Another day, another tirade: Mastercard CEO calls cryptocurrencies ‘junk’

This week’s edition of Bitcoin-is-bad rhetoric is brought to us by Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga, who has classified all non-government mandated currencies as “junk.”

In an interview with the Economic Times, Banga doesn’t see any problem with blockchain-based money and tokenization—as long as they are backed by the government.

“If the government creates digital currency, we will find a way to be in the game. We will provide rails for moving currency from customer to merchant. The government mandated digital currencies are interesting. Non-government mandated currency is junk,” he said.

Banga didn’t bring up new arguments against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in his tirade, which is composed mainly of the usual concerns over volatility and its history of being used for illegal activities.

“If I pay for a bottle of water in Bitcoin, one day it is two bottles for a Bitcoin the other day it is 9,000 bottles. This does not work. Any currency needs stability and transparency, otherwise you will get all the illegal activities in the world. Why was the ransom for the virus (wannacry ransomware) collected in Bitcoin? Why has China cracked down on Bitcoin?” he asked.

No other technological invention has caught the attention of web users like Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that was created to solve the problems plaguing the banking industry. And now that Bitcoin is steadily growing in popularity and adoption, it is also forcing traditional banks to adapt, as seen by the contrasting views emerging on Wall Street recently.

Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is also putting governments, which make their income by taxing the movement of money in a bind, according to MGT Capital Investments Inc. and technology pioneer John McAfee.

“Our income taxes are the greatest source of revenue, but if everybody’s using Bitcoin, the government doesn’t know what your income is. They can’t tax it, and if you choose to say I didn’t have anything, they cannot prove otherwise,” McAfee told “It will eventually frighten every nation state, but it doesn’t matter what they do, there’s no way you can create a law or to legislate something that will stop Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency because technically, you cannot.”

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