Microsoft founder says cryptocurrencies are ‘killing people’

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said cryptocurrencies are killing people in a “fairly direct way”.

According to Gates, digital currencies are used to buy drugs such as synthetic opioid fentanyl.

He said “the anonymity of digital currencies meant they were linked to terrorist funding and money laundering” on the news site Reddit.

Some of the public responded by saying he was “ill-informed about the technology”.

Money laundering and tax evasion

Gates said on the website’s forum: “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 [initial coin offerings] and crypto-currencies are super risky for those who go long.”

The UK’s Treasury Committee is investigating the impact of technology currencies.

Written by Leah Alger