Does Bill Gates invest in Bitcoin?
As cryptocurrencies become more widespread around the world and blockchain is promoted as one of the most important technological advances of the 21st century, many people are wondering if Bill Gates, co-founder of the American tech giant Microsoft, has jumped on the cryptocurrency train.
Curiously, despite being one of the most famous ambassadors of technological progress, Gates remains very skeptical, if not outright disapproving, of the crypto industry, primarily concerned about volatility and the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities.
As it happens, the legendary Microsoft co-founder has publicly discussed Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies over time, but he never disclosed whether he had any. The chances seem slim because his comments related to crypto, made at the TechCrunch conference in June 2022, show that he is still in a quandary.
The ‘Bigger Fool’s Theory.
According to a CNN report at the time, Gates was quoted as saying that crypto and non-reciprocal tokens (NFT) are “100% based on the greater fool theory,” referring to making profits from worthless or overvalued assets as long as people are willing to bid higher for them, adding that he was “not long or short” in cryptocurrency.
As he explained:
“I’m used to asset classes like a farm where they have produced, or like a company where they make products.”
Earlier in 2021, Gates said in an interview with CNBC that he was ‘neutral’ about bitcoins, saying he had none and criticizing its volatility, though he acknowledged the goal of cryptocurrency to make money more digital and reduce transactions, which was “what the Gates Foundation is doing in developing countries.”
‘Better than a currency?
Interestingly, however, in October 2014, Gates praised Bitcoin as “better than a currency” in an interview with BloombergTV on the sidelines of the 2014 Sibos financial services industry conference in Boston.
“Bitcoin is interesting because it shows how cheap it can be. (…) Bitcoin is better than currency in the sense that you don’t have to be physically in the same place, and of course, for large transactions, the currency can get pretty awkward.”
Addressing the conference attendees, the Microsoft co-founder reiterated his views on cryptocurrency and emphasized that financial transactions in the future will be “digital, universal, and almost free.” However, he also criticized the anonymity of virtual assets such as Bitcoin.
Moreover, during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in February 2014, he stated that his organization “is about digital money, but unlike bitcoins, it will not be anonymous digital money,” as he referred to Vodaphone M-pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer and microfinance service in Kenya supported by his foundation.
All things considered, Bill Gates does not seem to be an ardent crypto fan but hope remains as his views do not seem as strident as those of, for example, Berkshire Hathaway. CEO Warren Buffett, who called cryptocurrencies “rat poison,” and its vice chairman Charlie Munger, who called them a “bad combination” of “part fraud and part delusion.”
Bill Gates has expressed different opinions about cryptocurrencies. Here are some of his statements:
In 2014, Bill Gates said that cryptocurrencies are a technology that could be good for the financial system. He said: “Cryptocurrencies are a technology that can significantly improve the way we move money around, interact with each other, and even conduct business.”
In 2015, Bill Gates spoke out about cryptocurrencies and said they could help poor people access financial services. He said: “Cryptocurrencies can help poor people get access to financial services. It can be very helpful for people who don’t have a bank account or credit history.”
In 2018, Bill Gates expressed his concerns about cryptocurrencies and said they could be used for illegal transactions. He said: “I don’t like cryptocurrencies for many reasons. One of them is the possibility of them being used to financing terrorism, money laundering, and other illegal transactions.”
In 2018, Bill Gates spoke out about ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and said that most ICOs are scams. He said: “Most ICOs are complete nonsense, a scam. I would warn people to be very careful if they want to invest in an ICO.”
In 2021, Bill Gates spoke out about Bitcoin and said he was not a big fan of cryptocurrency. He stated, “I don’t own Bitcoin and I don’t plan to buy it. I think people can lose a lot of money on it. I’m not a big fan of Bitcoin.”
In an interview with CNBC in 2021, Bill Gates said he supports the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBC). He said: “I think central banks have a future. They can help reduce the cost of transferring money and simplify the process, especially for international transfers.”
In general, Bill Gates is not a categorical opponent of cryptocurrencies, but raises concerns and supports ideas that can make the use of digital currencies more secure and useful to people.