Pat Gelsinger: “Bitcoin today is not OK”

VMware CEO blasts cryptocurrencies

Chief executive of virtualisation giant VMware, Pat Gelsinger, has hit out at cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Facebook's Libra, arguing that their usage is unsustainable and fuelled by criminal activity, comparing them to opioid addiction.

As part of his opening keynote for VMworld 2019, Gelsinger touched on the idea that technologists have an obligation to make sure that the technology they create is being used for good purposes. He noted that while technology itself is neutral, it often leads to unfortunate outcomes if not closely monitored.

"[Blockchain has] given way to Bitcoin, which I will argue is bad. 95+% of its uses are illicit and criminal, and it is a climate crisis, consuming almost a household of energy for every single ledger entry. Bitcoin today is not okay. But the underlying technology is extremely powerful, and blockchain and distributed ledgers are not the problem."

Speaking to IT Pro, Gelsinger stated that although blockchain technology (of which VMware is a provider) can be a powerful enabler for more efficient currency models, there is no major world government that is going to "disenfranchise currency from their political and governmental control processes".

"As a result, what's it used for? 95% is criminal activities! So how can you call that good? If I turn the world into opioid addicts, right, and I made it feel a little better in getting there, was that good or bad?"

He also blasted Libra, Facebook's nascent cryptocurrency platform, which has come under extreme scrutiny from lawmakers and financial experts, including US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, who called it a "national security risk". Gelsinger voiced similar concerns, declaring that the company lacked the credibility to undertake such a project.

"I'm not a Libra expert here," he told IT Pro "but I think Facebook has no credibility in the social domain, much less in the finance domain, to bring forward a new model of currency for the world."

Featured Resources

2021 Thales access management index: Global edition

The challenges of trusted access in a cloud-first world

Free download

Transforming higher education for the digital era

The future is yours

Free download

Building a cloud-native, hybrid-multi cloud infrastructure

Get ready for hybrid-multi cloud databases, AI, and machine learning workloads

Free download

The next biggest shopping destination is the cloud

Know why retail businesses must move to the cloud

Free Download

Recommended

What is cryptocurrency mining?
cryptocurrencies

What is cryptocurrency mining?

23 Sep 2021
Liquid cryptocurrency exchange loses $97 million after hack
cryptocurrencies

Liquid cryptocurrency exchange loses $97 million after hack

20 Aug 2021
False crypto-mining apps plague Google Play
cryptocurrencies

False crypto-mining apps plague Google Play

19 Aug 2021
Ohio resident pleads guilty to running Bitcoin “mixer” money laundering scheme
cryptocurrencies

Ohio resident pleads guilty to running Bitcoin “mixer” money laundering scheme

19 Aug 2021

Most Popular

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Network & Internet

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

15 Oct 2021
Veritas Backup Exec 21.3 review: Covers every angle
backup software

Veritas Backup Exec 21.3 review: Covers every angle

14 Oct 2021
What is cyber warfare?
Security

What is cyber warfare?

15 Oct 2021