Cryptocurrencies Are “Junk,” Says MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga

  • MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga has recently bashed cryptocurrencies, labeling them "junk."
  • Per his words, these are used for illicit activities, just like cash, unlike credit cards.

Ajay Banga, the president and chief executive officer of international financial services company MasterCard, has recently argued that cryptocurrencies are “junk,” while seemingly supporting an increase in credit card payments to enforce money as a system of control.

According to a report from the  Press Trust of India, Banga voiced concerns over the number of cryptocurrency transactions being conducted on the dark web, where users often pay for illegal products and services, which include child pornography and credit card fraud.

He was quoted as saying:

I think cryptocurrency is junk. The idea of an anonymized currency produced by people who have to mine it, the value of which can fluctuate wildly - that to me is not the way that any medium of exchange deserves to be considered as a medium of exchange.

Ajay Banga

Banga’s words on cryptos came as he was responding to a question during the “New India Lecture” organized at the Indian Consulate. During his response, he added that cryptocurrencies aren’t a good medium of exchange, as they lack “predictability and transparency.”

In an attempt to show cryptocurrencies aren’t good news, he referred to a recent case that saw 12 Russian nationals reportedly interfere with the US’ 2016 Presidential Elections using Bitcoin.

Per his words, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are used in these cases and in dark web transactions because of their semi-anonymous nature. He said:

Why civil society would like to put a snake in its backyard and think that somehow the snake will only bite my neighbour, I don't get it.

Ajay Banga

In his arguments, he noted that cash payments should be reduced as the world enters an era of electronic payments. According to the press release, Banga argued cash is used to fund illicit activities, including drug use and terrorism financing, while credit cards aren’t used for such purposes.

Credit cards, presumably, aren’t used to fund illicit activities as their transactions are heavily controlled, meaning financial institutions can unilaterally deny people access to their own money, without proper justification. Nevertheless, Banga stated that “society buys into the logic that cash is free and electronic payments are expensive. Society needs to wake up.”

Notably, the law commission of India recently revealed it sees cryptocurrencies as an “electronic means of payment.” This ,shortly after the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, pushed the Supreme Court for cryptocurrency regulations.

Elsewhere, Banga noted the world’s governments need to start debating “how open trade should be constructed” while referring to the escalation of a potential trade war between the US and China.

MasterCard itself has earlier this year showed it isn’t too fond of cryptocurrencies, as it blamed them for a slip in its first quarter’s growth. At the time, Banga revealed cryptocurrencies weren’t a part of the firm’s long-term strategy because of their volatility.

Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Enables Trading in 40 Different Currency Pairs

New Zealand-based digital asset exchange, Cryptopia has reportedly resumed trading on its exchange as it is now allowing 40 different trading pairs. This, after Cryptopia recently experienced from several different security breaches.

Support For Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin Pairs Added

Cryptopia’s management announced (via Twitter on March 18th) that it is planning to expand its list of coins which will again be supported on its trading platform. As noted on Cryptopia’s official support website, the exchange has enabled several different trading pairs (as of March 19th, 2019) with major cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE).

In response to Cryptopia’s announcement, Twitter user @dgb-chilling, a supporter of DigiByte (DGB), a cryptocurrency that uses five different mining algorithms, said that he had emailed the exchange’s support team to inform them regarding the coin’s latest update (version 6.17.2). He added that “an upgrade was recommended but not mandatory.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Norris (@CryptoTweet6) remarked: 

Now this is good news! Let’s hope the rest of the coins will be released for trading swiftly.

Other users also considered it “good news” that the compromised cryptoasset exchange was gradually resuming its operations. However, one social media user asked when Cryptopia would start enabling deposits while another inquired about why his ARK coins were still not recoverable from the trading platform. He claimed that he had deposited 1,000 ARK, currently valued at around $628, (a popular proof-of-stake based coin) on Cryptopia. The user also complained that his coins were missing “missing because [the exchange] did not update the ARK wallet."

Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Stolen In Hack

On February 27th, 2019, Cryptopia’s management announced that it was “assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack” which led to the theft of tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. Last month, Cryptopia’s support team had also estimated that the total loss incurred due to the security breaches was of around 10% of its total holdings (in the worst-case scenario).

Notably, the exchange’s official Twitter account had been silent for several weeks (since Feburary 14th). However, it released several announcements, starting in late February, in which it revealed that its staff members were working on securing each customer’s account individually. Cryptopia’s management also noted that it was taking the appropriate measures to ensure that its trading platform is secure when it is officially back online.