The Bear Case for Bitcoin

Published on
April 19th, 2016
38 minutes

The Bear Case for Bitcoin

Cypherpunks beyond Bitcoin ·
Featuring John Dwyer

Published on: April 19th, 2016 • Duration: 38 minutes

John Dwyer, Fintech Analyst at Celent, takes us in granular detail through the bear case on Bitcoin, after a thorough investigation of the paradoxes and structural weaknesses led him to move away from advocacy of the cryptocurrency. John discusses individual challenges such as the 51% attack and devalued mining incentives, and expands to discuss the irony of a centralized controlled mining network, the central flaw in the Bitcoin incentive scheme, and the alternatives to Bitcoin that are addressing these issues.


  • bs
    bob s.
    18 January 2018 @ 01:16
    Learne.d about Bitcoin at an Agora conference 5 years ago. Never knew of it and I could care less. In retrospect how I entirely understood fiat and the bad parts of the system and the merits of gold and silver and missed Bitcoin makes me ponder. I stopped looking after it dropped and lost it before the big 2017. Note to all to write everything down and not get lazy. Strikes me that the bitcoin chart in this film prior to its explosion seems eerily similar to the metals chart now! But now re-engaging in Bitcoin, I know that it has helped awareness of the fiat disease probably more then anything else. How the public doesn't get gold or especially limited small market cap silver but gets digital money is amazing to me. We are an iphone world and Bitcoin sure has started the conversation. The trend is Populism and anti status quo and it is on the rise and is likely to increase with the global debt. The fiat system is breaking in the periphery and needs to be reborn. The interview, I am not sure of, anyone asserting to put fiat on the blockchain completely misses the revolution. But clearly has intelligence on the topic. His ether call was impressive. 51% attack is overblown and pretty inconceivable and regulating it and centralizing it again completely misses the point. Learning about this brings you to alt coins and the block chain and hashgraph and token fund raising and decentralized crypto exchanges and the fact that bitcoin is really quite small in perspective. In conclusion, after this parabolic collapse heals itself on the chart, this trend will continue. The bull case is the following 1) it is a very small market yet. Let me repeat, it is a very small market and hardly anyone owns it despite the conversation. I understand Raouls comparision to cysco in 99 but it is very very early in the crypto story, maybe 96. 2) managed funds hardly own any and will soon have to in order to compete with other funds that do. Also this is another diversified asset class with clear benefits to a portfolio outside of stocks, bonds, and fiat. Similar to gold but different. During a crash this may surge in value like other currencies. 3) my rmb commodities broker says every one is watching hardly anyone is owning yet. Rides the subway and all the brokers say the same thing and that the exchanges are afraid of it. 4) kids get it but they don't have money to buy 5) money cannot be counter fit or inflated without people knowing with most coins unlike USD or other currencies 6) Bitcoin is known through out the world and will be a gateway to other alt coins. 7) Privacy, taxation, low costs, anti bank. This thing will attempt to solve what gold and silver manipulated couldn't. Despite the parabolic chart, after a pullback-Bitcoins trend will continue to roar, how long anyones guess. The cryptos are here to stay and the more the powers at be fight it the more it will grow and attract money, eventually probably from central banks trying to make up losses. The explosive start (the last year) can go a lot further. Nobody owns this asset class yet and the currencies are likely to sink with the debt. These currencies can help us bridge the gap. My prediction is bitcoin will be over 40,000 by next year, some coins maybe up a few thousand percent. google crypto market caps. it is amazing. I have come to the conclusion that anyone who owns gold and silver and doesn't own any crypto at all better spend more time learning about the bull case for crypto.
    • ST
      Simon T.
      5 November 2019 @ 04:52
      Your conclusion was wrong - any new target and why ?
  • JK
    Joshua K.
    16 July 2016 @ 05:01
    One of the most insightful talks on Bitcoin I've heard (and I've listened to a lot). Good stuff...
    • CT
      Crispim T.
      14 October 2019 @ 21:10
      Bet Josh lost a lot of profits because of this nonsense video. So embarrassing it should be taken down. It's 2019. Bitcoin/BTC won.
  • RH
    Robert H.
    11 August 2019 @ 00:07
    Hello John! I'm from the future. You recorded this video almost 3.5 years ago. It did not age well at all! Bitcoin has gone from $400 to over $11k (27X) and it's trending in the wrong direction for you. I hope you sold your Ethereum and Ripple stacks before the people that watched this video realized you were a fraud! Whoever the interviewer is, you state Ethereum uses proof of stake. It was not proof of stake in 2016 and 3 and a half years into the future, it still isn't! The men in this video were not qualified to be discussing this topic. Very dangerous! SAD! Bless you!
    • CT
      Crispim T.
      14 October 2019 @ 21:05
      Well this sure aged poorly. And BTC its just about to enter its second awesome decade.
    • CT
      Crispim T.
      14 October 2019 @ 21:07
      Wisest thing I learned here.
  • HK
    H K.
    2 December 2017 @ 01:00
    IMHO - This is a great interview, Mr. Dwyer's explanation is excellent as to why the long-term life of Bitcoin is shaky at best. No regulation of the miners, centralization of miners, 51% ownership attack, and diminishing incentives for miners are all very valid reasons that bitcoin should NOT and will never be a legitimate crypto-currency. I say this on the day that the futures exchange is setting up to trade bitcoin contracts, go figure. The idea of a decentralized internet with a legitimized distributed ledger makes for a possibly interesting future for internet users, at least those that value privacy, security and stability.
  • ek
    eric k.
    30 August 2017 @ 05:56
    not sure why we need to issue any fiat currency to blockchain at all; bitcoin is the new world currency right
  • DB
    Douglas B.
    15 August 2017 @ 16:13
    This video didn't age well
  • DK
    Dan K.
    21 July 2017 @ 22:38
    I would love to see this guy debate Andreas Antonopoulos in a public forum. Id watch that on pay per view. I have yet to meet a bitcoin bear who has a clue what they are talking about.
  • DT
    Daniel T.
    7 June 2017 @ 14:56
    VCs backing miners??? what the hack - who let this guy on TV??
  • AS
    Andreas S.
    9 July 2016 @ 18:56
    This guy is the archetypical legacy financial analyst completely missing the point about crypto. Instead please bring on more real experts like Tuur Demeester or Andreas Antonopoulos.
  • JB
    Joe B.
    4 July 2016 @ 20:36
    The amount of work it takes to secure the network is still significantly cheaper than traditional systems.
  • JB
    Joe B.
    4 July 2016 @ 20:07
    He's missing the part about the mining difficulty. Yes if the price drops it makes it less viable to mine btc, but when miners exit due to this, the amount of hash power it takes will lower as well.
  • TQ
    Tom Q.
    10 June 2016 @ 18:41
    Interesting to see the bears on this case, I also liked Ben Hunt's recent discussion on the topic.
  • BC
    Brenton C.
    30 May 2016 @ 23:51
    Bitcoin within the "regulatory system" isn't that attractive. But outside; there's the real story (and future).
  • SL
    Steven L.
    4 May 2016 @ 16:11
    Very happy to see this piece! One other concern for me is the concentration of China based miners. If China literally pulls the plug, what happens? Also miners make the decisions not owners. Problem!
  • nm
    neo m.
    25 April 2016 @ 12:20
    The 51% is misunderstood. this 2 minute video explains what it really means to the network (it's not such a big deal)
  • TJ
    Tay J.
    24 April 2016 @ 19:48
    Kudos to Milton&Friends for hosting a thoughtful, opposing point of view, i.e. "Bitcoin is probably flawed."
  • GM
    Gerald M.
    23 April 2016 @ 18:45
    The technology problems are real. The infighting is getting worse. A split is a possible outcome. The man on the street doesn't trust it. That's probably not a hill I want to die on.
  • SD
    Shyam D.
    23 April 2016 @ 13:31
    The 21co chip has started the journey whereby every computer including our phones will perform the mining. Thus miners will go out of business probably. Mining currently late in cycle. Next.
  • SD
    Shyam D.
    23 April 2016 @ 13:25
    cont.. its like talking about the internet not being able to scale in 1994. Who cares? Focus on how this will evolve and what it can offer. Thats the hardest part, not talking about whats wrong now!
  • SD
    Shyam D.
    23 April 2016 @ 13:23
    Didn't complete the video. (1) Who the hell is adam newman? (2) Regulation will change to bring btc+blockchain. So talk of existing regulation is a waste of time. (3) BTC is early in its life..
  • MC
    Mike C.
    23 April 2016 @ 00:51
    Is this guy related to Mike Hearn?Has Bitcoin failed again for the 100th time.I see that it just broke out of quite the technical pattern-BULLISH on the price and very BEARISH on the noise from John.
  • EK
    Emil K.
    22 April 2016 @ 13:41
    Appreciate the point of view. Will simply add Ripple and Ethereum (others?) to Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency portfolio just as T. Demeester suggests in his PDF (check out his interviews on RV).
  • KO
    Kieran O.
    22 April 2016 @ 11:24
    I still own bitcoins, but I'm happy my position is as small as it is. After I'm done looking into the Lithium market I will be studying Ripple and Ethereum.
  • KO
    Kieran O.
    22 April 2016 @ 11:23
    I have watched this video 3x now. Great stuff. My fears about bitcoin were confirmed in simple and understandable terms. And now there's an interesting date on the horizon when the mining value halves
  • NS
    Nathan S.
    22 April 2016 @ 10:59
    It would be helpful to have additional, hopefully less naive, bearish perspectives on Bitcoin.
  • GD
    Gustavo D.
    22 April 2016 @ 02:54
    Last chart seems a bit flawed if I understand it correctly. The examples at the top (Landline to Internet) are much more similar to Bitcoin than the examples at the bottom (Facebook to Angry birds)lol
  • GF
    Guillaume F.
    21 April 2016 @ 00:59
    It is healthy to have different points of view but this interview is such a joke : wrong facts, weak arguments and pump of a scam coin...
  • BM
    B. M.
    21 April 2016 @ 00:05
    This is taking a block chain and conforming it to current regulatory constraints with kyc, etc. The whole point of bitcoin is the ability to work outside of the current fiat system
  • LH
    Lloyd H.
    20 April 2016 @ 14:48
    "Pointless Work" ? because it is not free to create bitcoin (unlike FIAT) you transfer the financial resources needed to carry out the work directly into the bitcoin as stored value in the process
  • jS
    jurgen S.
    20 April 2016 @ 12:31
    I'm not convinced but enjoyed his view. I think he made the most sense when he talked about Bitcoin being outside the financial system. At present that is a massive positive!!
  • TM
    Taylor M.
    20 April 2016 @ 10:55
    Take this guy with a grain of salt. Get a technical guy on here who actually understands this. Many questionable statements.
  • TM
    Taylor M.
    20 April 2016 @ 10:40
    Bitcoin vs Ethereum validity is not Mutually exclusive. We need them both at least for now. Its like NYSE vs NASDAQ respectively. Old vs New. I have invested in both. Get Vitalik Buterin on here
  • MM
    Michael M.
    20 April 2016 @ 03:18
    Meanwhile"the first regulated and licensed bitcoin exchange for all 28 countries in the EU" is about to launch.
  • TH
    Timothy H.
    20 April 2016 @ 03:00
    Because I'm interested in a store of value--and could give a f**k about democratizing anything financial--I'm also PRECISELY interested in all of this "pointless work" required for Bitcoin.
  • JK
    Jon K.
    20 April 2016 @ 00:11
    Good alt view. The chart at 29min mark. Lets hear some technical analysis from Pal, Brandt, Floyd on breakout up/down potential and other technical viewpoints on the 2+ month bitcoin sideways trend.
  • JS
    John S.
    19 April 2016 @ 21:51
    Good to hear alternative views. However, keep in mind that he has a non-technical background and a career in banking. BTC has challenges ahead but I intend to hold onto my position.
  • CH
    Christian H.
    19 April 2016 @ 20:40
    Positive: Bitcoin is "regulated" by an open source mining software + prove of work = new form of regulation. All current google computing power < 1% of bitcoin mining power. Attacks will be difficult.
  • MM
    Michael M.
    19 April 2016 @ 16:09
    If the average daily transactions are rising weekly/monthly and the supply is going to halve, I struggle to understand how the price will drop.
  • RG
    Richard G.
    19 April 2016 @ 16:00
    If anyone is interested in hearing a counterpoint on why we DO need proof-of-work type "wasting of resources," Paul Storcz has a great explanation on his blog at
  • RG
    Richard G.
    19 April 2016 @ 15:54
    It's interesting that he claims that "ALL you would need" is the capital to perform a 51% attack. Would also need support of Bitcoin community. Mining pools can easily break up a move like this.
  • BT
    Brett T.
    19 April 2016 @ 15:20
    Lol at banks spending millions of dollars to stay on the write side of the law. They spend millions to write the laws. Bitcoin won't ever work with banks because it was designed to destroy them.
  • SS
    Sam S.
    19 April 2016 @ 14:34
    Mr Pal----what is your take on Bitcoin now? You've made a past bull case and now we have a bear case---update please!
  • CC
    Christopher C.
    19 April 2016 @ 14:10
    Not to be a downer but... crypto-currencies meet central banks. What could possibly go wrong? :-) Very informative video.