Saudi Prince Alwaleed made headlines just days ago when he publicly denigrated the viability of Bitcoin, alleging the cryptocurrency and the community around it will “implode.” However, the only thing that’s imploded for now is Prince Alwaleed’s legal situation.
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One of the more common mainstream complaints against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general is that they can be used in criminal money laundering ventures.
Apparently, though, Saudi riyals and U.S. dollars can be too — and Saudi Prince and Bitcoin-critic Alwaleed bin Talal just found this reality out the hard way after undergoing a shock arrest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on money laundering charges Saturday night.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 4, 2017
Alwaleed was swept up in a surprise anti-corruption round up that also nabbed 10 other Saudi princes and nearly 40 other top Saudi ministers, including the Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces, the Minister of Economy and Planning, and the director of the Saudi National Royal Guard.
Whether Alwaleed’s corruption charges are valid or his arrest is trumped-up and part of a royal counter-coup remains to be seen. If true, through, it would certainly be ironic and hypocritical, considering Alwaleed’s recently implied Bitcoin is a scam.
In a late October interview on CNBC, Prince Alwaleed suggested it was Bitcoin that wasn’t trustworthy.
“I just don’t believe in this Bitcoin thing. I think it’s just going to implode one day. I think is Enron in the making, It just doesn’t make sense. This thing is not regulated, it’s not under control, it’s not under the supervision of any central bank.”
If the allegations against Alwaleed are true, though, then it’s his finances that don’t make sense. It’s his finances that weren’t regulated and supervised enough to prevent his alleged financial crimes sooner.
The grand takeaway here? Humans launder currencies in general.
There’s no more reason for Alwaleed to call Bitcoin a scam than for him to call the riyal a scam. When it comes down to it, both are just tools that reflect the natures of their users.
Images via CNBC, Business Insider