Bitcoins are the new blood diamonds, believes Portuguese lawyer

What is the difference between bitcoins and blood diamonds? That is the question that opens the article by lawyer João Ascenso, published on Friday (12) in the Portuguese newspaper Observador. For the lawyer, who was already an assistant and speaker at the University of Lisbon, the cryptocurrency is “poisoned” and should be banned because it is widely used by criminals.

“The question of anonymity allows Bitcoin (network) to be a privileged instrument for illegal and criminal transactions, of which I highlight the financing of terrorism and payments for services transacted on the Dark Web, which, as is known, is where networks operate pedophilia, human trafficking, everything they can and everything they can’t imagine ”, he wrote.

In addition to anonymity, other problems of the digital asset, according to the lawyer, are the decentralization of the Bitcoin network and the lack of government control, aspects that make cryptocurrency out of the law’s radar and not subject to the same valuation mechanisms. or devaluation of fiat currencies:

“We cannot accept that there is a generalized means of payment outside the state, that no one controls.”

Lawyer criticizes Tesla

In the article, the lawyer also criticized the fact that publicly traded companies, such as Tesla, invest in cryptocurrency. For him, when acquiring BTC the companies start to operate in a kind of “parallel society” without rules.

“And these problems are particularly serious when they involve a company the size and projection of Tesla, which, on top of that, is a listed company and is therefore obliged to special duties of transparency and provision of information,” he said.

The lawyer also said that just as bitcoin has increased significantly with Tesla’s 1.5 billion investment, the value of the currency will also rise when terrorists, pedophiles and other criminals buy.

Although the author argues that bitcoin is only used for illicit activities, a Chainalysis study published last month shows that only 0.34% of crypto transactions in 2020 were linked to criminal activities. In 2019, the percentage was 2.1%.

Opinion generates criticism from readers

The newspaper’s comment space was consumed by criticism of the article. “So much talk and no one is used. This is just cheap demagogy. Basically, as you did not invest, do not understand the movement or do not know how, you want to ban something ”, wrote a bed called Joana Morais.

“But how does a newspaper that wants to be serious accept that people write about what they don’t know? It is unacceptable the amount of blunder and errors that this ‘article’ has, ”said reader Paulo Bastão.

Internet user Eduardo Alves used irony to comment on the lawyer’s text. “Dearest author, thankfully, criminals don’t use Euro, US Dollar, Swiss Franc, precious stones, art, cars, boats, airplanes, summer festivals, movies, political corruption, construction, real estate, and, everything that has value for them to put their hand on (the money). We are clarified with your opinion article ”.

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