Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and famed philanthropist, said in a reddit AMA that “the main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity” and he “doesn’t think this is a good thing.”
Gates further elaborated on the question asked by Askur1337 that “crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs” and accused the technology of causing “deaths in a fairly direct way.” Gates also praised the government’s ability to “find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding.” Gates was also concerned about how the “speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long”.
Bill’s accusations seem to ignore some key data points and ignores a significant reason for the recent expansion of cryptocurrencies.
Using scapegoats to take away privacy
Americans spent $109 billion USD on drugs in 2010 when Bitcoin was only a year old and still in limited circulation. They also spent $108 billion USD on drugs in 2000 before cryptocurrencies even existed in their current form. This should indicate to Bill Gates that Americans have been buying drugs and will continue to buy drugs regardless of the type of currency. Blaming crypto is only focusing on an effect of a larger drug abuse problem and is not a significant cause for the rise of crypto.
Europol recently announced the same concerns as Gates that crypto is being used by criminals to dodge law enforcement. However, a new study points to the fact that less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions are used in illegal transactions. Both also fail to mention that an estimated $800 billion – $2 Trillion USD are laundered each year in traditional fiat currencies, not to mention the amount of fiat that is simply exchanged in criminal acts. Once again blaming crypto for the actions of criminals ignores a larger problem and is not a significant cause for the surge of crypto.
The concerns around the volatility of ICOs and crypto ignores that volatility has been decreasing in some areas. Concerns for consumer protections from crypto volatility also focuses on an effect, not a cause, of low interest rates that distort consumer and investor behavior. Volatility is not the only reason for the growth of crypto.
These common arguments against crypto focuses on faux problems and ignores one of the larger reasons for the expansion of crypto; consumers want greater privacy in its own sake in any and every way possible. The fear-mongering of drugs, money laundering, consumer protections, tax evasion, terrorists, and other illegal activities have been the boogiemen and scapegoats for ever decreasing privacy of citizens by their government. Each year, worldwide and in the USA, more people die from natural causes, tobacco, automobile accidents, and even suicide than from drugs or terrorist attacks. Crypto and the host of other emerging encryption services demonstrate that consumers are seeking out better privacy services. It cannot be said exactly why consumers want more privacy since everyone has their own motivations, but the points made above demonstrate that the common arguments against crypto can be easily countered.
Dash’s focus is entirely on legitimate activities
While still offering unbeaten privacy, Dash has shifted its focus to the general consumer, utilizing fast and cheap transactions to create an attractive general purpose money. Additionally, the upcoming Evolution platform will allow for an easy and intuitive interface protocol-level, so that even the least technical of users should not be challenged using the platform. While any technology can be repurposed for illicit activities, Dash’s focus is far from this target market.