Prominent Economist Peter Schiff Shares Harsh Criticism About Bitcoin Being on CBS 60 Minutes
Prominent stockbroker Peter Schiff had much to say after CBS’s 138-time Emmy award-winning TV show 60 Minutes aired a pro-bitcoin segment this past Sunday.
Peter Schiff is a prominent stock broker remembered for correctly predicting the 2008 financial crisis and a Bitcoin agnostic.
The pro-Bitcoin report aired across the US on May 20, describing its optimistic take on Bitcoin’s future with comments from cryptocurrency influencers like Marco Streng, Neha Narula, and Charlie Shrem. They also got the first person to pay for something with BTC, computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz, to speak with them. Hanyecz famously paid 10,000 BTC for a pizza, making it worth almost $800 million now. Twitter users were quick to jump on this with excitement.
Laszlo Hanyecz talks for first time on television about what is believed to be the first real-world transaction involving cryptocurrency. He paid 10,000 bitcoin for some pizza https://t.co/gOf1BKeQ6W pic.twitter.com/aCpT9w8bb6
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 19, 2019
Schiff called the 60 Minutes segment “one-sided” and proclaiming that there was a significant amount of skepticism missing, saying on Twitter:
“60 Minutes just aired a free commercial for Bitcoin. Great press for Bitcoin owners looking to sell to CBS viewers who may be suckered into buying based on this very one-sided segment. At a minimum, CBS owed its audience a healthy degree of skepticism. Very bad reporting as usual.”
60 Minutes just aired a free commercial for Bitcoin. Great press for Bitcoin owners looking to sell to CBS viewers who may be suckered into buying based on this very one-sided segment. At a minimum CBS owed its audience a healthy degree of skepticism. Very bad reporting as usual!
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) May 20, 2019
The show only included one real criticism, with Federal Reserve’s Lael Brainard commenting on the lack of government support with 60 Minutes host Anderson Cooper:
“The US-currency has a whole set of legal protections around it. The federal reserve and ultimately the U.S. treasury stand behind it. And when you hold you dollars in a bank account, you have deposit insurance.”
“And the criticism they chose to air was [feeble],” Schiff argued.
He wasn’t the only one to notice this.
Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Capital, pointed out the governor entirely avoided questions of price manipulation in US markets on Twitter within hours of the episode first airing, saying:
“Instead, she decided to talk about FDIC insurance and ‘legal protections.’”
In the 60 Minutes piece on Bitcoin, a Federal Reserve governor couldn’t respond to @AC360’s question about central bankers’ manipulation of US dollars.
Instead she decided to talk about FDIC insurance and “legal protections.” 😂😂
LONG BITCOIN, SHORT THE BANKERS!!
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 19, 2019
But Schiff hinted at the bullishness of the case for Bitcoin Anthony Cooper presented on 60 Minutes, warning CBS viewers who believe the coverage may end up entering a market they don’t understand and buying cryptocurrency at higher rates. This essentially leaves them unprotected and could result in heavy losses for the users and for the future of cryptocurrencies.
“The worst thing about Bitcoin is that after millions of people lose billions of dollars, the libertarian cause for sound money with suffer major setback. Governments will get more powerful, and use the losses to increase regulation on legitimate alternative to fiat currency.”
While Peter Schiff may have made some good points, it’s important to note that not everyone agrees with his negative views on Bitcoin as a whole. Despite being a self-proclaimed agnostic, he also claimed earlier on that the price of Bitcoin had no intrinsic value and compared it to the infamous Tulip Mania bubble of 1637.
Whether his overt criticism goes far enough or too far remains to be seen.