In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said he was neutral about Bitcoin (BTC) but acknowledged the cryptocurrency’s role in bringing down transaction costs. Gates further said that digitizing money and bringing down transaction costs is what the Gates Foundation is doing in developing countries. The Foundation focuses on reversing charges while adding greater transparency, rather than anonymity. He appeared to compare them with cryptocurrencies saying they are not about tax avoidance or illegal activity. Gates also expressed that money is moving toward a digital future.
Bill Gates Believes Speculation Drives Bitcoin Price
Gates said he had neither invested in Bitcoin (BTC) nor wanted to predict any price movements. According to him, the market speculation is what drives the price of Bitcoin, and that he is unable to know how much it will be valued in the future, adding:
“I don’t own Bitcoin, I’m not short Bitcoin, so I’ve taken a neutral view. Bitcoin can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are. I don’t have a way of predicting how that will progress.”
"I don't own #Bitcoin. I'm not short Bitcoin," says @BillGates. "I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that's something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries." pic.twitter.com/DDe5X196ax
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 18, 2021
Last year, Gates was one of several high-profile personalities whose Twitter accounts got hijacked in a Bitcoin scam that stole cryptocurrencies from his followers.
Bill Gates Remains Bitcoin Skeptic
This is not the first time, Gates has spoken about Bitcoin. For instance, just three years ago, Gates remained skeptical. For instance, in May 2018, Gates said on CNBC’s Squawk Box:
“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.”
He even added that he would short Bitcoin “if there was an easy way to do it.” In a previous related remark made in a 2018 Reddit AMA, Gates criticized the anonymity of crypto transactions while connecting them with drug dealers.