Bill Gates has doubled down on his “greater fool theory” regarding Bitcoin. Speaking to Bloomberg’s Emily Chang this week, Gates suggested people who don’t have “much money to spare” should “probably watch out” when thinking about investing in Bitcoin, despite its 400% rise over the past year.
Elon Musk, btw, recently invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency through his company, Tesla Inc., and said Bitcoin would soon be accepted for payments.
Speaking to Bloomberg’s Emily Chang, Gates commented: “Elon has tons of money, and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down.”
He then expressed his concern for the technology: “I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”
When asked why he isn’t “bullish on Bitcoin,” Gates went on to explain his foundation’s relationship with digital currencies.
“There are things we invest in, in society that produce a lot of output. Bitcoin happens to use a lot of energy, it happens to promote anonymous transactions, they’re not reversible transactions.
“The Gates Foundation does a lot in terms of digital currency, but those are things where you can see who’s making the transaction.
“So digital money is a good thing, and there’s a different approach that is local currency and attributed and deals with all the money laundering and terrorism type regulations and yet gives you the convenience and the low cost of a transaction.
“Our foundation is very proud that in the pandemic, a lot of the countries we funded to do this were able to get money out to their citizens very very efficiently.
“So that’s something that’s not got the visibility of Bitcoin, but the move to digital money that we’re very engaged in is a super positive thing that will eventually get to even the poorest countries.”
Speaking to CNBC two years ago, Gates said: “As an asset class, you’re not producing anything, and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment”.