Why Tech Billionaire Bill Gates is ‘Not Involved’ in Crypto or NFTs

(The Motley Fool) - There’s probably a reason that most people associate the name of tech billionaire Bill Gates with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), or perhaps philanthropy, rather than cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Gates remains one of the richest people on the planet, despite his absence from the day-to-day running of the company he founded.

He’s even divested much of his wealth away from Microsoft in recent years (although he remains a large shareholder). But he probably hasn’t directed his enormous wealth into NFTs, or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).

Why does Bill Gates shun NFTs and cryptocurrencies?

How do we know?

Well, Gates recently spoke at a TechCrunch talk on climate change, as documented by CNBC. Gates reportedly described cryptocurrencies and NFTs as something that’s “100% based on [the] greater fool theory”.

The greater fool theory is one that describes some assets as having value only being based on what the ‘next fool’ is willing to pay, rather than the asset’s productive value itself.

“I’m used to asset classes … like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” Gates said.

In terms of cryptocurrencies, the billionaire confirmed: “I’m not involved in that … I’m not long or short any of those things.”

Gates didn’t seem to have a far higher opinion of NFTs either. He joked that “expensive digital images of monkeys [would] improve the world immensely”, referring to the famous ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club’ series of NFTs, which have sold for astronomical prices over the past few years.

So Gates is certainly not a fan of either cryptocurrencies or NFTs. Instead, according to Gurufocus, Gates prefers to store his wealth in shares. His largest holding is in fellow crypto-sceptic Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. But there’s also waste and recycling company Waste ManagementCanadian National Railway Co, heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, and grocer Walmart. That’s in addition to Microsoft, of course.

But it’s not as though all billionaires are shunning Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has had some other high-profile backers among the world’s financial elite. The most famous is probably Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, who has directed his company to accept Bitcoin as a payment option in the past.

Another billionaire who is bullish on Bitcoin is hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones. Jones has said that he pursues a 5% allocation to Bitcoin in his portfolio.

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By Sebastian Bowen
June 16, 2022


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