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Not a fan of cryptos or NFTs, Microsoft co-founder and Billionaire Bill Gates dismissed cryptocurrency projects such as nonfungible tokens as shams 'based on the greater-fool theory' at an event on Tuesday, reviving past criticisms of digital assets. The greater fool theory suggests the idea that overvalued assets will go up in price as there are people who are willing to pay more for them.

“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely," Bill Gates said sarcastically while speaking at an event in Berkeley, California hosted by TechCrunch, adding that he is neither long nor short on the asset class.

“I’m used to asset classes where they have output, or like a company where they make products," Gates said adding that he is not involved with cryptos and also is “not long or short any of those things."

Gates has criticized crypto before, sparring with Elon Musk last year over whether Bitcoin is too risky for retail investors and the environmental harm of mining coins. 

A broader crypto selloff was fueled this week by higher than forecast US inflation and the halt of withdrawals by the lending platform Celsius. Popular NFT collections, including the celebrity-favored Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), are also being hit hard. 

The global cryptocurrency market peaked at $2.9 trillion in November 2021, but it has faltered so far this year. It has lost $1 trillion in value in the last two months alone as investors ditched riskier assets in the face of high inflation and fears that interest rate raises by central banks will hamper growth, and crypto has now fallen below $1 trillion in market value.

Gates also defended digital banking efforts he’s supported through his philanthropic foundations, which he described as ‘hundreds of times more efficient’ than cryptocurrencies.

In a ‘Ask Me Anything’ exchange on Reddit last month, the Microsoft co-founder revealed he had not distributed some of his wealth into cryptocurrencies. Gates further explained that he likes investing in things that have “valuable output," arguing digital assets aren't his cup of tea.

“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," Gates said on the Reddit exchange.

 

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