Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Debated Bitcoin

NAIROBI ( – In May 2018, billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett engaged in a heated debate over the merits of Bitcoin. The clash occurred during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, where Buffett referred to the cryptocurrency as a “non-productive asset.” He argued against investing in Bitcoin, likening it to a bad gamble where you rely on the next “crazy” person to pay more than you did.

Source: X

Gates, on the other hand, had previously defended Bitcoin in 2014, calling it a “techno tour de force” when it traded around $400. However, his stance seemed to shift by 2018, echoing Buffett’s sentiments and labeling Bitcoin as one of the “crazier” investment options.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett: Optimism Meets Skepticism

In a 2014 interview, Bill Gates praised Bitcoin’s innovative underpinnings, stating, “It’s a techno tour de force.” The Microsoft co-founder recognized the currency’s decentralized nature and its potential to facilitate low-cost digital transactions.

“As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment.” He further added, “I agree I would short it if there was an easy way to do it.”

Gates stated.

However, Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, held a contrasting view. In 2018, he called Bitcoin a “non-productive asset” and likened investing in it to gambling, suggesting it was fueled by irrational speculation.

The crux of their debate centered around Bitcoin’s intrinsic value and its ability to generate tangible returns. Gates saw promise in the technology, while Buffett questioned the wisdom of investing in an asset that didn’t produce anything tangible.

Despite the criticism from the investing legends, the crypto market continued its volatile trajectory. Bitcoin’s price soared above $19,000 in late 2017 before plummeting to around $9,300 by May 2018. This price fluctuation further fueled skepticism among traditional investors like Buffett and Gates.

Bitcoin’s Resilience Amid Criticism

Despite facing skepticism from influential figures such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Bitcoin has demonstrated notable resilience, climbing to an all-time high of $73,835.57 on March 14, 2024. This resilience underscores the cryptocurrency’s growing acceptance and adoption, reinforcing its position as a viable alternative asset class.

BTC/USD 1-day price chart. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s market capitalization has skyrocketed, surpassing $1.2 trillion, and its growing mainstream adoption has attracted institutional investors and corporations alike. Major companies like Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square have added Bitcoin to their balance sheets, further legitimizing the digital asset.

Bitcoin’s resilience shines through as it continues to thrive despite criticism from influential figures like Gates and Buffett. This highlights the unshakeable confidence its supporters have in the cryptocurrency’s long-term potential.

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