Contrary to recent media reports, the Chief Scientist of Quebec has not downplayed concerns about the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, his office said.
On Thursday, several media organizations published articles with headlines quoting Chief Scientist Remi Quirion as saying that “bitcoin is not above the law, nor is it a magnet for illicit transactions.”
But “the Chief Scientist has never said such a thing,” Quirion’s office told CoinDesk via email.
The comments appeared in an article produced by the Agence Science-Presse – a non-profit news agency – and were published on the Chief Scientist’s government website.
Titled “Bitcoin above the law? False,” the article is part of the agency’s fact-checking series “Detecteur de rumeurs” and was produced independently of Quirion’s office.
The article examines the merit of the widespread assertion made by government leaders, financial institutions and regulators that criminals frequently use cryptocurrencies to carry out illegal activities such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The piece concludes that bitcoin “makes up only tiny amount of criminal money in circulation around the world,” adding that the reason for this is “it is less attractive for those wishing to carry out transactions without leaving a trace.”
As Quebec’s first Chief Scientist, Quirion is responsible for advising the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation on the development of research and science. He also manages activities related to the Quebec Research Funds for nature and technologies, health and society and culture.