Silver Lake Co-Founder Tells Davos Cash Is Used Far More in Crime Than Bitcoin

Glenn Hutchins said up to 90% of $100 bills are "used for organized crime and tax evasion."

Jan 27, 2021 at 3:48 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 11:02 a.m. UTC

Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of global technology investment firm Silver Lake, countered the widely held view that bitcoin is mostly used for illicit activity when speaking at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. 

  • Hutchins said the belief ignores the immutable nature of the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin, reported Finextra on Tuesday.
  • Bitcoin "leaves a permanent, unalterable record, hence why almost all criminals using it are caught. It is fundamentally wrong to say that bitcoin is mostly used for crime,” he said.
  • On the other hand, up to 90% of $100 bills are "used for organized crime and tax evasion" in the U.S., because cash is "untraceable and fungible," Hutchins said.
  • Indeed, as CoinDesk reported, blockchain sleuthing firm Chainalysis reported this month that criminal-linked activity made up just 0.34% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2020, down from 2.1% the year before.
  • Also speaking at Davos on Monday, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey took a more negative tone, arguing that digital innovation in payments is here to stay, but not cryptocurrency as it currently stands.
  • We're still waiting for the right design and governance model for a “lasting digital currency,” Bailey said.

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