Microsoft founder and the second wealthiest person on the planet with an estimated net worth of $90 billion Bill Gates has been a staunch critic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, claiming that, “I would short it if there was an easy way to do it. As an asset class, you’re not producing anything, so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment.”
This is the latest among many verbal assaults on cryptocurrencies by financial moguls whose net worth skyrocketed into the billions. Recently legendary value investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet has compared bitcoin to rat poison while his partner Charlie Munger curiously likened trading bitcoin to selling harvested baby brains.
Earlier this year, Mr. Gates notoriously said cryptocurrencies are directly causing deaths as they are used to buy drugs online. According to him, “Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.“
Clearly, virtual currencies are much more than that and offer a revolutionary way to reinvent the whole payment system and it seems the old guard finds it difficult to understand and adopt. Additionally, they appear to know very little about them, as illustrated by Tyler Winklevoss, who tweeted at Bill Gates directly, explaining that there actually is a very easy way to short bitcoin.
His tweet reads as following:
Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin. You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is! cc @CNBC @WarrenBuffett https://t.co/4JIhF5vWsZ
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) May 7, 2018
As Winklevoss correctly noted, the Chicago-based CBOE and CME exchanges have launched their respective bitcoin futures in 2017, enabling Mr. Gates or anyone else, who believes bitcoin is going down, to short it. Technically speaking, there are other methods too, although they are less straightforward, which was probably what Mr. Gates talked about when saying there is not an easy way to do it.
Tyler Winklevoss, along with his twin brother Cameron, have invested $11 million into bitcoin in its early days in 2013, purchasing coins for $120 each. Assuming, they are still holding onto their coins, their combined bitcoin net worth has grown almost 80 times and amounts to around $835 million as of press time. Since 2015 the Winklevoss brothers have been running a crypto exchange Gemini and have announced their plans to introduce cryptocurrency ETFs, granted they get the regulatory approval.
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