I recently read that Nassim N. Taleb thinks that Bitcoin is an open Ponzi scheme. An influental and intelligent person like him surely doesn't say something without thinking about it first. Therefore I asked myself what he means with that term.
In my view the key ingredient of a Ponzi scheme is deception - deception of investors about the real source of their revenue. In order to keep this deception from becoming public knowledge, a Ponzi scheme must remain «closed» in that regard. An «open Ponzi scheme» would mean that there is no deception because «the secret» of the revenue is known to everyone. Isn't «openness» exactly the necessary ingredient which would legitimize even a Ponzi scheme by making it possible to investors to «add» fair value to it, which would most possibly be Zero?
Wouldn't any asset be an open Ponzi scheme by Nassim N. Talebs logic? I mean every investor tries to make money by selling his investment to others for a higher price at some point. I feel that following his Logic even gold, diamonds, company shares, etc. are «open Ponzi schemes» - our whole economy would be an «open Ponzi scheme».
If my logic would be right, this term has no meaning and someone just added a total useless term to the vocabulary.
(I don't ask if Bitcoin is a Ponzi-Scheme - I'm interested in the logic behind the idea of «open ponzi sheme»)