Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal arrested for money laundering.
A recent critic of Bitcoin has been Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who was arrested Saturday for money laundering. Saudi Arabia announced the arrest Saturday night of the billionaire investor along with four ministers and ten former ministers.
The Prince who heavily criticized Bitcoin and said it was an “Enron in the making” added his name to a short list of wealthy investors that have disparaged Bitcoin over the years. The Prince unfortunately deeply misunderstands Bitcoin and may simply be trying to get some media attention.
Just because the Prince does not understand Bitcoin does not make it a “scam”. His remarks only show his ignorance related to crypto currencies. The Prince feels that the unregulated nature of Bitcoin makes the concept “risky”. Although cryptocurrencies are not as highly regulated as some financial industries they by no means are more risky. One could easily argue that there has been more fraud committed under strictly regulated and controlled industries than anywhere else.
The Prince is also very confused with his comparisons. He criticizes Bitcoin for not being regulated and compares it to Enron. The irony of making such a comparison is that Enron was operating under the financial regulations of the United States government and was still able to commit fraud. The regulations in place did nothing to stop this from happening and would change virtually nothing for Bitcoin.
Further, comparing a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to a business like Enron shows how poorly the prince understands cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies try to be decentralized they are not perfect and tend to border in centralization, at least during some parts of their existence but in no way are they as centralized as corporations and comparing them to one again shows the Prince’s ignorance.
The Prince is also very critical of Bitcoin not being controlled by a central bank or Federal Reserve. This argument has seen its share of exposure and been met with strong arguments for why this should and is not the case. The entire concept of Bitcoin is that it is not subjected to the pressures of being regulated by one or many central authorities. Bitcoin is owned and managed by the people for the people. The entire concept of Bitcoin eliminates banks and third party processors so people can store money, make transactions, and send money without the need for a bank. Again the prince seems to miss the entire concept and is arguing points that he just doesn’t understand.
For the first time, more and more people are starting to hear about Bitcoin. The media exposure lately has been steady and Google analytics show searches for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin reaching an all time high. People are starting to take notice and learn about the future that will shortly be cryptocurrencies. We all have to remember that all though Bitcoin may not be a new concept to us there are many that have no idea what it represents, how it works, and how it will change our lives.