The Adam Smith Society to Host Open to Debate Debate on Bitcoin’s Future in New York on April 21

April 3, 2018
Shore Fire Media Press Release

Less than a decade old, the pioneering cryptocurrency Bitcoin is already worth billions. But some contend it could easily collapse — vulnerable to hacks, wild volatility, or simply waning market enthusiasm. Is Bitcoin a bubble waiting to pop? On Saturday, April 21, four experts on the subject will argue over that question in a live debate on the motion “Bitcoin Is More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay.” “America’s debate series” Open to Debate will present the debate in partnership with Manhattan Institute’s Adam Smith Society in New York City.

Patrick Byrne, whose company Overstock was the first business with more than $1 million in revenue to accept Bitcoin, will partner with venture capitalist Tim Draper, who made headlines when he purchased almost 30,000 Bitcoin seized from Silk Road, to argue in favor of Bitcoin’s future. They will be opposed by Financial Times managing editor Gillian Tett, who has became renowned for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, and University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner, who has dubbed Bitcoin “a Ponzi scheme.”

The debate will be held live at the Adam Smith Society’s national meeting, where more than 300 graduate business students and professionals are expected to attend; soon thereafter, it will air on both the Adam Smith Society and Open to Debate websites as well as on the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Open to Debate”

WHAT: Open to Debate Debates “Bitcoin Is More Than a Bubble and Here to Stay”

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2018 / 3:00-4:45 PM

WHERE: Adam Smith Society’s National Meeting / NYC


Debating For the Motion:

* Patrick Byrne: Founder, & CEO, tZero

Patrick Byrne is CEO and co-founder of the internet retail company and is CEO of tZero, an ICO training platform he founded. Under his leadership, became first business with more than $1 million in revenue to accept bitcoin as a payment method. Later, using the familiarity gained with the blockchain technology at the heart of digital currencies such as bitcoin, Byrne created Medici Ventures, a subsidiary within devoted to advancing blockchain-based technology solutions. In 2015, he used Medici’s securities trading platform to become the first person to purchase a digital bond entirely on the bitcoin blockchain.

* Tim Draper: Venture Capitalist & Founder, Draper Associates & DFJ

Tim Draper is a venture capital investor and founder of Draper Associates and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. His original suggestion to use “viral marketing” in e-mail to geometrically spread an internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, Skype, and Yahoo Mail. It has since been adopted as a standard marketing technique by hundreds of businesses. Draper has been recognized as a leader in his field through numerous awards and honors. He has been ranked 46th on the list of the 100 most influential Harvard alumni and 7th on the Forbes Midas List.

Debating Against the Motion:

* Eric Posner: Law Professor, University of Chicago

Eric Posner is a legal scholar and frequent media commentator, having written op-eds and columns for a number of national publications including the Wall Street Journal and Slate. He is currently the Kirkland and Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. Posner is the author of several books, including “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society,” which will be published in May. Posner is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute.

* Gillian Tett: U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times

Gillian Tett is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and the U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, where she oversees global coverage of the financial markets. She is the author of “Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe” and “Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from its Trillion Dollar Meltdown.” Her latest book, “The Silo Effect”, published in 2015, looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology. Tett was named Columnist of the Year by the British press in 2014.


A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Open to Debate was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 140 debates and counting, Open to Debate has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated Open to Debate since 2008.


The Adam Smith Society — a project of the Manhattan Institute — is an expansive, chapter-based network of MBA students, professionals, and business leaders who work to foster debate about the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism. The Adam Smith Society provides a venue where members can engage in meaningful dialogue about free enterprise with fellow students and professionals as well as prominent figures, journalists, and public officials. Launched in 2011, in partnership with the Marilyn G. Fedak Capitalism Project, the society has grown to 38 chapters at elite business school campuses and major cities in the U.S. and abroad.

Go here for photos, links and more info:

For more information on Open to Debate, contact Ray Padgett or Mark Satlof at Shore Fire Media.

For more information on the Adam Smith Society, please contact Alison Mangiero; for media requests, please contact Michele Jacob.