody else comes along and pays you more money for them later on, but then that person got the problem. In terms of value: zero.’”
The TV host then quoted the author of The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb, who said that bitcoin is “an open ponzi scheme.” Maher added, “It’s like having an imaginary best friend who’s also a banker,” noting how the world economy crashed in 2009.
Maher then attacked the power needed for bitcoin mining, citing Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who said:
Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.
Furthermore, he attacked Tesla, stating, “How can a company like Tesla be all in on saving the planet with electric cars and then participate in destroying it with this completely unnecessary online play money?”
The comedian then shifted his attack to bitcoin’s supporters. He said:
You are money-hungry opportunist and you’re not allowed to pretend you care about the environment.
Maher then quoted a journal which states that “bitcoin’s growth could single-handedly push global temperatures above the tipping point of 2 degrees celsius.”
Many people in the crypto community fired back at Maher on social media. One commented that Maher’s take on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is “Pointless and uninformed.” Another chimed in: “Nearly everything in this video is inaccurate or just plain wrong. Nonsense for the mass market sheep that will gobble it up as facts. Bitcoin does not waste energy. Bitcoin is freedom from parasites. And you cannot stop it.”
Twitter handle Brekkie von Bitcoin opined: “Such a disappointing take from Bill Maher. This diatribe feels like it was researched in an hour and written in half that time. It’s just sad to me when people understand the world is broken but can’t see the fix when it’s right in front of their face.” A Maher fan tweeted:
Huge fan Bill but this is terrible research. Don’t you think? Buffett is 100 years old, he doesn’t know tech. The USD is backed by nothing either & they don’t just print 1 trillion bitcoin out of nowhere, devaluing it like USD.
Researcher Nic Carter posted a video rebutting Maher’s “claim that bitcoin will warm the climate by 2ºc (it won’t).” A number of people disputed Maher’s statements about bitcoin’s energy usage. “Most of the energy it uses is either renewable energy (hydro, geothermal, etc) or is stranded waste energy converted to something useful (natural gas flaring). Also your assumption is that bitcoin provides no value, which is definitely false,” one user described.
Morgan Creek Digital Partner Anthony Pompliano offered to explain bitcoin to Maher: “[I] Think you’re missing some key information that would change your mind,” he wrote. Robert Breedlove told Maher that “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” urging him to “please do your job as a journalist and investigate. Bitcoin fixes most of the sociopolitical problems you complain about.”
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