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Bill Gates says crypto and NFTs are a sham

Don’t count Bill Gates among the fans of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Those digital asset trends are “100% based on greater fool theory,” the Microsoft co-founder said Tuesday at a TechCrunch conference, referencing the notion that investors can make money on worthless or overvalued assets as long as people are willing to bid them higher.
Gates added that he’s “not long or short” crypto. And he mocked Bored Apes NFTs, joking that “expensive digital images of monkeys” will “improve the world immensely.”
Instead, Gates said he prefers old fashioned investing.
“I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” he said.
His comments come as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are crashing. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021. Since then, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency has lost two-thirds of its value, tumbling below $23,000 on Tuesday. It has lost about 25% of its value since Friday.
Crypto exchange Coinbase announced that it’s laying off 18% of its employees as the digital currency market continues to crumble.
Gates has previously doubted crypto. In a 2021 interview with Bloomberg, Gates said that it was one thing for Elon Musk and Tesla to invest in bitcoin, but that doesn’t mean average investors should follow that lead.
“I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare,” Gates said. “So I’m not bullish on bitcoin.”
Don’t count Bill Gates among the fans of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Those digital asset trends are “100% based on greater fool theory,” the Microsoft co-founder said Tuesday at a TechCrunch conference, referencing the notion that investors can make money on worthless or overvalued assets as long as people are willing to bid them higher.

Gates added that he’s “not long or short” crypto. And he mocked Bored Apes NFTs, joking that “expensive digital images of monkeys” will “improve the world immensely.”

Instead, Gates said he prefers old fashioned investing.

“I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” he said.

His comments come as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are crashing. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021. Since then, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency has lost two-thirds of its value, tumbling below $23,000 on Tuesday. It has lost about 25% of its value since Friday.

Crypto exchange Coinbase announced that it’s laying off 18% of its employees as the digital currency market continues to crumble.

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Gates has previously doubted crypto. In a 2021 interview with Bloomberg, Gates said that it was one thing for Elon Musk and Tesla to invest in bitcoin, but that doesn’t mean average investors should follow that lead.

“I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare,” Gates said. “So I’m not bullish on bitcoin.”

The-CNN-Wire
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Bill Gates is not a fan of cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens.

Speaking at a TechCrunch talk on climate change Tuesday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder described the phenomenon as something that’s “100% based on greater fool theory,” referring to the idea that overvalued assets will go up in price when there are enough investors willing to pay more for them.

Gates joked that “expensive digital images of monkeys” would “improve the world immensely,” referring to the much-hyped Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

NFTs are tokens that can’t be exchanged for one another. They’re often touted as a way to prove ownership of digital assets like art or sports collectibles. But critics see them as overhyped and potentially harmful to the environment given the power-hungry nature of cryptocurrencies. Many NFTs are built on the network behind ethereum, the second-biggest token.

“I’m used to asset classes … like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” Gates said.

As for crypto, “I’m not involved in that,” Gates added. “I’m not long or short any of those things.”

Cryptocurrencies tumbled sharply this week after Celsius, a crypto lending firm, paused all account withdrawals. The debacle has fueled fears of a looming insolvency event for Celsius — and possible knock-on effects for other parts of the crypto market. For its part, Celsius says it’s “working around the clock for our community.”

The battered crypto world was already licking its wounds following the collapse of UST — a so-called “stablecoin” that was meant to be worth $1 — and luna, its sister token. At their height, both cryptocurrencies were worth a combined $60 billion.

Bitcoin was last trading at $21,107 Wednesday, down 7% in the last 24 hours. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has erased over half of its value since the start of 2022.

Billionaire Bill Gates dismissed cryptocurrency projects such as nonfungible tokens as shams “based on the greater-fool theory” at a climate conference Tuesday, reviving past criticisms of digital assets.

“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” Gates said sarcastically while speaking at an event in Berkeley, California hosted by TechCrunch. He said he’s neither long nor short the asset class.

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Gates has criticized crypto before, sparring with Elon Musk last year over whether Bitcoin is too risky for retail investors and the environmental harm of mining coins.

Speaking Tuesday as the founder of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the climate-focused fund he began in 2015, Gates noted the difficulty of recruiting Silicon Valley engineers to work in industries like chemicals and steel production in need of lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Bitcoin plunged more than 15 percent Monday and another 5.4 percent Tuesday, part of a broader crypto selloff fueled by higher than forecast US inflation and the halt of withdrawals by the lending platform Celsius.

Popular NFT collections, including the celebrity-favored Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), are also being hit hard.

Gates also defended digital banking efforts he’s supported through his philanthropic foundations, which he described as “hundreds of times more efficient than cryptocurrencies”.

Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, is a backer of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.