The cryptocurrency industry has suffered a fair share of anti-crypto sentiment.
This criticism has stemmed from the fact that virtual coins continue to be a significant conduit for propelling darknet interests.
While these concerns have done little to no harm to inhibit the growing wave of crypto trading, the opinion of financial pundits cannot be downplayed altogether.
The latest example refers to a response given by Ajay Banga, the CEO of Mastercard, in the context of cryptocurrencies.
This reputable business leader is quoted to have termed virtual coins as “junk.”
Banga made the pugnacious remark during the “New India Lecture,” an event that was planned and executed by the Indian Consulate in collaboration with a forum affiliated with United States-India diplomatic relations.
The Indian-born leader of the American financial giant maintained that 95 percent of all known forms of illicit darknet activity can be attributed to the proliferation of cryptocurrencies.
According to him, illegal activities have found payment systems that click well with Bitcoin and its associates.
In addition, the esteemed CEO declared his lack of respect for a currency that is ill-famed to fluctuate “wildly” and bear features for anonymizing transactions.
The highlight of his statements was that crypto coins should not be embraced as mediums of financial exchange due to their lack of predictability and transparency.
Banga also made reference to the recent indictment of Russian intelligence agents that were implicated in cyberattacks targeting the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Further, he stated that such unethical transactions were supported by Bitcoin and that the most delicate dealings had to be executed using virtual currencies.
In Banga’s view, this reality stems from the fact that crypto coins provide the promise of anonymity—a financial transaction can be undertaken without leaving discernible cyber footprints.
The CEO directed some blame to civil society for harboring the cryptocurrency frenzy, which, to him, is a dangerous snake that could launch strikes at any given time.
A Contrasting Worldview: Trade Globalization, E-Money and Crime
Furthermore, Banga commented on the increase in trade wars between countries in the context of international trade and industry.
Countries trade with each other owing to the existence of transparent and traceable systems of doing business together in a common commercial front.
The openness of nations has allowed select countries to reap big gains by “playing by the rules.”
The onset of globalized trade has certainly nurtured concrete avenues for applications of electronic systems of payment.
Nonetheless, Banga felt that the principles of open trade ought to have been well-defined in order to safeguard international interests.
In contrast, it would be fallacious to entirely associate cryptocurrencies with the support of illicit darknet activity.
This point was well-portrayed by Banga’s views, which presented those of a tech-savvy individual that encourages society to adopt electronic forms of payments.
To some extent, the application of e-money, instead of cash payments, can help curb international crime.
The CEO said that illicit activities are usually funded by physical cash. This stems from the creation and maintenance of drug rings and terrorist networks.
In his words, Banga pointed out that while terrorism has wreaked havoc in both India and the U.S., it is prudent that everyone realizes that a bulk of drug purchases and distributional transactions have happened in cash—not via credit card transactions.
Banga reiterated on past views expressed by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the need for traders to aim for an entirely cashless society.
The digitization of monies follows the premise that cash is not cheap.
Brief Analysis: Is Cryptocurrency Really “Junk?”
A wide range of cryptocurrencies have various weaknesses but calling them “junk” appears to be a rather combative undertone in the spheres of international finance.
Quite agreeably, virtual monies still have a long way to go in regard to public adoption and their integration into financial systems.
This concerns the provisions of financial regulations and how they transverse the different global economic environments.
Interestingly, Banga’s organization just announced its recent development towards the normalization of blockchain technologies.
In this breath, Mastercard was awarded several blockchain patents in June as part of its ambitious journey to implement blockchain technology.
Various financial institutions have been seen to adopt this technology in the execution of their business cases.
It is, however, important to note that current educational strategies have endeavored to treat the concepts of cryptocurrencies and blockchain separately.
Debates on cryptocurrencies are largely controversial. However, some snippets of Banga’s talk can be used to provide enlightenment about diversity.
The Mastercard CEO explicated why he is open to interacting with elements that differ from his primary circle. In this case, surrounding oneself with agents of diversity becomes a key ingredient for creativity and innovation.
In this regard, the harsh criticism suffered by cryptocurrencies is bound to open fruitful frontiers of improvements beyond the darknet space.
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