American businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates makes a speech at the Malaria Summit at 8 … [+]
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates isn’t a fan of cryptocurrency.
Gates, now fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $125 billion, said during a Thursday Ask Me Anything exchange on Reddit that he doesn’t own any digital currency.
“I like 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.
Gates has previously expressed some skepticism about Bitcoin. In a February interview with Bloomberg, the billionaire expressed concern for everyday people getting sucked into the Bitcoin frenzy. He probably has a point. The crypto market is in freefall after the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin last week, dragging down other digital currencies with it. Bitcoin is down 27% this month, while Ethereum has backslid 36%.
“If you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out,” he said in February.
Gates touched on a wide range of topics during the AMA. He again denied the outlandish conspiracy theory he wants to track people by implanting microchips into their heads via vaccines.
“Why would I want to know where people are? What would I do with the information?” he said.
On whether billionaires should pay more in taxes, Gates, who has previously said he would pay more tax, warned that going too high could lead to more tax dodgers.
“Getting marginal rates above 60% often leads to a lot of complex avoidance if your system allows for that. It is strange to have the capital gain rate below the ordinary income rate. An estate tax could go somewhat above 60%—it is amazing how few countries have those,” he said.
Since the Q&A took place on Reddit, it’s no surprise that someone asked about GameStop, the social network’s favored stock among retail investors. “I have never been long or short GameStop,” Gates said. He didn’t address questions about his short position on Tesla, which reportedly angered Tesla CEO Elon Musk enough that he backed out of a potential philanthropic partnership with him.
Addressing Musk’s public criticism, Gates said earlier this month that shorting Tesla “has nothing to do with climate change,” stressing that there is a difference between betting against a single electric car manufacturer and betting against electric vehicles in general.