Bill Gates says cryptocurrencies kill

Written by David Adams

Bill Gates has underlined his distaste for investing in cryptocurrencies, saying that they “caused deaths in a fairly direct way”. Speaking on a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, Gates criticised the anonymity on which digital currencies run, which he said allowed criminals to use them to participate in criminal activities including money laundering and drug smuggling.

“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,” said Gates. But he also criticised cryptocurrencies as an investment. “I think the speculative wave around ICOs and cryptocurrencies is super risky for those who go long,” he said.

On Monday, European Commissioner for the Euro and social dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis suggested that the EU will seek to regulate cryptocurrencies if the risks related to its volatility were not adequately addressed by some other form of international action.

Other key members of the international financial community have made similarly disparaging comments about cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular in recent weeks. Last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Bitcoin had failed as a currency, on the grounds that it is not used either as a store of value or as a medium of exchange. Earlier this month, Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements compared Bitcoin to “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

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