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Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has been one of the last technological entrepreneurs to join the voices against in cryptocurrencies, the virtual currencies that are revolutionizing the market.
The American philanthropist declared during a session AMA ( Ask Me Anything,question anything) of questions and answers on the popular website Reddit that worries about the fever for this new type of currency and that the technology it uses has many negative effects on society.
According to Gates, the lack of control of virtual currencies is a problem for the authorities.
“The ability of the government to find out when there is money laundering, tax evasion and financing of terrorism is a good thing,” he argued.
In addition, he said that they are used for malicious purposes.
“The main characteristic of cryptocurrencies is their anonymity , and I do not think that is a good thing,” said the businessman.
“Today they are used to buy fentanyl (an opiate 50 times more potent than heroin) and other drugs, so it is a technology that has caused deaths quite directly,” he added, although he did not elaborate on the latter. .
Unlike cash, they can be used remotely , which eliminates another avenue of control, he added.
What are cryptocurrencies ? They are coins that only exist virtually, an online version of cash.
How does it work ? Each cryptocurrency is a file on a computer that is stored in a “digital wallet” of a smartphone or computer. Each transaction is recorded in a public list called Blockchain, so it is not possible to spend a currency that is not your own.
How do you get? There are three main ways to get cryptocurrencies: buy them with real money, sell products or services that are paid with them or acquire them through new companies that make their own virtual currencies.
How are they valued? They are valuable because people are willing to exchange them for real goods and services, and even cash.
“Too much risk”
Gates also said that investing in the sector is not a good idea because he believes that ” the speculative wave on the Initial Offers of Currencies (ICO) -by means of which the emergence of a cryptocurrency can be financed- and the cryptocurrencies is too risky.”
But the employer is not the only manager who has a negative point of view on them.
In fact, on Tuesday Steve Wozniak , co-founder of Apple, revealed that a fraudster stole seven bitcoins .
“Someone bought them with a stolen credit card and then they canceled the payment, it was that simple,” he told the Economic Business Global Summit in India on Monday. At that time the bitcoins were worth less than US $ 5,000. Today, its value would exceed US $ 70,000 .
“Blockchain identifies who has bitcoins … But that does not mean there can be no fraud,” he added.
In October 2017 the Apple executive had said that bitcoins are more profitable than gold and silver.
The founder of Microsoft also criticized with harshness other technologies that he believes risky.
For example, consider that the Hyperloop , the ultra-fast train of Elon Musk that proposes an innovative system of ultrafast transport with passenger capsules, “is not a concept that makes much sense” , since “making it safe is complicated”.
However, Gates was positive about some things, including automation, which does not consider worrying for the economy in general.
“Automation has been driving the industry since the industrial revolution,” Gates said.
“With more software that will continue to accelerate, so we need to think about how to educate people for the new jobs that will emerge,” he said.
Although his conclusion about how the finances will be in the coming years was not so encouraging: he said it is difficult to say when, but “it is a certainty” that we will experience a financial crisis similar to that of 2008.