[AUDIENCE] Taking the concept
of multi-nationals a bit further… It is fair to say that crime follows money, leverages
money. You can see that, if cryptocurrency comes… Any thoughts on how the criminal
element will start to leverage this? Well, one interesting thing about criminal organizations
is that they are early adopters of technology. [Laughter] They are. They operate at the nexus of highest risk
and highest reward, which makes them seek… competitive advantage at a higher
rate than any other organization. Criminal organizations take advantage of technology.
As early adopters, they use it to their advantage. Telephones, cars, even shoes I’m sure.
They are all exploited first by criminals. If the police don’t have shoes and
you do, you can run away [faster]. Automobiles were just the
next step in that glorious plan. Bitcoin is money. By definition, money is
something you can use to buy anything. If you can’t use it to buy anything, it is not money.
It is a voucher, loyalty card, or gift card maybe. But it is not really money. If it comes with [inherent]
restrictions on how you can use it, it is not money. It has lost the fundamental
[function] of medium of exchange. Can you buy drugs with bitcoin? Of course
you can. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be money. I bet that it would be a lot easier to buy
drugs with New Zealand dollars than bitcoin. But you are right: criminals will use money. We need to understand that the tool is not
the crime; the tool has never been the crime. Societies that try to banish the use of hammers
because hammers can be used to hit someone… over the head, or build a ‘Habitat for Humanity’ home,
are going down the wrong path. The truth is, as human beings, 99.9% of us will use
money to feed our children, give them healthcare, sanitation, education, and a better future.
That is what human beings do with money. Just like we use the internet to store the world’s
largest repository of cat videos. [Laughter] Yes, sure, there is some porn there. But in the end,
the benefits of this technology far outweigh the risks. I’m not concerned with solving
crime through the control of money. When you try to solve crime
through the control of money, the [organization] you give control of money to
becomes the criminal, then the greatest criminal. Then they use that money to commit genocide. Every time in history, the absolute
power over money corrupts absolutely. We need to start thinking about
separation of money and state. It is just as important as separation of church and state. Maybe in New Zealand, money that is controlled
by single governments works well. [Good for you]. You have one of the more benevolent governments
in the world. The rest are not like that. The rest abuse the power over money
to punish their political opponents. They use the bank controls not to stop criminals,
but to stop their political opposition. Just ask Putin. It is part of his playbook. When you [take] control over [the monetary system]
in order to fight crime, the person in control… [tends to commit] the crimes, the greatest crimes.