February 25, 2021

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Bill Gates Questions Societal Value of ‘GameStop’ Mania, Argues It’d Be ‘Good to Get Rid of’ Bitcoin

Bill Gates Questions Societal Value of ‘GameStop’ Mania, Argues It’d Be ‘Good to Get Rid of’ Bitcoin

The price of bitcoin — now over $57,000 — has nearly doubled in the last 7 weeks. Even Elon Musk tweeted that its price seems high — though one analyst tells Bloomberg that Tesla has already made a profit of nearly $1 billion from its recent Bitcoin investment, more than it earned selling electric cars in all of 2020.

Yet speaking about bitcoin, Bill Gates said “It’d be good to get rid of that” in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, arguing that cryptocurrency “allows for certain criminal activities.”

And the world’s third-wealthiest man also seemed dubious about the significance of GameStop’s stock surge:
Bill Gates told CNBC the Reddit-fueled trading mania in GameStop and other stocks was reminiscent of betting at a casino and not investing. “People enjoy gambling. Sadly, it’s a zero-sum game,” the billionaire philanthropist told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin in an interview that aired Thursday on Squawk Box. “The idea that you drive a valuation way, way beyond what is rational, it’s hard to see that societally as a good use of time,” Gates added. “And, you know, the people who get in it early get a windfall. The people who get in late feel like suckers….”

Gates expressed concern about the role social media played in the GameStop saga and its potential implications for the U.S. equity market. “Reddit forums where people have a reason to kind of push something and get out at those high prices, you know, the SEC has got to look at this because we don’t think of the stock market as just performing a casino-like role,” said Gates, the third-wealthiest person in the world. “We have restrictions on gambling activities….”

Some have said the GameStop craze carried populist characteristics, with smaller investors trying to stick it to hedge funds and big Wall Street firms. Gates said if that really were the aim of individual investors, it will not end well. “If the general public investor is pitted against the hedge funds, over time, the hedge funds will come out ahead,” said Gates. “I’m sure there’ll be lots of stories of people who got caught up in the frenzy, which really served no societal purpose.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.