Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men and a pioneer of computing for the masses, has hit out at cryptocurrency, suggesting it has caused deaths ‘in a fairly direct way’, and going on to describe it as ‘not a hood thing’. IT security experts commented below.
Andy Norton, Director of Threat Intelligence at Lastline:
“KYC in cryptocurrency lingo means Know Your Criminal . The fungible nature of cryptocurrency is attracting any and all bad actors and provides a platform to encourage criminal or terrorist activity.
ISIS promoted a bitcoin funding campaign “Equip Us” , and recently a woman was imprisoned for hiring a hitman using bitcoin as payment, these are two examples where cryptocurrency enables the causing of death.”
Lee Munson, Security Researcher at Comparitech:
“To claim that cryptocurrency could have already directly led to deaths is a bold claim but Bill Gates is almost certainly correct with his assertion.
Via the Dark Web, virtual coins have become the de facto means of payment for not only drugs, but also a wide range of weapons which can safely be assumed to have fallen into the hands of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to source them.
“Though rarer, there have also been reported cases of cryptocurrency being used as a payment method when procuring hitmen so, yes, it has definitely caused deaths, though it should be pointed out that the people behind them could have used alternative currencies if the virtual kind was not already in existence.”