In a good example of the concept “kill them with kindness”, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, Janet Yellen, has received BTC 0.0316 worth USD 20 following a speech that contained plenty of hate towards cryptocurrency.
Yellen was the Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014-2018 and Vice President of the Federal Reserve from 2010-2014. On 29 October, Yellen made a speech at the Canadian FinTech forum, saying, “I will just say outright I am not a fan, and let me tell you why. I know there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies and maybe something is coming down the line that is more appealing but I think first of all, very few transactions are actually handled by Bitcoin, and many of those do take place on Bitcoin are illegal, illicit transactions”.
A study in August 2018 said that only 10% of Bitcoin transactions involve illegal activity, while a different study in January 2018 said it was only 1%.
Further, Yellen said, “For something to be a useful currency, it needs to be a stable source of value, and Bitcoin is anything but. So it’s not used for a lot of transactions, it’s not a stable source of value and it’s also not an efficient means for processing payments. It’s very slow in handling payments.”
In reality, it is well known that Bitcoin is a highly efficient way of sending payments that happen instantly if users do not wait for confirmations. Further, merchants can use processors like BitPay to convert to fiat when they receive Bitcoin, which insulates them from market volatility.
The founder of the Bitcoin gifting service Biterica, Raz Suprovici, sent Yellen USD 20 of Bitcoin to her email and said to the media: “People are afraid of the unknown. I was hoping that when she logged into her Bitcoin wallet with her ID and password, she would see it’s just like a typical online bank account. The money she owns is there, in her control, ready to spend. I hope that this sparks her openness to the technology. Maybe all policy-makers should be gifted a little bit of Bitcoin.”
Suprovici’s idea is simple yet effective. The powerful people who have been speaking against Bitcoin probably have never used it themselves, and sending them a little Bitcoin could change their hearts.
Yellen confirms she got the Bitcoin, saying, “I did receive a gift of Bitcoins this morning and have been very busy ever since so I’ve not looked into it further.” Some might say she has essentially turned from Bitcoin hater to Bitcoin hodler.
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