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Gates and Wozniak offer contrasting views of cryptocurrencies

Bill Gates made his first Reddit AMA appearance in 2013. (Source: CNET)
Bill Gates made his first Reddit AMA appearance in 2013. (Source: CNET)
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session held today, Bill Gates made a comment about cryptocurrencies that suggests he is not currently a huge advocate of the decentralized and unregulated digital payment systems. In contrast, Steve Wozniak has offered a more favorable view of virtual currency, even though he has actually been subject to Bitcoin-trading fraud himself.

Bill Gates indulged Reddit users today with another AMA (his sixth one) that revealed his opinions on a number of issues, including future technology, automation and cryptocurrencies. He had this to say about the latter topic:

The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don't think this is a good thing. The Governments [sic] ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long.

This comes from a man who once called Bitcoin “better than currency.” Considering Gates is currently the second-wealthiest human alive according to Forbes (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is even richer), it would be safe to say he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to investment. However, another tech giant co-founder has a contrasting view. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Inc., has offered this opinion of one virtual currency in particular:

Bitcoins [sic] to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered.

Wozniak’s attitude is quite surprising as he has suffered from Bitcoin fraud. Apparently, he purchased seven Bitcoins as an experiment when the currency was valued at US$700 each but sold them to someone online who was using stolen credit card details.

With one Bitcoin being valued at over US$10,680 at the moment, it seems Wozniak has taken his loss in a positive manner. But then he does have an estimated worth of around US$100 million.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 02 > Gates and Wozniak offer contrasting views of cryptocurrencies
Daniel R Deakin, 2018-02-27 (Update: 2018-02-27)