Bill Gates Slammed on Social Media Over Criticism of Cryptocurrencies
AFP 2018/ Saul Loeb Tech14:34 28.02.2018(updated 14:36 28.02.2018) Get short URL
The billionaire’s answer to a question about cryptocurrencies during an “Ask me anything” session on Reddit has drawn a lot of criticism from users on social networks.
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.
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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.
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…and if they are directly responsible, despite just being means, then Microsoft software should also be held accountable.
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.
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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.
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.