Billionaire Bill Gates has lambasted cryptocurrencies and NFTs, once again making known his distaste for the asset class.
Speaking on Tuesday during a climate change event organized by TechCrunch, the Microsoft founder stated that NFTs were “100% based on a greater fool theory”. In business, this phrase is used to suggest that purchasing an overpriced asset can still return a decent profit because there will always be a “fool” who will be willing to pay even more for it in the future.
Referring to the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, the tech genius went on to throw jabs at NFT assets, joking that he did not know whether “expensive digital images of monkeys” would “improve the world immensely.” To him, cryptocurrencies and NFTs had this touch of anonymity that allowed vices such as tax avoidance and kidnappings to thrive, pitting the nascent sector against his investment preferences. He thus preferred investing in assets that produced tangible products such as farms or factories. He went on to add that he was not involved in crypto.
Gates’ comments come even as NFTs and cryptocurrencies continue to reel under the pressures of a global recession. In the last two quarters of 2021, a lot of hype engulfed NFTs and cryptocurrencies despite these assets already being “too expensive” with the promise of greater near-term returns.
A wall of retail money was unleashed to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum around near all-time highs as a result of FOMO oblivious of the peril lurking. As of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $20,814 after a 69.35% drop from its all-time highs of $68,789 in November. Ethereum has lost 77% of its value during the same period to trade at $1,094 with other altcoins dipping as much as 90%. According to data from DappRadar, most NFT collections have tumbled by over 50% despite buyers seeking “bargains” amid depressed prices.
Gates, 66, has previously hit out at cryptocurrencies, warning investors to be on the lookout and avoid purchasing crypto-related assets. In May 2021, Gates reiterated that he does not invest in crypto because they lack valuable output.
In March 2022, he warned people against buying crypto due to hype by the likes of Elon Musk, stating that “if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.” Since Elon Musk’s appearance on the SNL show in May 2021, where he attempted to shill Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency has tumbled over 92% according to data from CoinGecko.