Criminal activity will spur government intervention and kill bitcoin: Hermitage CEO Bill Browder

Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder said bitcoin’s usefulness for criminal activity will be the death of it and other cryptocurrencies.

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a way for bad dictators or criminals to bypass sanctions,” Browder told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Browder is well-positioned to comment on government sanctions: A longtime foe of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he was instrumental in the passage of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed punitive sanctions against Russia after Hermitage Capital’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in police custody in Russia.

Cryptocurrencies, which allow users to interact securely and semi-anonymously, offer a potentially more attractive money-transferring alternative to criminals. And since bitcoin is not tied to any specific nation or agency, there are fewer legal barriers to circumvent…

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