Microsoft co-founder and Billionaire Bill Gates dismissed cryptocurrency projects such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as shams ‘based on the greater-fool theory’ at an event on Tuesday, reviving past criticisms of digital assets.
“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.
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-favoured 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.