Bill Gates Says Crypto And NFTs Are ‘100% Based On Greater Folly’


Bill Gates

Gerard Miller | CNBC

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

During a TechCrunch lecture on climate change Tuesday, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft described the phenomenon as something “100% based on a bigger fool theory,” citing the idea that overvalued assets will rise in price if there are enough investors be willing to pay more for it.

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

NFTs are tokens that cannot be exchanged for each other. They are often touted as a way to prove ownership of digital assets such as art or sports collectibles. But critics view 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 largest 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 don’t have any of those things long or short.”

Cryptocurrencies fell sharply this week after Celsius, a crypto lending company, paused all withdrawals from accounts. The debacle has fueled fears of an impending insolvency event for Celsius – and possible knock-on effects for other parts of the crypto market. For its part, Celsius says it “works around the clock for our community”.

The battered crypto world licked all its wounds after the collapse of UST – a so-called “stablecoin” that was supposed to be worth $1 – and luna, its sister token. At their peak, both cryptocurrencies were worth $60 billion together.

Bitcoin last traded at $21,107 on Wednesday, down 7% in the past 24 hours. The largest cryptocurrency in the world has wiped out more than half of its value since the beginning of 2022.

WATCH: What you need to know before investing in crypto

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