'Bitcoin Is a Scam... a Colossal Pump-and-Dump', Says Former CEO of PayPal and Intuit

Siamak Masnavi

Bill Harris, former CEO of Intuit (1995-1999) and PayPal (1999-2000), in a post for Recode, calls Bitcoin (BTC) a scam and "a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen."

In this article, Harris, who is the founder of online personal wealth management company Personal Capital, argues that "a bitcoin has no value at all" since it fails as a means of payment (very few places accept it, in addition to the problem of price volatility), it is not a good store of value (again, due to its extreme price volatility), and it lacks any intrinsic value.

He claims that the best use case scenario for cryptocurrencies is "criminal activity" since crypto transactions are harder for the authorities to investigate. He says that's why Bitcoin's heaviest users are criminals. To prove his point, he points out that crypto exchanges are not that safe, that many ICOs are scams, and that much of remote hacking involves cryptojacking.

Next, Harris explains that even the non-criminal portion of Bitcoin's users are not that innocent since most of them don't bother to report the sales of their bitcoins to the tax authorities.

He then moves on to complain about how slow and expensive it is to send someone bitcoin.

And, finally, as if all of that was not enough reason for him to dislike Bitcoin, he says that Bitcoin is "absurdly wasteful of natural resources" since the process that creates them -- mining -- is computationally expensive and requires a lot of electricity.

Finland and Russia Are Hotspots for Tainted Bitcoin: Report

Michael LaVere
  • New CipherTrace report claims Finland ranked highest in the percentage of criminal bitcoin inflow.
  • Russian cryptocurrency exchanges ranked second, with 5.23 percent of all BTC received coming from illegal sources. 

Blockchain analytics and cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace claims Finland has become a hotspot for illegal bitcoin scams. 

According to the Spring 2020 Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report, Finnish exchanges as a whole ranked first in the highest percentage of criminal bitcoin inflow.

CipherTrace found that 12.01 percent of all bitcoin funds received in the country were tied directly to criminal sources. Finnish exchange LocalBitcoins was implicated as the recipient for the majority of illegal funds. 

The report reads, 

For the third year in a row, Finnish exchanges ranked #1 in highest percentage of criminal BTC received, with 12.01% of all BTC funds received coming directly from criminal sources. Finland-based LocalBitcoins, one of the largest peer-to-peer marketplaces, received over 99% of these criminal funds.

The CipherTrace report found that Russian exchanges were the second most popular destination for criminal funds, with 5.23% of all cryptocurrency received coming from hacks, ransomware, and other illegal activity.

The security firm’s researchers discovered that that 86.8% of the criminal BTC received from Russian exchanges last year came from Hydra Market, a Russian dark web marketplace. 

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