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US Dollar Is No Longer Too Big to Fail, Former Coinbase CTO Advocates BTC Over RMB As Successor
2023-03-27 14:22:09

Balaji Srinivasan, an entrepreneur and former CTO of Coinbase, argues that the US dollar is no longer too big to fail, and he hopes that Bitcoin, rather than the Chinese yuan (RMB), will be the next currency to gain investors' trust during turbulent times.

Investors tend to seek refuge in dollar-denominated assets during times of stress, as history tells us. However, when taking a longer historical lens, people tend to exit devaluing currencies, which is the key difference compared to the 2008 financial crisis, Balaji explained.

Balaji emphasized that 2023 is not 2008. He stated:

"...reserve currency status doesn't last forever, ...the old playbook won't work anymore because it's not 2008".

He argues that there are many differences between the two crises.

One of the main differences is that you cannot print your way out of this crisis, as inflation is already high. Balaji suggests that the alternatives are the RMB and BTC, which are at-scale options. Another difference is that in 2023, banks are going bust at the consumer level, whereas in 2008, they were going bust at the enterprise level. "In 2023, banks are now going bust at the consumer level (in the form of bank runs and mass withdrawals), not the enterprise level as they were in 2008 (where it was just paper markdowns between men in skyscrapers)," Balaji said.

Balaji also highlights that the world has changed over the last 15 years, and the geopolitical situation is different, especially in the case of the RMB. "By default, the alternative to a devalued USD is RMB. China is building a currency union with Russia, Iran, Saudi, and others, where the digital yuan is the medium of exchange. These countries have hard goods, natural resources, and oil. The currency is backed by something real. That's extremely concerning because the digital yuan is a surveillance engine." Balaji explained.

Balaji warns that this crisis may not go down like the 2008 crisis, and not everyone is going to double down on short-term Treasuries and big banks. He suggests that the next bad thing will not be the same as the last, and if the USD is no longer the global reserve currency, we should hope that the successor is something free like BTC, rather than something completely controlled like RMB.