Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has an umpteenth amount of influence not just in the technological ecosystem, but in the financial and philanthropical ecosystem as well. Extending his support to the cryptocurrencies and their underlying Blockchain technology, Gates asserts in a recent video that the virtual currencies have the potential will empower the poor around the world.
While getting its support from one of the richest individuals in the world is a feat for cryptocurrencies, Gates has been on a contradictory run as far as the digital assets are concerned. In an interview with Bloomberg in 2014, he said:
“Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”
While in during a February 2018 Reddit AMA, Gates went on to outline the potential dangers of Bitcoin:
“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.”
However, this time around he points out the extremities of the financial equation and that digital currencies could streamline larger financial systems. The philanthropist is passionate about fighting poverty in the world and believes that virtual currencies have come to save the underbanked in our societies. He also points that the inefficiencies in the cash economy constantly increases the risk of making the poor even poorer. He stated in the video
“If we were building a financial system from scratch today, we would do it on a digital platform. Digital could lower the cost of a range of transactions by as much as 90%, providing nearly universal access to innovative financial products and services.”