When the world’s second richest man has something to say, you may want to listen.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates shared his viewpoint on a couple of topics during a Reddit Ask Me Anything chat recently. These included cryptocurrency, Elon Musk’sHyperloop, electric cars and the possibility of another financial crisis.
Let’s take a look at Mr. Gates’ opinion on these issues.
Cryptocurrency has become a ‘hot potato’ these days, meaning it is being discussed at length with arguments for and against it.
Gates quite frankly stated that he did not like the anonymity that the bitcoin came with. He went on to explain that cryptocurrency was making it easier for people to buy drugs like fentanyl online and hence it was killing people in a fairly direct way.
Gates said the government’s current ability to track financial crime and other illegal activities was a good thing and that it was being threatened by the advent of anonymous and hard-to-track financial transactions.
In response to a comment that cash was also used to buy drugs, Gates said that for cash transactions, you have to actually ‘show up’ which makes them comparatively difficult.
The Microsoft co-founder, however, did not respond to questions on blockchain.
The Hyperloop and electric cars
Bill Gates is skeptical of Elon Musk’s super-fast transit system.
Gates merely stated that he wasn’t sure the Hyperloop made sense and that making it safe was hard.
Hyperloop is a transit system that proposes to transport people in pods through tubes using an underground tunnel network at speeds of over 600 miles per hour. When looking at the safety issues and infrastructure requirements, one would perhaps agree with Gates.
Gates is not alone. A number of local governments and transportation industry executives have also raised concerns about the viability of the concept.
Gates is optimistic on other forms of transportation, namely electric and autonomous.
He stated that he thinks electric cars and self-driving vehicles will be great.
When asked whether there would be another financial crisis like in 2008, Bill Gates said that it was certain although it was hard to say when.
Gates credits his friend Warren Buffet with having a better understanding of this area than him.
And then, some more…
The former Microsoft chief described automation as a great thing. He also expressed his support of inheritance taxes when asked about tackling economic inequality.
In a recent interview with Axios, Bill Gates had alluded to the reluctance of the tech companies to fully cooperate with the government stating that they were increasing their chances of facing government intervention.
He elaborated by referring to the eagerness of the tech giants to make financial transactions increasingly invisible and also their view that a criminal’s communication should not be available to the government, the latter appearing as a thinly veiled comment on Apple’s iPhone dispute with the FBI.
He warned that tech companies should be careful not to think that their view is more important than the government’s or the government’s ability to function in key areas.
Gates had previously opined that there should be a balance between the government’s access to data and user privacy and safety and that this is an area that could be worked on.