One assumes Bill Gates is a fairly intelligent man, but this became doubtful when he caused an uproar at a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session by asserting that cryptocurrencies are “a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”
This is the full text of what he said, as published in Cointelegraph:
“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 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.”
But, hold on a moment – aren’t more people using dollars and other fiat currencies to buy drugs? Indeed, the 2017 Global Drug Survey shows that whatever country you look at, less than 50% of drug users purchase their fix via the dark web, which is the only online drug source using crypto for payment, and the global average is 10%.
As a result, Bill Gates’ statement went down like a bowl of cold sick with the Reddit audience. Some participants advised him to re-read the Bitcoin whitepaper, whilst others accused him of using his celebrity status to influence a negative view of the cryptocurrency market.
Is it possible that Bill Gates is being deliberately obtuse? When one audience member pointed out that fiat currencies can also be used for illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, terrorist funding, and drug purchases, a statement that you don’t need to have a Harvard education to figure out (oh yes, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard!), Gates replied: “the necessity of a physical presence makes illicit activities and transfers more difficult.”
Where has this man been living? Because, if you visit any city, even a small town, there are people paying cash for drugs on a regular basis, and it isn’t difficult o find out where it’s going on.
Is there something more shady behind Gates’ announcement? In 2015 he said, “Bitcoin is better than currency.” And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has sponsored the development of blockchain solutions so that Kenyan merchants can accept cryptocurrency. And, Microsoft is pursuing the development of blockchain technology. So, what’s happening Bill? Who’s pulling your strings?