In a surprising twist, renowned economist Nouriel Roubini, who was once a staunch critic of cryptocurrencies, has launched his own digital token under the banner of Atlas Capital.
Image: Atlas Capital
Roubini’s venture is introducing a blockchain-based stablecoin tethered to real-world assets, marking a significant departure from his previous stance on digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Nouriel Roubini has long been a vocal adversary of cryptocurrencies, referring to Bitcoin as “the mother of all bubbles” and the crypto industry as “the biggest criminal heist in human history.”
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), co-founder and CEO of Binance, expressed his disapproval of Roubini’s sudden pivot on Twitter. He labeled Roubini as “shameless” for embracing the world of crypto and leveraging the Binance brand’s recognition.
The tension between the two figures can be traced back to Roubini’s scathing critique of Binance in light of FTX’s issues, where he referred to CZ as a “walking time bomb.”
Initially, Atlas Capital proudly highlighted its associations with former Binance personnel.
image: CZ’s X Post
However, following CZ’s public rebuke, they promptly removed all references to external companies from their website. Nevertheless, the company still underscores the experience of previous Binance employees, notably Mayur Kamat, who served as the Global Head of Product under CZ at Binance.
Nouriel Roubini, renowned for his scathing criticisms of the crypto industry, is the driving force behind Atlas Capital’s latest venture – the Atlas Climate Token.
This stablecoin is anchored to a diversified portfolio of tangible assets, including climate-resilient real estate investment trusts (REITs), sovereign bonds, commodities, and gold. Its primary objective is to amalgamate conventional financial assets with DeFi (Decentralized Finance) products to offer stability and intrinsic value.
Roubini’s foray into the world of cryptocurrencies doesn’t stop at introducing a stablecoin. Atlas Capital plans to introduce an exchange-traded fund (ETF) linked to the Atlas Roubini Macro Navigator Index in the first quarter of 2024.
The company is presently engaged in discussions with ETF issuers and distributors, aiming to democratize its climate investment strategy and make it accessible to everyday investors.
While Atlas’s endeavors appear promising, skeptics argue that the frequent use of the term “decentralization” in solving global problems might serve as a guise to attract retail investors and potentially separate them from their funds.
Atlas Capital describes its offerings as “digital currency for resiliency.” It claims to provide solutions for holding assets that have the potential to outperform traditional interest-bearing bank accounts. The company’s approach is laden with buzzwords such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), climate technology, and blockchain, designed to appeal to prospective investors.
Nouriel Roubini, who is referred to as the chief economist of Atlas, discusses topics on the project’s website that typically invoke fear, including climate change, pandemics, inflation, and civil unrest. The inclusion of a former Binance executive further underscores the project’s industry expertise.
Atlas Capital makes commitments to direct capital toward climate funding and provide safeguards against inflation. However, the choice of cryptocurrency for its stablecoin remains undisclosed, sparking concerns about potential environmental implications. This stems from the substantial energy consumption associated with popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.