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John Oliver Slams Monero For Supporting Ransomware Attacks


cryptoknowmics.com 18 August 2021 01:00, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

In a quick aside while addressing the rising threat of ransomware attacks in the United States, John Oliver, the host of the political comedy show "Last Week Tonight," recently poked fun at the privacy-based currency Monero.

Oliver Slams Monero For Supporting Ransomware Attacks

In the second half of his episode, Oliver retells the tale of a lady who was targeted by hackers on her home computer and was compelled to pay them in Bitcoin for her files to be released. 

According to him, Bitcoins "have made it simpler to generate money through ransomware, and much more difficult for law enforcement to collect payments."

He then takes a go at Monero in particular, which is meant to be more anonymous than Bitcoin. Oliver accuses them of being an intentional dog whistle to thieves after playing one of their advertisements praising their privacy features such as "keeping their suppliers in secret":

“What they're selling has a very apparent subtext to it. It's like watching a happy advertisement for plastic containers the size and form of a human body. 

‘This isn't for anything in particular; there are a variety of human body-sized items that may be placed in one of these robust tubs.' They're also scream-proof. You'll never hear anything inside, no matter how loud it is!'"

Cryptocurrency, Criminals, & Politics

Although Monero was not the primary subject of his 22-minute program, Oliver's remarks are just another example of cryptocurrencies being portrayed as a tool for criminal behavior in mainstream political debate. 

Jordan Peterson claimed matter-of-factly on his show last week that the criminal aspect of Bitcoin is an “immediately relevant” societal risk, if any, to the cryptocurrency.

Other instances exist, such as Steve Mnuchin's efforts to ensure Bitcoin joins the regulated world,' or Biden's Treasury Secretary stating that Bitcoin is used "mostly for illegal activities."

Although that there have been several breaches and frauds in the cryptocurrency field recently, Bitcoin, in particular, maybe getting more hostility than it deserves on this front. 

According to Blockchain Intelligence, as of 2020, fewer than 0.5% of Bitcoin transactions were involved in illegal activity - a decreasing percentage.

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