Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12.19AM / The
Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, has leveled a scathing attack on
any and all cryptocurrencies that are not government mandated,
calling them “junk”.
Digital currencies are almost direct competition for a company
like Mastercard, and when asked his opinion on the futuristic technology, Banga
was not complimentary of how things stand at the moment.
Knowing that digital currencies are big disrupters in the
traditional money market, traditional investors, and
now even established money movers, have been scathing.
Banga was not totally against the idea of Blockchain-based money
and tokenization, however, his big caveat was that it needs to be 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’s attack on Bitcoin brought up nothing new or visionary,
spurting the usual concerns without much backing or research. He criticised
Bitcoin for its volatility, and use-cases for illegal activities, such as
“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?”
Banga seems to be another bigwig who has a stake in the game, and
thus is not happy to give up that piece of pie. He, along with traditional
bankers and investors, are fearful of Bitcoin as
it continues to break new ground and blow precedents out of the water.
The Wall Street Divide
Axel Weber, the former President of Bundesbank and Chairman UBS, said:
“I get often asked why I‘m so skeptical about Bitcoin, it probably
comes from my background as a central banker.”
Meanwhile, Brock Pierce, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, is
taking these knee-jerk reactions as good things.
“When the incumbent industry is making statements like this and
acknowledging you...it’s a sign that what we’re doing is working...it’s a huge
validation,” said Pierce.