While I don't necessarily agree with Stiglitz regarding the Bitcoin issue, I do admire him as an economist. He was spot on in anticipating the 2008 recession. He has also written extensively and with great intelligence about income inequality.
Yeah when I googled him, I saw a lot he has said that I basically agree with.
The reality is that every currency has a value based on the confidence people place in it, and its future expected value. If everyone stopped accepting USD tomorrow, then USD would become valueless.
I can understand his point, that bitcoin is not backed by a state, which means there is nothing to prop it up if it starts to drop, but it is also not tied to a single national economy, so as long as a significant number of people world wide have confidence in bitcoin it will function like any other currency.
Australian Government: Bitcoin Is Causing Organized Crime to Proliferate
The Australian govt is probably preparing to try and strip away people's privacy by implementing laws preventing encryption etc.
As people have known since the prohibition era in the US: Organised crime is only as big a problem as the government makes it by making morally acceptable actions illegal. The primary reason for things like the war on drugs is to give the government an excuse to militarise the police, and target people and communities they want kept down.