Scamming is a big buzz word in today’s society with scamming operations raking in millions of ordinary folk’s money. The old bank robbers, as long as they didn’t hurt anyone, had a kind of cartoon network feel about them and they weren’t hurting the man on the street. But in a hi tech world no one is safe and everybody needs layers of different passwords just to access their own online bank accounts. Sadly the scammers are very much part of today’s society and it’s such a shame they all can’t live on Scam Island and just scam each other.
Cryptocurrencies has presented the scammers with another opportunity to scam their way into people’s lives using technology and even Bill Gates, the world’s second richest man, agrees. If you read something on-line, with Bill Gates name mentioned somewhere, would you expect it to be a scam? No you wouldn’t. And if you are one of the ‘get rich quick brigade’ you might just jump straight in. But that’s how the scammers operate and people have lost millions of pounds and dollars in ponzi scams.
In the past Gates mentioned that Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course large transactions in currency can get pretty inconvenient.
CRYPTOS HAVE CAUSED DEATHS
Today Gates has changed his tune. He believes Cryptos have caused deaths. He said this recently on Reddit Ask Me Anything:
“The main feature of Cryptocurrencies 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 Cryptocurrencies 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 Cryptocurrencies is super risky for those who go long.”
WAS GATES SCEPTICAL IN 2014?
There are questions as to when Gates first expressed his reservations. One school of thought points back to 2014 during a Bloomberg interview but at that time people only might have been hearing what they wanted to hear!
He actually said:
“The customers we’re talking about aren’t trying to be anonymous. You know they’re willing to be known, so the Bitcoin technology is key and you could add to it or you could build a similar technology where there’s enough attribution that people feel comfortable that this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering.”
Anonymity is a big thing with Gates and it can be problematic if people have the wrong intentions such as scams, drugs or even human trafficking. We know that cash can be used as well for things like drugs, human trafficking and kidnapping, but for cash transactions you have to be present.
BUT EXCHANGES ARE REGULATED AND THERE ARE AUDIT TRAILS.
To answer the anonymity question Cryptocurrencies are not as anonymous as people think. They are purchased on exchanges and sold on exchanges and the exchanges are regulated. They have boxes that need to be ticked, just like banks, before transactions can be made. Failure to do so could mean an exchange is shut down.
On top of this it’s important to understand that Cryptos are not anonymous by design. Transactions are fully tracked which is an audit requirement for the Blockchain.
It seems that the facts don’t exactly stand in Gates favour but we know that many people have the same dismissive attitude.
We also know that the world is infected with scammers and people trying to use every trick they can to move forward with drugs, human trafficking and kidnapping. But to say that cryptocurrencies are a tool for them is unfair. Regulators are watching and taking the appropriate actions.