Tech billionaire Bill Gates has dismissed NFTs as “100 percent based on a bigger theory of folly” – the financial concept that even overpriced assets can make money as long as you find a bigger idiot to sell them to.
Speaking at an event about climate change hosted by TechCrunchGates said he would rather invest in assets with tangible output, such as farms or factories, “or a company where they make products,” and that he had no position in cryptocurrencies or NFTs. “I am not concerned with that. I’m not tall or short on any of those things,” Gates said, suggesting he was also suspicious of assets designed to “avoid taxes or any sort of government regulation.”
“Obviously expensive digital images of monkeys will greatly improve the world,” Gates joked, referring to the flagship NFT project, Bored Ape Yacht Club.
It is not the first time that Gates has been skeptical about cryptocurrencies. In an interview from February 2021he was concerned about the dangers of mainstream investors buying Bitcoin, especially when the cryptocurrency’s value was so volatile and could be tanked based on a tweet from a prominent investor, such as Elon Musk.
“I really think people are bought into these manias who may not have that much money left,” Gates said in 2021. “My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably be careful.”
Gates’ warnings about volatility were spot on. Speaking in 2021, Bitcoin rose in price and was set to hit a high of $63,000 in April of that year. It would then collapse dramatically, before rising again last November to an all-time high of over $64,000.
Since then, Bitcoin’s price has crashed again, and at the time of writing, trade just above $20,000† This dramatic fall is part of a wider series of convulsions that are rocking the crypto world, following the collapse of the so-called “stablecoin” Terra in May and the continuous failure from crypto lending platform Celsius.
Likewise, the prices for NFTs are also: sharp falls† Some of the largest projects, such as the aforementioned Bored Ape Yacht Club, have more than halved in value. At the same time, trading volume has increased as buyers want to buy digital assets at rock bottom prices. Like Gates, they may be subscribers to the silly theory of NFTs — convinced there are more idiots out there, if only they can find them.