While he’s bullish on digital payments through apps such as Alipay, Venmo, PayPal and Square, Roubini said blockchain and cryptocurrencies will not play a role in the future of finance.
“I’m affirmative on that significant disruption, but most of this has nothing to do with blockchain, nothing to do with cryptocurrency,” he said.
The economist also took on the fundraising process called initial coin offerings, or ICOs, calling them “mostly scams.”
He pointed to research by ICO advisory firm Satis Group, which said 81 percent of them were, as Roubini put it in a column published earlier Thursday, “created by con artists, charlatans, and swindlers looking to take your money and run.”
The economist, who is a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, debated Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of ConsenSys. Ethereum is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization behind bitcoin, with a market capitalization of about $74 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.