Why Bill Gates Won’t Invest in Crypto: ‘It Has No Valuable Output’

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the world’s fourth-richest man, has told a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session why he doesn’t see any point in investing in cryptocurrency.

“The value of companies is based on how they make great products,” Gates said. “The value of crypto is just what some other person decides someone else will pay for it, so it’s not adding to society like other investments.” He prefaced his comments on crypto by saying:

I don’t own any. I like investing in things that have valuable output.

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Gates has previously described crypto as one tech innovation the world would be better off without. As he noted in February last year: “The way cryptocurrency works today allows for certain criminal activities. It’d be good to get rid of that.”


Gates Echoes Warren Buffett

Gates is certainly not the first of the world’s super-rich to shun cryptocurrency. Billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO of American multinational Berkshire Hathaway, told the company’s annual meeting of shareholders in late April:

“Whether [crypto] goes up or down in the next year, or five or 10 years, I don’t know. But the one thing I’m pretty sure of is that it doesn’t produce anything,” Buffett said. “It’s got a magic to it and people have attached magics to lots of things.”

Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charlie Munger was more scathing, about bitcoin in particular, telling the same meeting: “In my life, I try to avoid things that are stupid and evil and make me look bad … and bitcoin does all three.”

Munger didn’t stop there, either: “In the first place, it’s stupid because it’s still likely to go to zero. It’s evil because it undermines the [US] Federal Reserve System … and third, it makes us look foolish compared to the Communist leader in China [Xi Jinping]. He was smart enough to ban bitcoin in China.”

Never one to hold back, Munger told CNN earlier this year that bitcoin was “akin to a venereal disease”. And not to be outdone, Buffett has previously described crypto as “rat poison squared”.

Other Billionaires Are Bitcoin Fans

Not all billionaires share these extreme opinions, evidently. Several, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, regularly tweet their support of virtual currencies. And last year, Mexico’s third-richest man, Ricardo B. Salinas, invested 10 percent of his personal wealth – a staggering US$1.5 billion – into bitcoin.

As founder and chairman of Grupo Salinas, a group of companies with interests in telecommunications, media, financial services and retail stores, Salinas said bitcoin was “the best thing to put your money into”.

Phil Stafford

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

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