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Bill Gates: Crypto and NFTs '100% Based on Greater Fool Theory'

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates took aim at 'expensive digital images of monkeys,' voicing skepticism about NFTs and the cryptocurrency space.

3 min read
Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Image: Shutterstock.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has dismissed investments in cryptocurrencies and NFTs, arguing that the digital assets market is largely driven by speculation.

“As an asset class, it’s 100% based on the greater fool theory—that somebody’s going to pay more for it than I do,” Gates said during the TechCrunch Sessions: Climate 2022 conference on Tuesday.

The greater fool theory refers to the idea that one can make money by investing into overvalued assets and selling them for a profit later, because there will always be someone else who will come along and pay a higher price.

Gates also hit out at people willing to spend huge amounts of money on NFTs, casting doubt on their true value as an investment.

“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” Gates said sarcastically, in a reference to the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection that attracted billions of dollars and celebrity endorsements.

Amid the ongoing crypto crash, the floor price of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs dropped below $100,000 for the first time in almost a year yesterday, from an all-time high of nearly $429,000 (152 ETH) on April 29. Currently, the floor price for the collection sits at around $83,000 (76 ETH), according to NFT Price Floor.

Watching from the outside

Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin, the industry’s largest cryptocurrency, fell to just over $20,000 on Wednesday, posting a loss of more than 55% since the start of the year.

While many investors are understandably jittery over the latest events in the market, Gates stressed that he’s not involved in cryptocurrencies in any way.

“I’m not long or short any of those things,” said the billionaire entrepreneur.

This is not the first time the Microsoft co-founder has weighed in on cryptocurrencies.

Last month, during an Ask-Me-Anything session on Reddit, Gates said he doesn’t own any crypto because he prefers investing in “things that have valuable output.”

The value of companies is based on how they make great products. The value of crypto is just what some other person decides someone else will pay for it so not adding to society like other investments,” he said at the time.

In February 2021, the philanthropist once again said he didn’t own any Bitcoin as—unable to predict how the markets will behave—he chose to take “a neutral view” on crypto.

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