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Jordan Belfort is probably one of the most infamous ex-Wall Street traders living today, mostly known for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street based on his book, and in which Leonardo DiCaprio portrays his crooked days as a con artist until he gets caught.
Apparently, the former 22-month prisoner wishes to contribute from his previous fraudulent experience by equating Bitcoin with his own past wrongdoings. Here’s the main tidbit that Belfort delivered in a recent interview with CNBC:
I was a scammer. I had it down to science, and it’s exactly what’s happening with Bitcoin. The whole thing is so stupid; these kids have gotten themselves so brainwashed. We don’t even know how bad it really is.
Harsh words indeed. To be fair, you can say a lot of negative things about Belfort (which he justly earned) and you can (and probably should) be very suspicious of him; however, Belfort definitely knows his way around commercial brainwashing since he had used that himself, either to lure innocent investors in or to cultivate a cult-like culture in his brokerage firm. Even if one disagrees with the premise that Bitcoin will inevitably collapse, no one can deny that there’s at least occasionally some blind enthusiasm and overhype in the crypto arena.
But don’t be mistaken, Belfort elucidates that “Bitcoin itself is not a scam” but that “there are scams around it that are perpetuated because by its very nature it’s a dark market; you can’t see what’s going on behind the scenes.” That’s true too – there are multiple reports which indicate that there’s a plethora of scams latching onto legitimate cryptocurrency projects and tainting everything.
Other than scams, Belfort adds, Bitcoin faces even greater issues, especially from the side of regulators and central banks.
Besides the scam, there’s problem with the central banks don’t want it because they need to control the money supply, they spend all this time trying to stop money laundering. So why now allow something it’s anonymous and lends itself to make money laundering very easy and hard to track down? There’s no way that it’s in their best interest to do it. I don’t believe there’s any shot in the world they’ll let that happen.
Again, Belfort absolutely has a point there: traditional banks – let alone central banks – certainly don’t fancy Bitcoin too much, and will employ all the authority and influence they have to stop anything standing in the way between them and profit.
Bitcoin wasn’t the only cryptocurrency which Belfort predestines to ruination; the controversial stablecoin Tether is specifically mentioned by him as well, and not in a good way. As many others before him, Belfort distrusts Tether’s claims that it is always backed at a 1-to-1 ratio with the USD and insinuates that it might be connected to Bitcoin manipulations.
My guess is that there was never one for one. It’s being investigated right now and when that comes to light it’s just going to be a disaster for the whole basket of crypto.
It would be incredibly easy to disqualify Belfort’s statements about Bitcoin; after all, he is a convicted felon who was almost two years behind bars. Yet, perhaps because of his criminal record and not despite of it he should be heeded – for the long run it might be even better for Bitcoin to root out the actual detrimental elements surrounding it and overcome the obstacles to which he points out.
You can watch the full interview here: