Microsoft founder Bill Gates has dismissed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and said he preferred to invest in assets with tangible outputs, such as factories or farms. The tech billionaire added that NFTs were 100% based on the “greater fool” theory — the financial concept that says that even the most overpriced asset would make money as long as there was a “greater fool” to sell it to.
Speaking at a climate change event hosted by TechCrunch, Gates said he would rather invest in a company where they made products, adding that he held no position in NFTs or cryptocurrencies. “I’m not involved in that. I’m not long or short in any of those things,” Gates said, suggesting that he was suspicious of assets designed to avoid taxation or government rules.
“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” Gates said in reference to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a flagship NFT project.
This is not the first time that Gates has expressed doubts over cryptocurrencies. In a February 2021 interview, he expressed concern over the dangers of investors buying into Bitcoin at a time the cryptocurrency’s value was volatile and could be tanked by a tweet from a prominent investor, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Gates hit the mark with his warnings about the volatility of cryptocurrencies. At the time of the 2021 interview, Bitcoin was surging and would reach a high of $63,000 in April 2021. It would then dramatically slump, before rising again to an all-time high of over $64,000 in November.
Since then, Bitcoin has crashed again. At the time of filing this report, Bitcoin was trading a tad above $20,000. The dramatic fall is part of a wider convulsion in the crypto world following the collapse of “stablecoin” Terra in May and the failure of crypto lending platform Celsius.
NFT prices have also declined sharply — some of the biggest projects, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club, have more than halved in value. Trading volume, however, has increased as buyers look to snap up the digital assets at rock-bottom prices.