Bill Gates as such needs absolutely no introduction! However, on Tuesday, Feb 27, the tech guru and philanthropist made some sharp attack on cryptocurrencies. During a recent “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, Gates said that one of the key features of the virtual digital currencies is the anonymity they offer to the buyers, and this according to Gates, is NOT a “good thing”.
As Gates was being quizzed during the Reddit AMA session on Tuesday, he seemed to be more focused on the downsides Bitcoin and other cryptos wherein he said that crypto transactions don’t reveal the names and identities of people and as a result it makes them more vulnerable to be easily used for notorious activities and illegal transactions.
In a Reddit post, Gates said that “The main feature of cryptocurrencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing. The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”
Gates also further went out to comment on the speculative nature of cryptos and said that it is “super risky for those who go long.” However, Gates is not the first big personality to have made such a comment on cryptos. Just a month and ago, Warren Buffet – Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathway, also predicted a disappointing outcome for cryptocurrencies. He said: “In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending.”
However, many of the crypto enthusiasts could not absolutely stay silent of Gates comments while one Redditor pointed out that physical U.S Dollars (or any other fiat currency for that sake) are being also used actively to fund the global drug trade. To this, Gates was quick to respond that anonymous ecash provides a further trigger to make these sorts of criminal dealing to be much more efficient.
Gates commented saying: “Yes – anonymous cash is used for these kinds of things but you have to be physically present to transfer it which makes things like kidnapping payments more difficult.” Gates comments are not absolutely wrong as drug traffickers from around the globe are seen having a much easy pass away while making payments in cryptos. Not only them other dark web criminals are increasingly asking for payments in cryptos as it leaves the scope of little traceability in that case.
Another moderator of the /r/bitcoin subreddit provided a more detailed response saying that instead of the anonymity, “the main feature of cryptocurrencies is their immutability and their ability to support trustless transactions.” The user also further said that anti-money laundering laws and know-your-client makes it really difficult for users to anonymously cash out their digital assets holdings, which serves as a discouragement for the purchase of illegal goods.
Addressing this issue of the use of cryptos in illegal activities, several government bodies from around the globe have been working on a regulatory framework to protect investor’s interest in the long run.