The crypto community is used to criticism. Not all the offensive comments are worth attention. But it is hard to fend off the opinion of reputable specialists in the sphere. One of the latest examples is the respond of Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to the question on the cryptocurrencies.
Banga made an aggressive statement on his attitude towards cryptocurrencies. During the ‘New India Lecture’ organized by the Indian Consulate in partnership with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum he discussed a number of issues related to the cryptocurrencies and their influence on trade. The CEO of one of the top financial service companies was unambiguous in establishing his point of view: “I think cryptocurrency is junk….The idea of an anonymized currency produced by people who have to mine it, the value of which can fluctuate wildly – that to me is not the way that any medium of exchange deserves to be considered a medium of exchange.”
This quote may sound as a bold statement, but Banga supported his opinion with a number of strong arguments. The CEO of Mastercard addressed the incident of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee committed by 12 Russian intelligence officers. The notable fact is that the most delicate transactions were handled with the use of Bitcoin. The anonymity of blockchain-based payment systems jeopardizes the society. As Banga said, “why civil society would like to put a snake in its backyard and think that somehow the snake will only bite my neighbor, I don’t get it.”
The apparent transparency of cryptocurrencies gave start to the discussion on the open trade. Freedom is one of the key social concepts of our era. However, the run for open trade has led to the disturbing number of crimes. Banga referred to the sensitive subjects for India: terrorism and drug distribution. He made a strong point in favor of electronic payments as most of the criminal activities are backed by payments in cash. Nevertheless, the society is not ready to refrain from using cash. Banga said: “They come in exchange for cash and yet society buys into the logic that cash is free and electronic payments are expensive. Society needs to wake up.”
The position of Ajay Banga is not as radical as it may seem to be. Mastercard does not handle crypto transactions, but this company is known for the active work in the blockchain sphere. It has become the leader of blockchain patents with 25 patents in 2012-2017. CoinSpeaker covered some of the recent achievements: the method of connecting blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts and building refund services for cryptocurrency users.
The discussion on cryptocurrencies has raised some controversial issues. However, some of the ideas that Ajay Banga shared during the ‘New India Lecture’ remind us of the importance of diversity. The CEO of Mastercard explained why he is willing to surround himself with people who are different from him: “It makes you more innovative more creative. You don’t have the same blind spots and you benefit as a human being.” And even the most critical judgment on cryptocurrencies can be seen as a possibility for improvement.