What is this author’s unpopular take on olive oil and Bitcoin?


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One of the main reasons why investors park their funds in cryptocurrencies is to protect themselves against inflation. 

After previously calling Bitcoin a “failed currency” and an “open Ponzi scheme,” author and statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in a recent interview with CNBC, asserted how there is no apparent link between the world’s largest cryptocurrency and inflation.

Disregarding Bitcoin as an inflationary hedge, Taleb said,

“If you want a hedge against inflation, buy a piece of land, grow olives on it. You’ll have olive oil. If the price collapses, perhaps you’ll have something, but with Bitcoin there is no connection.”

This isn’t a new view, but it certainly is an unpopular one. Bitcoin enthusiasts like Max Keiser, for instance, believe that inflation and the price of Bitcoin are correlated. In fact, Kaiser had recently said that Bitcoin’s price could potentially hit the $220,000-mark in 2021 if hyperinflation collapsed fiat money. 

According to Taleb, however,

“You can have hyper-inflation and Bitcoin can go to zero.”

A few years back, Taleb was a staunch Bitcoin proponent and attributed it to be an “excellent idea” because it had the ability to “decide its own fate.” His narrative, curiously, was transformed earlier this year after he tweeted about dumping his crypto-holdings.

Citing the crypto-ecosystem as “beautifully crafted” and “well-made,” the statistician pointed out that he sees no reason linking it to anything economic. The best strategy for an investor, according to Taleb, is to own things that produce yields in the future. He added,

“These gimmicks, of course, you have Bitcoin today, you may have another coin tomorrow, they come and go. You have no systematic link between them and the claims they make.”

He concluded by arguing that cryptocurrencies are merely volatile and speculative investment vehicles that aren’t compatible with its original aim to replace the U.S dollar.

“You can’t replace a currency with something that is so volatile.”

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