Billionaire Bill Gates has stirred the pot over Reddit when he qualified crypotcurrencies as “a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.” This was the controversial statement he made during an “Ask Me Anything” session on the popular forums recently.
According to Microsoft Corporation’s principal founder, “The main feature of crypto currencies 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 crypto currecncies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risk for those who go long.”
This apparently did not sit all that well with users who were well prepared to rebut Gates’ arguments. “…[I]f Bill gates says he doesn’t like crypto because of well shaded the flow of money is… a lot of ears are perking up,” said user Hoticewater. Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular, has been the subject of intense investigations especially following reports that it is the preferred method of payment for those buying illegal and illicit substances online. However, as data would show, these back alley transactions still do use “traditional methods. In fact, a 2017 Global Drug Survey shows that there are only less than half of drug users that purchase their fix on the internet.
Various Reddit users then clapped back, urging Gates to re-read the Bitcoin white paper. Gates, however, remained firm in his stance, countering arguments about how illegal activities like money laundering still persist even with fiat currencies by saying that, “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.”
These certainly are a far cry from his statements in 2015, when he declared Bitcoin as being “better than currency.” Meanwhile, Microsoft remains involved in business initiatives pertaining to blockchain technology such as Microsoft Azure and Coco Framework.