The recent comments by Bill Gates dismissing cryptocurrencies have sparked controversy.
The recent crash in the cryptocurrency market has led to people questioning its authenticity and overall benefits in asset generation. In early 2021, a major crash occurred in the cryptocurrency market, wiping out at least a trillion US$ worth of assets affecting over 800,000 investors.
In addition to that, the founder and former CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates sparked another controversy by stating that he is not “rich enough” to invest in cryptocurrencies. This statement, coming from the world’s third-richest person, left everybody in awe. Bill Gates advised that anybody in this world who has less wealth than Elon Musk should refrain from investing in digital currencies. Gates said, “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. 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.”
This is not the first time that Gates has spoken skeptically about cryptocurrencies. He has openly expressed his doubts about investing in digital currencies across several interviews. Back in 2018, when cryptocurrency was in its early stages and people were anticipating how it would change the whole pace of transactions in the market, Bill Gates said, “[Crypto is an] extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions.” In another interview in the same year, Gates shared an incident where he was gifted a few bitcoins as a birthday present but he sold them soon after. This statement by Gates clearly expressed his trust issues with cryptocurrencies.
Fast forward to 2021, he declared in an interview that he doesn’t own bitcoins and doesn’t plan to. He shared, “I don’t own Bitcoin, I’m not shorting it, so I take a neutral view.”
Apart from the financial risk associated with bitcoins, Bill Gates also expressed his concern about the encouragement it could give to criminal activities. The activities might be hard to track because of the anonymity factor associated with digital transactions using cryptocurrencies. He stated, “The way cryptocurrency works today allows for certain criminal activities. It’d be good to get rid of that. I probably should have said bioweapons. That’s a really bad thing.”
These statements by the third-richest man in the world and a well-known philanthropist have led people to doubt the legitimacy of cryptocurrency. They are questioning whether it is safe to invest in them, especially after the downfalls witnessed in the past year. However, it seems too soon to predict the entire future of cryptocurrency and it will be interesting to see if it is able to retain its place in the market.