Bitcoin Twitter Taunts Paul Krugman Over TradFi Troubles

Andrew Throuvalas
2 min readMar 8, 2023

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“The software has taken control,” he lamented, but crypto Twitter had thoughts.

Paul Krugman in 2013. Image: Shutterstock

Famed economist Paul Krugman was never a crypto fan, but personal issues with a traditional financial company left him with some frustration to vent on Wednesday.

“I’ve been using Venmo for years, but now it won’t allow me to make payments,” he tweeted. “I spent a long time in chat with representatives, and they told me that they can’t explain why — or fix it. The software has taken control.”

The irony wasn’t lost on Bitcoiners, whose responses could be summed up in an oft-used three-word phrase: “Bitcoin fixes this.”

So replied Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, the self-proclaimed “Bitcoin maximalist,” who often praises Bitcoin as “digital energy” and a perfect medium for storing value. His affection is due in part to Bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million coins immune that’s immune to inflation by the state.

Bitcoin’s biggest proponents — including The Bitcoin Standard author Saifedean Ammous — view Bitcoin as the ultimate expression of Austrian economic theory, which asserts that there should be zero government intervention in the economy. Krugman, however, is of the Keynesian school, which sees central management through monetary and fiscal policy as essential to a productive 21st century economy.

For years, Krugman has maintained that crypto is “largely a Ponzi-scheme,” solves no meaningful problems, and is mostly just a tool for black market trade. Now, the crypto community is making him eat those words.

Unlike banks and other centralized payment services, Bitcoin has experienced almost zero downtime since 2009, and does not discriminate between people or borders when processing transactions. It’s also free of KYC policies, which — as Bitcoin Beach pointed out — were likely responsible for Krugman’s temporary Venmo lockout.

“Imagine what it is like for billions in the world who are not even allowed access to payment networks like Venmo,” wrote the account. “Literally billions of the world’s poorest.”

Granted, Krugman’s timeout was resolved in short order of him tweeting his complaint to his 4.5 million followers.

Now, Bitcoiners again await a fiat-based solution for the masses who don’t have that much clout.

Originally published at https://decrypt.co on March 8, 2023.

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