While there are millions of cryptocurrency traders and proponents around the world; there are still many people who believe that the sector is rampant with fraud. We have seen this with Nouriel Roubini, the famous economist who is known for predicting with 2008 global economic crisis.
He has recently emerged as one of the largest voices against cryptocurrency, and has been vocal in Senate hearings about his beliefs. He has also been criticized for his inflammatory statements, such as claiming that “only criminals and terrorists use bitcoin”.
Of course, one should take this with a grain of salt. Roubini has a vested interest in railing against cryptocurrency, because he’s been a consultant to banks and organizations that could be threatened by blockchain technology in the future. He certainly is well-paid as well, receiving millions from these companies and organizations.
He also has retweeted and shown support for a Twitter user named @Bitfinexed for some time now. This isn’t too surprising, considering that @Bitfinexed has also emerged as one of the largest “crypto critics” on the platform. Here is Nouriel Roubini, on February 7, citing an Bloomberg article where @Bitfinexed is claiming that cryptocurrency supporters and bots had affected his account. In the tweet, he called on Twitter to restore the account.
A Vocal Crypto-Critic Says Bot Army Got Him Suspended by Twitter
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) February 7, 2018
Many have credited @Bitfinexed for breaking the story that the bank behind Tether is insolvent, and the user behind the account has even put this accomplishment in his bio, stating, “Exposed the Bitfinexed/Tether fraud”, and lists publications such as Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and others, that credited the story.
It appears, however, that the identity of @Bitfinexed has been revealed. While many have stated that @Bitfinexed is clearly a source of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) meant to undermine the legitimacy of cryptocurrency – there has previously been no proof.
The Steemit article by a user named “thinkexclamation” applied linguistic forensics to narrow down the identity of @Bitfinexed, who was revealed as one Spencer Macdonald from Homestead, Florida. He appears to be a gamer-turned-bitcoin trader, and the article also accuses him of taking donations for a court case that never materialized, as well.
The article points out that this was around the same time that both Bitfinex and Tether were subpoenaed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the most important financial regulatory organizations in the country.
The lawyer that Macdonald hired has a close relationship with a man by the name of Jeff Bandman. His Linkedin bio states that he was a senior official at the CFTC from 2014-2017.
The cryptocurrency community has been divided about the reveal, with some suggesting that this shows that @Bitfinexed had an agenda from the beginning, and believing that his credibility is now destroyed. Others have argued that this invades the privacy of @Bitfinexed.
The response from @Bitfinexed has seem to be that he is telling the truth, no matter what his detractors say. Here is a tweet of his that echoes that sentiment:
The problem is they can’t do that, so… all that’s left is harassment, criminal acts, threats, doxxing, etc. https://t.co/GG2nnlMKWE
— Bitfinex’ed 🐧 (@Bitfinexed) October 28, 2018
Ultimately, this is an issue that is being hotly debated within the cryptocurrency community, and the debate will likely continue for some time.