With that in mind, Bill Gates gave his thoughts on cryptocurrencies when asked in a reddit "Ask Me Anything" session that was held on Tuesday. To put it bluntly, he is not a fan... at all. Gates stated:
The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don't think this is a good thing. The Governments ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now crypto currencies 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 and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long.
We wouldn't say that Gates is necessarily wrong here, but some of those downsides could also be leveled at cold-hard cash. Redditor dikkepiemel pointed to that reality, writing, "The US dollar is also used to buy fentanyl and god knows what else..."
However, Gates had a counter to that train of thought and responded, "Yes - anonymous cash is used for these kinds of things but you have to be physically present to transfer it which makes things like kidnapping payments more difficult."
JPMoran Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has also been a staunch critic of cryptocurrencies, calling them a fraud. He railed against Bitcoin back in September 2017, saying that Bitcoin is "just not a real thing" and that it would "eventually be closed". He also alluded to the fact that with regards to cryptocurrencies, "someone is going to get killed", although we don't know if he meant that literally, or in the financial sense.
In the end, yes, cryptocurrencies can be used for nefarious deeds, and it's quite possible that their usage could lead to deaths when criminal activity takes place. However, cryptocurrencies aren't alone [with regards to responsibility] in the criminal underworld, nor can all the blame be put at its feet when dastardly deeds take place.
With that being said, Bitcoin is currently trading at around $10,500, roughly have of its all-time high of near $20,000 in December 2017.