Revisiting the Stanford Professor Promoting Ripple Vs Bitcoin As Student Claims Conflict Of Interest

The Economics of Technology Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Susan Athey, allegedly promotes Ripple over Bitcoin. These claims are made by Conner Brown, a student at Stanford University.

According to the statement released by the student, the lecture contained a “strong anti-Bitcoin rhetoric.” Moreover, he said that the first introduction to Bitcoin contained different errors related to the virtual currency. Nevertheless, he said that he did not receive an answer from the university regarding his cryptocurrency inquiry to the school board. However, they wrote to him

“we will get back to you on this.”

He added:

“Durig the presentation from Dr. Athey there were multiple misstatements that were concerning to me. I understand that she is a respected professor at Standford and that these may have been accidental; however, I also believe that it is in the best interest of our academic environment that we ensure high caliber discussion and peer review.”

He highlighted 5 main issues in the lecture:

  1. Claiming that the Bitcoin network is controlled by a small group of miners in China
  2. Stating that Bitcoin accounts are secured economically and not cryptographically
  3. Saying that Bitcoin wastes electricity by stealing from rivers to solve “useless” mathematical problems
  4. Claiming that financial institutions are using Ripple’s technology
  5. Claiming that Ripple disperses the tokens rather than selling them

Now, he has to wait for an answer from Stanford, since he wrote this email more than a month ago. However, he might not even receive an answer in the near future.

To the accusations, Athey replied:

Conner went on to say that Susan is correct although he was trying to make a different point. He said:

“Hi Dr. Athey, thank you for responding! You are correct—this email was sent to the professors hosting your talk. I’m sorry they didn’t follow up with you. If you disagree with content in my letter, could you publicly post the slides from the talk? Thanks again for your time.”

Susan followed up the Tweet with defending her position and also adding the slide of her lecture.

But the story didn’t end there. Users on Twitter started questioning whether possible personal conflicts of interest had occurred during the lecture. Assuredly, promoting a product or service that you are connected with is at least unscrupulous.

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