Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates likes many things, including raising awareness for climate change, reading a book a week, and playing tennis with Roger Federer. One thing he does not like, apparently, is NFTs.
During a TechCrunch talk on Tuesday, Gates opined on an industry that reportedly raked in $22 billion in 2021, saying that NFTs are “100 percent based on greater fool theory.”
“It has at its heart this anonymity through which you can avoid taxation, any sort of government rules,” he said. “Anyway, I’m not involved in that.”
He even specifically addressed the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a popular series of NFTs featuring primates whose features and outfits change depending on the image. Works from that series have sold for as much as $3.4 million.
“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” he said, barely stifling a laugh. “You know, I think that’s incredible.”
Some in the NFT space took to social media to mock Gates.
Beeple, the artist whose work helped birth a boom when one of his NFTs sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s, tweeted a screenshot of the CNN article about Gates’s TechCrunch talk, along with numerous 🤔 emoji.
“Of course, he waited for the down market to say it,” wrote Abra, a website that allows users to buy and sell crypto, in response to Beeple’s tweet. “When $BTC goes bull run again he won’t look so smart.”
There has been talk this week of a crypto crash as the values of currencies like Bitcoin plummet. The news has been greeted with enthusiasm by some.
“Crypto Is Crashing. It Deserves to,” read one New York Magazine headline.