Bitcoin Valuation Hit $1 Trillion. Bill Gates Could Care Less.

In this Feb. 1, 2018 photo, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with his wife Melinda, poses for a photo before an interview with The Associated Press in Kirkland, Wash. The Gateses, as the world's top philanthropists, are rethinking their work in America as they confront what they consider their unsatisfactory track record on schools, the country's growing inequity and a president they disagree with more than any other. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Even the richest can’t agree on cryptocurrency.

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk, having invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin, plays with the idea of using it as a practical method of finance exchange, fellow world leader Bill Gates feels the planet would be better off without cryptocurrency.

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said Thursday that cryptocurrency is a runway for illegal operations and it would be “great to get rid of that.”

Gates is the world’s third wealthiest person, with the Bloomberg billionaires index putting his net wealth to be around $137 billion.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, he was asked about tech advanced the world could do without. He gave the thumbs-down to cryptocurrency and digital assets, according to Market Watch.

“The way cryptocurrency works today allows for certain criminal activities,” Gates said. “It would be good to get rid of that.”

He added that, perhaps of more importance, humanity could also do without bioweapons – they are a “bad thing.”

Prior comments from Gates on cryptocurrency include:

  • “Bitcoin can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are, and I do not have a way of predicting how that will progress.”
  • “(As an) asset class, you are 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.”
  • “(I would short bitcoin) if there was an easy way to do it.” 
  • “I do not own bitcoin. I’m not short bitcoin, so I’ve taken a neutral view.” 

Gates is concerned about the relative safety of cryptocurrency, which he feels is an easy target of abuse by hackers and can be regularly used for money laundering.

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