Why the Gates Foundation Doesn't Use Bitcoin

Jan 29, 2015 at 10:25 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:28 a.m. UTC

Software magnate Bill Gates has again spoken out on bitcoin in his third 'Ask Me Anything' (AMA) session on social sharing platform Reddit.

The focus of the AMA was philanthropy and the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As a result, Gates’ answer revolved around potential bitcoin applications in charity.

In response to the question "What is your opinion on bitcoins or cryptocurrency as a whole? Also do you own any yourself?", Gates wrote:

“Bitcoin is an exciting new technology. For our Foundation work we are doing digital currency to help the poor get banking services. We don't use bitcoin specifically for two reasons. One is that the poor shouldn't have a currency whose value goes up and down a lot compared to their local currency. Second is that if a mistake is made in who you pay then you need to be able to reverse it so anonymity wouldn't work.”

“Overall financial transactions will get cheaper using the work we do and bitcoin-related approaches,” he added. “Making sure that it doesn't help terrorists is a challenge for all new technology.”

Gates has discussed digital currency technology on a number of occasions and most recently he argued that bitcoin alone would not solve global payments challenges.

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