Renowned economist Nouriel Roubini has denounced the cryptocurrency market as an “ecosystem that is totally corrupt,” and described some of its big players as “con men” after a major exchange collapse.
Speaking at Abu Dhabi Finance Week on Wednesday, he criticized Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, and called for his crypto exchange to become the subject of careful scrutiny from regulators.
There were “seven Cs of crypto: Concealed, corrupt, crooks, criminals, con men, carnival barkers, and finally, CZ,” Roubini said on Wednesday at a panel hosted by CNBC.
“The lesson of the last few weeks is these people should be out of here,” he added.
The cryptocurrency market is going through unprecedented turbulence after last week’s sudden collapse of FTX, one of the biggest crypto exchanges. It reportedly has more than 100,000 creditors, and liabilities of between $10 billion and $50 billion. Despite filing for bankruptcy, millions of dollars worth of crypto continued to be drained from FTX wallets over the weekend, further undermining trust in the industry.
Binance initially considered buying its failing rival before pulling out of the deal. Roubini, however, suggests that Binance is not much different to FTX.
“I can’t believe that CZ and Binance have a license to operate in the UAE. He’s banned in the UK, he’s under investigation by the US Justice Department for money laundering,” Roubini said.
Binance was banned in the UK in late June, while regulators in Singapore forced the company to limit its service in the country. In the US, it operates through a spin-off company, Binance US, which has been under scrutiny since May.
Roubini, a New York University professor and chief executive of Roubini Macro Associates, came to prominence after predicting the financial crisis of 2008-09 and was dubbed ‘Doctor Doom’ by Wall Street.
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