Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates set Twitter and Reddit ablaze after he slammed cryptocurrencies for their anonymity. He expressed his opinion after being asked what he thinks about the matter during an “Ask me anything” session on Reddit.
“The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don't think this is a good thing. The Governments [sic] 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,” Bill Gates said on Reddit.
He also noted in his comment that right now, cryptocurrencies and ICOs are very risky instruments and should be avoided by those interested not in speculation, but long term investments.
Many Reddit and Twitter users didn’t hesitate to remind the billionaire that cryptocurrencies aren’t the only ones “responsible for peoples’” deaths…
"You know what else is used to fund terrorism, buy fentanyl and other drugs? The USD," a user named Suuperdad said.
In that respect, risk with fiat currencies is no different. At the contrary, with proper functionality built-in cryptocurrencies could even be more traceable than fiat.— IT Risk Office (@itriskoffice) 28 февраля 2018 г.
Bill Gates Claims “CryptoCurrencies Is A Rare Technology Directly Causing Deaths” https://t.co/K77PlOicla
…and if they are directly responsible, despite just being means, then Microsoft software should also be held accountable.
Your statement about cryptos is the most stupid thing I've heard in a long time. Acc. to your "logic", windows is responsible for child porn and terrorist attacks plans. I think you should therefore go to prison.— delicanis (@delicanis) 28 февраля 2018 г.
Some of them also dismissed Bill Gates’ assumption that cryptocurrencies are perfect for shady deals and transactions, as their anonymity has come into question.
"With all due respect, this isn't true. It's actually fairly difficult to maintain anonymity with most cryptos. One would have to make their initial transaction in person to avoid signing up with an exchange (and the requisite very-unanonymous bank transfer). And if at any point your person is tied to your address, your entire transaction history and the flow of every "penny" you ever spent is easily and immediately known," a user named RemingtonSnatch said.
"Rosenstein notably dispelled the idea that cryptocurrencies are fully anonymous — they are, rather, pseudonymous — and remarked that the laundering process leaves clues for federal investigators to follow to the source."— BiffChain (@BiffChain) 28 февраля 2018 г.
Bill Gates is a DIP SHIT!👏 #cryptocurrencies #Blockchain
Several users noted that stressing the negative consequences of cryptocurrencies while ignoring the positive aspects is wrong.
"But aside from buying fentanyl we can also buy Microsoft stuff so thats good?" a user named Xenepa said, hinting the functionality allowing adding funds to Microsoft wallet using Bitcoin.
To have an opinion on crypto that does not mention the ACH, SWIFT, or the 2 billion unbanked people who are currently unable to send money digitally is a disgrace. Cryptocurrencies solve an enormous problem. I wrote about it here: https://t.co/PTZDPzX3pg— Adam Gitzes (@gitzalytics) 28 февраля 2018 г.
The crackdown on the anonymity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow as more and more tax agencies seek to obtain information on conversions to and from the digital currencies. One of the latest cases involves the US’ IRS obtaining user records from the Coinbase exchange via a court order to identify possible tax evasion that may have taken place between 2013 and 2015.