I get frustrated by shortsighted perceptions, which are misleading and dangerous is far easier to vilify something people don’t fully understand.
Here is another article, titled Bitcoin is Aiding the Ransomware Industry, published by Coindesk, implying cryptocurrency is the cause of digital crime.
This is one of many such pieces littering the Internet. I am a cybersecurity expert and have spent over 30 years fighting theft, fraud, and misuse of computers. I find such articles to be shortsighted and lacking the strategic picture which must consider both the benefits and drawbacks of any technology.
Correlation is not causation.
One small negative aspect is not the whole picture and shouldn’t be used to undermine great innovation (such tactics also tried to stop the automobile, electricity, and the Internet).
Let’s not only focus on skewed statements but instead, think critically about how technology can be leveraged for the greater benefit.
If narrow viewpoints, like attributing Bitcoin is aiding ransomware, are considered, then it would be equally logical to contemplate the following absurdities:
- Email is aiding the Phishing Industry
- Web browsers are aiding Online Fraud Industry
- Operating Systems are aiding the Malware industry
- Networks are aiding the Denial-of-Service industry
- Cash is aiding every Crime industry
- Communications are aiding the Disinformation Industry
- Credit cards are aiding fraudulent purchasing
Is it justifiable to blame digital technology for every societal issue? Technology innovation can be greatly beneficial and should not be flatly vilified for a small negative contribution.
For the record, less than 1% of crypto transactions are related to crime. Percentage-wise, cash is used more often in criminal activities, as it is the preferred monetary instrument and store of value. If impacting crime is the motivator, then perhaps the conversations should be about eliminating cash. From a cybersecurity perspective, moving to a digital system has far more merits than moving away from cryptocurrency.
Fear of the Unknown
Fear or a lack of understanding is the key to this line of false-logic being perpetuated. Nobody is advocating the elimination of the Internet, computers, electricity, automobiles, or credit cards because society already understands their value. They are willing to accept the accompanying risks because they want the benefits.
Most of the people I encounter, who are quick to shun digital currency, often are unable to describe the long-term benefits to themselves or the global community. Only knowing the downsides makes for a highly biased position. History repeats itself. Years ago, people rallied to outlaw the emergence of automobiles, favoring a world reliant on animal power. They only saw the obnoxious sound, smell, and mechanical dangers but failed to see the benefits of a global transportation and logistics network that fueled massive economic growth, social liberties, preservation of freedoms, and expansion of personal independence.
We all must look beyond the hype.
Crime, fraud, and theft existed long before cryptocurrency, digital networks, and computers. Crypto and digital currencies also bring tremendous benefits, including the amplification of innovation, presently and especially in the future.
Tech is a tool and it can be used for good or bad. See both sides before making a judgment.