Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said that crypto-currencies are killing people in a “fairly direct way”.
The world richest man was referring to the way digital currencies like Bitcoin are used to buy drugs like synthetic opioid fentanyl.
In an “ask me anything” session on news website Reddit, he said that the anonymity of digital currencies meant they were linked to terrorist funding and money laundering.
Some criticised him, saying he was ill-informed about the technology.
Asked by one user for his opinion on the technology, Gates replied: “The main feature of crypto-currencies 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, 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 initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-currencies is super risky for those who go long.”
Veteran investor Warren Buffet has previously said that the speculative crypto-currency craze “will come to a bad end”.