Gates Says Cryptos Have “Caused Death”
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently issued some comments regarding cryptocurrencies. His statements came as part of his sixth Reddit “Ask Me Anything” series on February 27th, and focused more on the negative aspects of digital currencies. Gates wrote the following:
“The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing. The Governments ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now crypto currencies 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 risky for those who go long.“
Gates’ post quickly managed to get the attention of numerous people on social media. Notably, one particular Reddit user, Suuperdad, argued that fiat currencies are also used to carry out the same illicit activities as cryptos. Meanwhile, a Reddit account with the name riskofstds posted that Microsoft Windows, something which Gates himself created, is used to purchase drugs and orchestrate terrorist activities as well.
Reddit Users React With Sarcasm To Gates’ Crypto Comments
In addition, there were a quite a few sarcastic comments in response to the tech mogul’s post. For instance, Always_Question remarked, “Terrorists breath air too, so we should ban that. Tennis shoes as well.” Moreover, Always_Question stated in a separate thread that privacy and anonymity, what Gates considers not to be a good thing, should actually be a “fundamental human right.” The Reddit user then went on to assert that governments will not be able to stop the privacy, which cryptos offer, as its supposed to be protected by the first amendment of the U.S. constitution.
Those who follow the crypto space closely would know that this isn’t the first time that Bill Gates has weighed in on cryptocurrencies. In 2014, Gates said that Bitcoin was superior to fiat currencies because it allows for cheaper transactions, and transactions that involve very large amounts can be processed “more conveniently” with Bitcoin.
Contradictory Statements From Bill Gates
Besides stating in 2014 that Bitcoin was a better payment option than fiat currencies, Bill Gates even said during his Bloomberg interview:
“the customers we’re talking about aren’t trying to be anonymous. They’re willing to be known…this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering.“
Clearly, the tech billionaire has contradicted himself, because he has now associated digital currencies with the same unlawful activities that he once said weren’t a part of the cryptosphere. However, this doesn’t mean that Bill Gates is “wrong”. Like many others, he probably examined cryptocurrencies more closely after making these comments.
Just the way fiat currencies can be used to commit crimes, so can just about anything else, including digital currencies. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should get rid of traditional money. By applying this logic, one can argue that cryptographic currencies should not be banned either. Instead, we need to create a better system to regulate and monitor their use.