icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
28 Feb, 2018 13:17

Cryptocurrencies are killing people – Bill Gates

Cryptocurrencies are killing people – Bill Gates

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has expressed major reservations about cryptocurrencies, warning that due to their use in the purchase of illegal dangerous drugs, crypto is actually killing people “in a fairly direct way.”

During a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Tuesday – his sixth on the forum – Gates discussed various issues, from quantum computing, to how automation will affect society, and the technological advances he’s most looking forward to over the next decade.

READ MORE: Bill Gates urges super wealthy to pay ‘significantly higher' taxes

Then Redditer Askur1337 posed the question: “What’s your opinion on Crypto Currencies?” The tech billionaire responded with a word of caution, flagging his concerns over both anonymity of cybercurrencies and, more ominously, their role in “causing deaths.”

Because of the anonymity it provides its users, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin – unlike credit cards – can be used to buy fentanyl and other drugs on the dark web, Gates described it as “a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”

A powerful opioid, fentanyl has been linked to a spike in deaths in the United States’ ongoing opioid epidemic, with users either taking it directly or buying it from dealers who have cut it with heroin.

In January US President Donald Trump signed into law an ‘anti-fentanyl’ bill, called the Interdict Act, in a bipartisan effort to provide extra funding to US customs agents for additional portable chemical screening devices to check travelers, mail and packages for the illegal substance.

Gates didn’t stop there with his criticism of cryptocurrencies. “The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don't think this is a good thing,” he remarked in the Reddit AMA. “The Governments ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing.”

Like this story? Share it with a friend!