Ehud Barak
Ehud BarakFlash 90

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak blasted the digital currency system known as “Bitcoin”, comparing it and similar so-called “crypto-currencies” to Ponzi schemes.

Speaking at an event hosted by Globes in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Barak, who currently serves as the chairman of the medicinal marijuana producer InterCure, responded to a question regarding whether the legal marijuana industry was experiencing a bubble following the drug’s legalization in many areas over the past few years.

The query also asked whether investment in legalize pot was comparable to investment in crypto-currencies like ‘Bitcoin’.

In his response, the former premier blasted Bitcoin and other digital crypto-currencies, saying he would never invest in any.

Barak distinguished crypto-currencies, however, from blockchain, the decentralized digital ledger system used to measure crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

"Blockchain is a technological-mathematical concept, an interesting and important method, and one that will have many uses. Bitcoin and crypto-currencies is a Ponzi scheme. I do not believe that it will be possible to make a coin like this and I will not invest in crypto-currencies.”

“Anyone who has patience and understands the depth of blockchain will find many uses, from holding sensitive medical information to smart contracts.”

Ophir Gertner, founder of Smartologic, also highlighted the distinction between blockchain and crypto-currencies.

“The Crypto market as a whole has become a punching bag. Such opinions including the views of many companies in Israel have become especially popular against the backdrop of the sharp fluctuations and devaluations in the currencies recently. We see that regulation is now required, as the absence of financial supervision has given crypto-currencies a negative reputation and tarnished blockchain's image internationally.”