Microsoft founder Bill Gates criticised the anonymity of cryptocurrencies during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on Tuesday, even going so far as to suggest that their use in the illicit drugs trade has directly caused death.
“The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity,” he said. “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 drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”
When suggested that real, physical, bank-issued money is also used to fund illegal activity, he countered with the ability to send money via Bitcoin remotely. Cash transfers require a physical handover which can help detection. He also warned against price volatility and the speculation associated with ICOs.
It was one of the stories that added to the general lustre of Bitcoin at the turn of the year. Curtis James Jackson III, AKA rapper 50 Cent, was thought to have a long-forgotten stash of 700 Bitcoin from a contract signed in the early days of the cryptocurrency – a digital nest egg that would be worth around $7.5m if sold today.
However, it appears that the payment, which related to his 2014 album Animal Ambition was merely fiction.
This week, his lawyers sought to confirm the fact to the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, which settled his insolvency back in 2016, and the rapper’s social media posts confirmed the fact have now been deleted. He “never owned, and does not own, a Bitcoin account or any Bitcoins,” the filings insisted.
Japan’s largest e-commerce company Rakuten, with a market capitalisation of over $12.5bn, is launching its own cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin. The announcement came on Tuesday during a speech Rakuten CEO and founder Hiroshi Mikitani gave at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The cryptocurrency will seek to enhance the company’s existing loyalty programme, which was launched back in 2003, and “recreate the relationship” between retailers and their customers.
One month after the Texas State Securities Board sent a cease and desist order to Arise Bank, co-founded by Dubai-based oil and gas salesman Stanley Ford, they have now moved to close down Leadinvest.com, a website that it claims was fraudulently selling unlicensed securities. This newest cease and desist order begins by detailing how all of LeadInvest’s staff photos are either stock images or images of other people that have no association with the company.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.