Bill Gates says that cryptocurrencies and NFTs are ‘100%’ based on Greater Fool Theory

Microsoft Corp.

MSFT 1.85%

co-founder Bill Gates said he believes cryptocurrencies and NFTs are “100%” based on the theory of bigger fools.

The 66-year-old billionaire referred to the notion that overvalued assets will continue to rise because there are enough people willing to pay high prices for them. He joked that “expensive digital images of monkeys” would “greatly improve the world.”

Mr. Gates, who for years has hailed cryptocurrencies, so Tuesday at a TechCrunch event in Berkeley, California, that people bought cryptocurrencies and NFTs based on the idea that, at any price, it could be sold for higher because “someone is going to pay more for it than I do.”

He said he was not involved in “any of these things” either long or short. Other wealthy investors and executives, including Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, have also expressed skepticism about cryptocurrencies. Mr. Buffett once called bitcoin “square rat poison.”

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital evidence of a purchase of goods such as art, digital music and sneakers. After increasing in popularity, it seems that their demand has been declining lately. Rising interest rates have shattered risky games across the financial markets – and NFTs are among the most speculative.

When referring to NFTs, it appeared that Mr. Gates was commenting on a monkey from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

He said he preferred asset classes “like a farm where they have production or a company where they make products.”

His comments come as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have slipped sharply in recent days amid a broad global market route, and canceled much of the gains at the start of the pandemic when a wave of investors began investing in digital currencies.

The price of bitcoin was recently traded at just over $ 20,000 on Wednesday. It has lost more than two-thirds of its value since the record high in November, the fourth worst sale in the cryptocurrency’s 13-year history.

Additional waves of accounting have swept through the cryptocurrency industry this week. Cryptexchange Coinbase Global Inc.

said it would cut nearly a fifth of its employees and crypto lender Celsius Network LLC, one of the largest crypto lenders, told users Sunday night that they would stop all withdrawals, exchanges and transfers between accounts due to extreme market conditions. The company has hired a law firm to investigate restructuring opportunities.

Mr. Gates is the world’s fourth richest person with a net worth of $ 113 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He wrote in a Q & A session on Reddit last month that he did not own any cryptocurrencies.

“I like to invest in things that have a valuable effect,” he said.

“The value of crypto,” he added, “is just what another person decides someone else will pay for it.”

Related Video: The Emergence of Video Game-Making Games – Where Players Trade NFTs – Provides insight into how the meta-verse can attract users with cash rewards, and what setbacks can come with it. Photo illustration: Josephine Chu

Write to Alyssa Lukpat at alyssa.lukpat@wsj.com

Copyright © 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8