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Ex-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan: Bitcoin What Fiat “Used to Be”

As the Chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades (1987-2006), Alan Greenspan’s been an infamous leading player in global finance in contemporary times.

And in a new interview on Fox Business, Greenspan surprised many by using his reputational capital – or notoriety, depending on your viewpoint – to once more enter his opinion into the Bitcoin debate.

Greenspan turned to history to frame his comments on BTC, suggesting the cryptocoin behaved somewhat similarly to the unbacked currencies of the 18th century:

“I would use the analogy of Continental currency. Continental currency in 1775 was issued with no backing and it sold at par in the marketplace for quite a while until they started to build up more and more printing of continentals.”

“Human nature is such that if you get something such as Bitcoin, you think there is some value there whether there is or there isn’t.  But that’s the same thing as a Continental, greenbacks in the Civil War, all of these currencies which didn’t have any backing.”

Greenspan refers to “whether there is or isn’t” inherent value to Bitcoin, acknowledging the debates on the subject that are raging between traditional and progressive economists today.

For his part, though, Greenspan’s previously and unsurprisingly acknowledged that he camps with the former, remarking back in 2013 that:

“You have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of bitcoin is. I haven’t been able to do it. Maybe somebody else can.”

But the interesting part about his new comments is the practicality they reference. Even in saying Continental currency had no backing, it worked and functioned in the economic order of its day.

So, too, does Bitcoin have the opportunity to do that in the here and now.

Except instead of just working and functioning, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like it bear within them the promise to revolutionize civilization’s financial order for centuries to come.

TLDR: In new comments, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan curiously noted that Bitcoin is what fiat “used to be.” Even still, the ex-Chairman isn’t all-in on BTC. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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