The philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates has swung from being a Bitcoin bear to staying neutral just when the BTC price is defying gravity, recently racing above $52.5k.
Bill Gates now Neutral on Bitcoin, BTC/USD Firming above $50k
Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Feb 18, the billionaire made it clear that he never owns Bitcoin. However, he’s not “short” the world’s most valuable digital currency, choosing instead to remain neutral.
Still, the idea of moving funds digitally to cut transaction costs bodes well with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They use a digital platform in developing countries for value transfer and not tax avoidance or to perpetrate illegalities.
According to trackers, the Bitcoin price was trading above $51.8k at the time of his comments. Prices have slightly retracted from all-time highs of over $52.5k posted on Feb 17.
The Convenience of Digital Platforms
The Bitcoin network exists digitally, maintained by a web of globally-distributed node operators. Their involvement gives the platform an edge over competitors, enabling the cheap transfer of funds without intermediaries.
Also, the decentralization and the fixed supply of Bitcoin give the platform and the coin unique properties over centralized versions that are relatively expensive. This may be an inconvenience for disadvantaged people in developing countries who may need funds there and then.
Bitcoin and ICOs are Speculative
Bill’s changing tune comes three years after saying he’ll short Bitcoin if given a chance.
Coincidentally, his comments came before the Bitcoin price plunged to record lows of around $3.2k posted on the year-long crypto winter of 2018.
Appearing on the show, the billionaire said investing in the digital asset that doesn’t produce anything is a “kind of a pure “greater fool theory.” ”
He went on to add that ICOs were “crazier speculative things.”
“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. I agree I would short it if there was an easy way to do it. Bitcoin and ICOs, I believe completely [they’re some] of the crazier, speculative things.”