Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he doesn’t hold Bitcoin, nor is he short against it. Instead, Gates claims he holds a neutral position as far as the leading cryptocurrency is concerned.However, his follow-on comments contradict his opening statement. While he’s all for the digitization of money, he believes Bitcoin encourages tax avoidance and illegal activity. Instead, Gates prefers the central bank digital currency approach to digital money, with reversible transactions and direct identity association.
“I don’t own Bitcoin. I’m not short Bitcoin. So I’ve taken a neutral view. I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries.
But there we do it so you can reverse the transaction, you have total visibility of who’s doing what, so it’s not about tax avoidance or illegal activity.”
Gates pivots towards charity workCutting edge pioneer or industrial pilferer? Whichever side you take, there’s still no getting away from Gates’ impact on the digital age.Since leaving his position as Microsoft’s chief software architect in 2000, Gates has increasingly focused on charity work via the Gates Foundation.In 2020, he decided to dedicate more time to this cause and cut ties with Microsoft by resigning from its board. However, he mentioned that he’s always available in a consultation capacity.
“dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.”
Bitcoin community chimes in on Gates’ commentsThroughout this transition, Gates has become less known as a tech innovator and more as a philanthropist. Bitcoin-bull Anthony Pompliano implied this had dulled his understanding of disruptive technology.
“It is wild to hear one of the smartest men in the world sound so uninformed and uneducated on one of the most disruptive pieces of technology.“
Equally, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tried to pass off Gates’ ill-informed comments by saying he’s earned the right not to be “bleeding edge” any longer.
“He’s at a different stage in life though. He is not on the bleeding edge, leading, push, etc. He doesn’t have to.”
Growth lead at Kraken exchange Dan Held said there’s some merit to Gates’ comments on high fees and excessive energy consumption. But overall, Held believes that Gates hasn’t taken the time to understand Bitcoin.As a former board member of Berkshire Hathaway and close friend of Warren Buffett, Gates’ position on Bitcoin should surprise no-one.