Nobel laureate and economist Paul Krugman told his followers on Twitter that he has been receiving suspicious emails about his ‘blockchain wallet.’ The problem is, he doesn’t have a blockchain wallet.
Scammers have been a fixture of the cryptocurrency space since its heyday, but they’ve been trying every trick in the book to expand their operations. From fake giveaways to posing as tech support, scammers will never cease to reinvent their tactics to defraud more victims.
It seems that even Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman isn’t spared from the reach of scammers, either. Krugman took to Twitter recently to say that he received an email about funds being deposited into his blockchain wallet. He speculates that “some kind of fraud” is going on because he does not even own a blockchain-related wallet.
OK, this is extremely weird. I received an email saying that a payment has been received into my blockchain wallet. But I don't have a blockchain wallet. Presumably there's some kind of fraud going on, but what?
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) December 5, 2019
The message caught the attention of many in the cryptocurrency industry, like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. He took to Twitter to give Krugman a simple tip — to install Metamask to block a long list of cryptocurrency scam sites.
It could also be a scam site; there's plenty of those. If you start dabbling in crypto I'd recommend installing metamask, alongside the wallet functionality it automatically blocks all the crypto scam sites that it knows about.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 6, 2019
Most, however, were mocking Krugman’s honest question. Responding with “OK boomer” memes and calling him old and stupid, it’s unlikely that these replies did anything but make the entire cryptocurrency industry look really childish.
Much of the cryptocurrency community’s dismissal and mockery of Krugman is based on the economist’s established hostility towards current implementations of the technology. He has called himself a ‘crypto-skeptic‘ in a piece in the New York Times.
His reasons include the fact that Tether (USDT) is not actually backed 1:1 in dollars, something Tether’s co-founder has himself admitted. He also cites the high blockchain transaction costs associated with the most popular cryptocurrencies as an issue, which he finds unsuitable for actual global use. Based on his criticisms, it’s clear that Krugman could, someday, still come around to the idea of cryptocurrencies. However, mockery won’t bring anyone closer to the blockchain cause.
Although it is easy to dismiss Krugman’s concerns as naive, it’s a similar question that millions of people who aren’t crypto-natives would ask. Buterin was the only one to provide support to Krugman with a clear and concrete answer.
Images courtesy of Twitter, BusinessInsider.