For a short time on Nov. 29, the value of a Bitcoin hit a (then) all-time high, topping $11,000, and then fell to end the day at $9,772.
Joseph Stigliz, former chief economist of the World Bank, was among a growing chorus of voices expressing grave concern that day about the growing popularity of the currency. He called for Bitcoin to be declared illegal, dismissing the currency as mainly useful for illicit purposes.
"Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight," he said during a Nov. 29 interview on Bloomberg Television.
Stigliz, now a professor at Columbia University, added, "It seems to me it ought to be outlawed. It doesn’t serve any socially useful function."
He called the current value of Bitcoin the product of a bubble that, while giving investors an exciting ride over the past few months, would ultimately burst and bring unhappiness and financial disater to many.
Stigliz said he supported the idea of digital currency but such an effort should be under goverment control.