The co-founder of Microsoft answered Internet users' questions about Reddit and criticized the "anonymity" granted to him by cryptocurrencies
Bill Gates is not very fond of cryptocurrencies. The co-founder of Microsoft participated, Tuesday, February 27, in its sixth session "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on Reddit. He answered many questions from users, from his opinion on the automation of society to his life goals, through his preference between tabulation and programming space (he prefers tabulation).
Criticism of "anonymity"
Askur1337 the publisher asked him his opinion on cryptocurrency, and it is clear: for the computer scientist, this technology "caused deaths in a fairly direct way."
Bill Gates criticizes the cryptocurrencies in particular what makes their success largely: their virtual anonymity. Cryptocurrencies make it possible to carry out secure transactions in a decentralized manner, without having to give its name or bank account number – even if the transactions can be precisely tracked.
For the billionaire, this is not a good thing: "The possibility for governments to trace money laundering and tax evasion and the financing of terrorism is a good thing, says the computer scientist. Currently, cryptocurrencies are used to buy Fentanyl [un opioïde plus fort que l’héroïne, qui a causé de nombreux décès aux États-Unis, ndlr] and other drugs […]. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and cryptocurrencies is super risky for those involved. "
Responding to a user who recalled that "US dollars are also used to buy Fentanyl," Bill Gates then said, "Yes – the anonymous liquid is used for these things, but you have to be physically present to transfer the money. , which makes things like the payor's kidnapping more difficult. "
Many users have reacted to the entrepreneur's response, on Reddit and Twitter, blaming Bill Gates for "limited understanding" of cryptocurrencies, contradicting him on the anonymous aspect of cryptocurrencies, or noting that Windows systems are also used to make reprehensible acts or purchases.
However, while Bill Gates pointed to the negative aspects of cryptocurrency as a means of transaction, he did not criticize blockchain technology, which is the basis of cryptocurrency.
This is not the first time Bill Gates has spoken on the subject of cryptocurrencies. Asked by Bloomberg in 2014, he was a little more optimistic, saying "bitcoin is better than money because you do not have to be physically present, and of course big money transactions can be impractical" . He seemed already worried about anonymity and Bitcoin's links with terrorism or the sale of drugs.
At another AMA, he explained that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, of which he is the co-chair, was working on the creation of a currency in digital form that "unlike bitcoin, would not be anonymous". A few months later, in 2015, he said that "bitcoin alone is not good enough".
These worries have not prevented his Foundation from turning to cryptocurrencies. In October 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released software in partnership with the Ripple transaction system to make banks and financial infrastructure more accessible in developing countries.