According to Bill Gates, world’s third richest man, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, you shouldn’t be buying bitcoin unless you are among the world’s richest.
With a spike of more than 400 percent over the past year, the cryptocurrency has become increasingly mainstream, and everybody including prominent investors and policy makers have been talking about it. Elon Musk-owned American electric car maker Tesla recently invested $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and said it would accept it for payments.
But Mr. Gates says it’s not something everybody should buy into. He opined that it’s bad for the environment as mining the coins requires a lot of energy.
“Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down. I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”
Mr. Musk, who’s worth $189.6-billion has been an avid supporter of bitcoin, so much so that he’s influenced the token’s price. It surged as much as 76 percent this month following Tesla’s investment, before tumbling 13 percent after he tweeted the prices of cryptocurrencies “do seem high.”
The debate over bitcoin isn’t new. American billionaire Warren Buffett is of the opinion that cryptocurrencies have no value and don’t produce anything. US’ Treasury secretary Janet Yellen, another long-time sceptic, said that bitcoin is an “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions”.
But with more and more companies starting to accept bitcoin, as Paypal, Visa and Mastercard recently have, the token has gained wider acceptance. As central banks including the American Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are studying how to digitize their own sovereign currencies, the debate is set to be a long one.