During an interview on Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart" today, Bill Gates responded to new questions about bitcoin and its potential to bring innovation to the payments industry.
Calling bitcoin "exciting" because of its ability to provide a relatively low-cost transaction network, Gates told Bloomberg:
However, while seemingly positive, Gates went on to suggest that though he believes the world needs lower-cost payments solutions, bitcoin is perhaps not the best example of how the market should look to provide this solution.
Gates suggested that bitcoin may not appeal to the mass market due to its relative anonymity, as well as its associations with terrorism and money laundering.
The interview took place at Sibos 2014, a banking and financial conference held in Boston, where Gates also addressed the challenges facing the financial industry and the underbanked.
Notably, the first day of the event was dedicated in part to highlighting developments in the digital currency industry, with representatives from Circle, Ethereum and Ripple Labs.
Evolution in thought
Though brief, the statements mark an evolution in Gates' public statements on bitcoin.
This February, the noted technologist and philanthropist participated in an Ask Me Anything on the social network Reddit where he was asked for his thoughts on bitcoin by multiple users.
At the time, Gates largely sidestepped the issue, choosing instead to focus his praise on digital money networks like Kenya's centralized mobile service, M-Pesa.
Gates addressed bitcoin only once, saying:
Hat tip to Bloomberg
Image via Bloomberg
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