(RoyalPatriot.com0- Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates issued a warning recently about cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but unlike most critics of the currency, he isn’t talking about its volatile value. Instead, Gates thinks that cryptocurrency is bad for the environment.
During a live-streamed interview on Clubhouse, Gates noted how Bitcoin uses up a surprising amount of energy,
“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind, and so it’s not a great thing,” he said in a conversation with CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Gates made similar comments during an interview with Bloomberg, warning that people who own Bitcoin should “watch out” and suggesting that the coin might not be worth the energy it takes to create.
“Look, there are things we invest in society that produce output. Bitcoin happens to use a lot of energy. It happens to promote anonymous transactions. They’re not reversible transactions,” he said.
Popular Mechanics supported Gates’s claims, too, writing that he “isn’t making an especially egregious claim.” The tech news outlet explained how Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency made by building links in a blockchain code. The currency keeps a record of all transactions made, which are stored on computers owned by volunteers running software that verifies the transactions to ensure that buyers have the money to honor purchases, and so on.
“These volunteers are called miners, and the reward for volunteering their hardware is kickbacks in the form of more cryptocurrency,” the article reads.
Over time, mining becomes more hardware intensive as the supply of bitcoin drives up, meaning a huge number of computers globally are running all the time to power the cryptocurrency.
So cryptocurrency does use a lot of energy, but is Gates wrong to say it’s not worth it?
During his Bloomberg interview, Gates said that Tesla CEO Elon musk wouldn’t need to worry about his $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, but those with less money than Musk should be careful.
‘I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare, so I’m not bullish on Bitcoin. My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out,’ he said.
Much of the rest of the tech community, however, considers Bitcoin the currency of the future. It recently hit an all-time valuation high of $50,000, and many experts believe it could hit $100,000 or even $1,000,000 in the future.