Microsoft founder Bill Gates told CNBC today that he has taken a neutral stance on Bitcoin but expressed some views that money is moving toward a digital future.

"I don't own Bitcoin, I'm not short Bitcoin. So I've taken a neutral view," he said.

The philanthropist pointed out that his foundation has been using some forms of digital currency in developing regions, but not cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He explain that the currencies they use can be reversed and that they are transparent. He appeared to compare these currencies to Bitcoin, stating they're not about tax avoidance or illegal activity.


On Bitcoin, he noted that market speculation is the main driver of its price and that he's unable to know how it will fare in the future.

"But Bitcoin can go up or down just based on the mania or whatever the views are and I don't have a way of predicting how that will progress," he said

Gates’ evolving view of Bitcoin

But this is not the first time Gates has spoken about Bitcoin. In fact, just under three years ago, Gates was more pessimistic on Bitcoin than he is today. 

“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,” Gates said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” in May 2018. He added that he'd short Bitcoin “if there was an easy way to do it.” 

Gates also called Bitcoin - and ICOs - “crazy, speculative investments.” He added that he was once gifted Bitcoin as a birthday present, only to sell it some years later. 


Last year, Gates was one of several high profile names whose Twitter account were hijacked in a scam designed to pry cryptocurrency away from his followers. 

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