Bill Gates said he has a “neutral view” on Bitcoin (BTC). But he does recognize the importance of bringing down the costs of moving money. The Microsoft co-founder had previously criticized cryptocurrencies and said he would short Bitcoin “if there was an easy way to do it.”
“I don’t own bitcoin, I’m not short bitcoin, so I’ve taken a neutral view,” he said in the interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” show Thursday. “I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that’s something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries,” he added.
On Bitcoin’s price movement, Gates noted the difficulty of predicting how prices will progress. “Bitcoin can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are and I don’t have a way of predicting how that will progress.”
After breaking the $52,000 level, Bitcoin is trading at $51,344 at the time of writing, slightly down by 1.7% over the previous 24 hours. It now has a total market value of $956.6 billion.
Bond King Calls Bitcoin “Stimulus Asset”
Gates previously said in May 2018 that he would bet against bitcoin if he could. “As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment,” Gates said on CNBC.
The Microsoft co-founder is not the only billionaire who changed the stance on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies over time.
“Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, an investment firm with more than $130 billion in assets under management, now says Bitcoin could be a better bet than gold.
Gundlach previously said “I don’t believe in Bitcoin.” In a recent tweet, he said he’s less bullish on gold and called Bitcoin “The Stimulus Asset,” a reference to the cryptocurrency’s rally amid a flood of cash pumped into the financial system from pandemic aid.
The DoubleLine Capital CEO has praised Bitcoin in recent months for having a “terrific supply and demand dynamic.” But he also has been critical of its rapidly accelerating price. In early January, he said Bitcoin was in “bubble territory” when it rose past $23,000.