Bill Gates, the third richest person in the world, is not a fan of bitcoin, partly for environmental reasons.
According to the billionaire, bitcoin not only consumes a lot of energy, it can also cause problems for investors who may not have much money to spare, given its price volatility.
“Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I’m not worried about his Bitcoin going up or down at random,” Gates told Bloomberg in an interview. “I think people get carried away with these fads, that they may not have that much money to spare, so I’m not optimistic about Bitcoin, and my general thinking would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably look outside.”
Bitcoin fell 13% on Tuesday, to around $ 46,817, falling from a record high of $ 58,354 reached just two days ago, as investors took profit from the near doubling in price since the beginning of the year.
The philanthropist and climate activist Gates, whose book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” came out recently, has previously said that cryptocurrencies have caused deaths in a fairly direct way. He also believes that the anonymity behind bitcoin transactions is not a good thing.
“The Gates Foundation does a lot in terms of digital currency, but those are things where you can see who is doing the transaction,” he said in the Bloomberg interview. “Digital money is a good thing, that’s a different approach.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also voiced her doubts about cryptocurrencies and their environmental impact, given the amount of energy used in mining digital tokens.
“I don’t think bitcoin is widely used as a transaction mechanism,” Yellen told the New York Times on Monday. “It is an extremely inefficient way to conduct transactions and the amount of energy that goes into processing those transactions is staggering.”