Bill Gates makes claims about cryptocurrency deaths
Bill Gates has said the grey market access to drugs purchased using cryptocurrencies has led to the death of some people.
During a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Bill Gates was asked a bunch of questions about his time at Microsoft, new tech and science breakthroughs he's seeing in the works, his hobbies and many other things. But his discussion on cryptocurrencies took an interesting turn.
When asked "Whats your opinion on Crypto Currencies?", Gates started with the usual lines about anonymity. However, he pointed out that this was not a good thing as the ability to track transactions was critical to law enforcement.
But he really stirred the pot when he said, "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".
In addition, Gates suggested cryptocurrencies were also favoured by terrorists and criminals because of the difficulty in tracing the movement of funds. Several participants in the AMA, and later through social media, noted this was a narrow view as the funding for crime is still, largely, carried out across traditional financial systems, albeit through stolen information and other nefarious means.
We know bitcoin and other alt-coins are being used to purchase items that are legal but difficult to buy using traditional currencies, so it's not surprising to read from Gates that cryptocurrencies are being used in this way. But Gates might have misread his audience as there were some very strong reactions to his comments.
In addition, there was some speculation that Gates's comments were designed to specifically influence cryptocurrency markets in order to somehow profit. Given he is committed to giving away most of his fortune and is heavily involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work, that seems like something of a stretch. Although it does seem that his views have shifted over the last couple of years when he said bitcoin is better that fiat currency.