Editorial

Ed Drake

Can Bitcoin fight corruption? Yes, says Craig Wright

Concern around illegitimate use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is often cited as one of the key reasons used by regulators and legislators worldwide to restrict or ban crypto activity. Yet in practice, Bitcoin can actually help fight corruption, providing governments and law enforcement with a permanent record of suspicious transactions.

Dr. Craig Wright said concerns about illegitimate use were unfounded, calling Bitcoin “a system that will utterly destroy crime.”

In a new blog post, the nChain chief scientist said law enforcement benefits from transactions recorded to the bitcoin ledger:

I designed Bitcoin not to avoid government, but to act within the law. It is a system that will bring down activist criminal groups and more mainstream traditional criminals for what they are. As we saw with the collapse of Silk Road and—just the other day—the arrest of hundreds of people involved with child porn rings, Bitcoin enables the tracing of criminal activity, allowing law enforcement to shut such activities down.

He added, “If you believe Bitcoin is a system that takes down government and brings about anarchy, you have been sorely deluded.”

According to Dr. Wright, Bitcoin was created to be “honest money,” leaving an audit trail behind to exclude those that would otherwise abuse the system for illegal transactions. He said that the system allows for greater accountability, with those involved in scams, fraud and other criminality permanently recorded on the blockchain.

Bitcoin is a system designed to ensure that the scenarios of ‘free’ web offerings and tokens developed within the 1990s end with investors having rights against the people who conned them. It is a system where any ICO, which is really just a new name for a web IPO of the 1990s or a pink sheet scam of the previous era, is recorded. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, all of the scams allowed the conman creating them and saying that they were innovation to get away by destroying records. Bitcoin brings an end to this, and makes the creators of such tokens accountable.

Rather than fighting Bitcoin as a conduit to illegal activity, Dr. Wright said lawmakers should try to better understand the technology, and how it can actually help eliminate corruption and illegal payments.

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