Out of All Innovations, Bill Gates Would ‘Get Rid’ of Crypto
Image courtesy of Flickr, UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré.

Out of All Innovations, Bill Gates Would ‘Get Rid’ of Crypto

Accurately reading power structures that exist in practice, compared to those from textbooks, can be very helpful.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Just by watching mainstream media, one would think Bill Gates holds several key offices in the United States government. His proclamations on everything from diet to energy and health seem to have greater sway than most other politicians combined. When he proclaims cryptocurrency as the greatest threat, we should take note.

Bill Gates’ Cryptocurrency Hostility Unmasked

Last Thursday, the world’s most controversial billionaire and the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, surprised many with his negative view on cryptocurrency. In the first interview with CNBC, Gates lamented the fact that Bitcoin can’t be charged back – something that is a welcome boon to small businesses. Moreover, Bitcoin’s decentralized nature worries Gates greatly. Speaking of digital assets, he views them in complete opposition to the founding spirit of Bitcoin:

“I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that’s something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries. But there, we do it so you can reverse the transactions so we have total visibility of who’s doing what. It’s not about tax avoidance or illegal activities.”

In his second interview, this time with The Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates committed to an unusual sentiment about cryptocurrencies in general. To the hypothetical question on which innovation he would remove from the world if he had a magical wand, Gates responded with:

“The way cryptocurrency works today allows for certain criminal activities. It’d be good to get rid of that.”

He then corrected himself by amending the glaring faux pas:

“I probably should have said bioweapons. That’s a really bad thing. We shouldn’t have technology for that.”

These two interviews reveal the remarkable attitudes of one of the most powerful and richest men alive. It is safe to say that Bill Gates has more influence on our daily lives than hundreds of millions of voters. Let us explore what this means.

The Shadowy Criminality Canard

By immediately tying Bitcoin to “certain criminal activities”, and even prioritizing cryptocurrency ahead of weapons of mass destruction, it appears that Bill Gates drinks from the same trough of institutional power. Whenever cryptocurrency/Bitcoin comes up, the entrenched power players resort to portraying it as a vehicle of the seedy underground.

You may recall that both the current treasury secretary Janet Yellen, and EU’s central bank president, Christine Lagarde, have used that exact same argument. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds of thinking to realize how nonsensical this line of attack is. All over the world, fiat currencies are being used non-stop to commit every crime imaginable.

Not only do cryptocurrencies represent an invisible slice from that criminality pie, the world’s largest banks themselves continue to operate as money-laundering centers, as long as they keep paying the fines. Moreover, have people forgotten that 90% of U.S. bills contain traces of illicit drugs?

Accordingly, one would have to think of people who deploy such arguments as woefully confused and uninformed. However, is it sensible to portray the likes of Bill Gates, Yanet Yellen, and Christine Lagarde in such prosaic terms?

Decentralization as a Greater Threat than Bioweapons

From Bill Gates’ statements, it is clear that the core feature of cryptocurrency – unsanctioned financial freedom – is at the forefront of his mind. So much so that he would publicly position cryptocurrency above bioweaponry as the thing the world needs to get rid of the most. In his view, there is no room for decentralized finance in society:

  • Authorities must know at all times “who’s doing what”.
  • All transactions must be reversible.

Such attitudes align with how Bill Gates accrued his massive wealth, currently holding at $133 billion, as the world’s 4th richest person. By leveraging the legal system and monopolistic practices, Microsoft became Gates’ foundation of power.

There is wealth, and there is leveraged wealth. Bill Gates has mastered the craft of the latter like no living man in history:

To put this into perspective, Bill Gates holds more stake in the world’s health organizations than most other countries combined: Australia, France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and Canada. For example, just the contributions to the World Health Organization almost match that of the United States:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: $228.9 billion
  • United States: $281 billion.

If we take into account the unprecedented transfer of wealth that has occurred, and the ever-expanding power of viral threat to crush livelihoods and shape lives, a question has to be asked – is there any living politician more influential than Bill Gates?

If not, we should adjust our expectations accordingly.

Bill Gates continues to make unquestioned edicts on national media channels. They intrude into many aspects of our lives. Do you think it is appropriate for unelected billionaires to hold more power than elected politicians?