Well-known figure Niall Ferguson reportedly has changed his view on blockchain-based currency usage.
An accomplished individual, Niall Ferguson is “the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard,” as detailed on Bank of England’s website.
According to a Financial Review article from AFR, Niall Ferguson said he was wrong about some of his previous sentiment toward crypto. AFR reported some of Ferguson’s comments during The Australian Financial Review Business Summit on March 5.
Ferguson mentioned his son brought up the idea to buy bitcoin back around 2014, AFR said. Ferguson’s historical cognition of currencies and innovation at the time, however, reportedly deterred him from investing.
Although, Ferguson’s recent statements show a change in sentiment. “I was very wrong,” AFR quoted Ferguson saying. “Wrong to think there was no … use for a form of currency based on blockchain technology.”
Even though bitcoin has fallen dramatically since all-time price highs, AFR reported Ferguson still is not put off by the asset. “I don’t think this will turn out to be a complete delusion,” Ferguson said.
More thoughts from Niall Ferguson
In a February 2019 article, BreakerMag reported Ferguson joined the board of a blockchain store of value project called Ampleforth. Ferguson provided an array of interesting comments via email correspondence with BreakerMag.
As far as bitcoin’s limited classification as a type of money, Ferguson said:
It is an option on digital gold. By this I mean that bitcoin’s role in the foreseeable future is as a liquid asset that is hard to confiscate, and thus serves as a type of insurance. You might hold your private keys the same way the European wealthy used to hold gold jewelry and precious stones. However, the experiment launched by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 is not yet finished. To own bitcoin today is to have an option on Satoshi’s experiment succeeding.”
Ferguson’s 2017 insights
During bitcoin’s meteoric rise in December of 2017, Ferguson provided some interesting insights in an interview with Fox Business. As bitcoin sat around $17,000, Ferguson said bitcoin was not comparative to “tulip mania,” but still showed signs of a “classic bubble.” Instead, Ferguson stated bitcoin’s bubble reminded him of “the early eighteenth century South Sea Bubble.”
One caveat Ferguson wondered about, however, was in terms of supply. He related bitcoin to a “digital gold for the world’s millionaires.”
I had this horrible calculation, and it’s been haunting me. If they [millionaires] just put 1% of their assets into bitcoin then the right price should be $60,000, not $16,000 or $17,000. So I’m not quite ready to say this bubble’s going to burst.”
Ferguson did, however, state incoming regulation associated with a correction. “I think it’s going to correct because there’s going to be a regulatory change, and then the headlines will be ‘bitcoin bubble bursts’ and people will rush for the exits,” he said.
Ferguson also made comments on 2018’s initial coin offering (ICO) market, which have proven to be spot on. “That [ICO market] will suffer some regulatory hit. Probably one safe prediction for next year is the ICO market will crash,” Ferguson said.