During an appearance at a TechCrunch talk to discuss climate change on Tuesday (June 14), Gates discussed the recent popularity of crypto and NFTs and his doubt of the idea that they would increase in price with enough investors willing to pay more for them.
Gates referenced the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, calling them “expensive digital images of monkeys” and joking that they would “improve the world tremendously.”
“I’m used to asset classes … like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” Gates said via CNBC.
NFTs are unexchangeable and often touted as a form of proving ownership of digital assets, but many critics deemed them overhyped, while also acknowledging them as harmful to the environment due to the energy-intensive nature of cryptocurrency.
“I’m not involved in that,” Gates added while discussing crypto. “I’m not long or short any of those things.”
Gates’ cryptocurrency criticism comes after its market dropped below $1 trillion for the first time in more than a year after the popular crypto lending platform Celsius announced it was suspending all withdrawals amid “extreme market conditions” on Monday (June 13), Forbes reported.
Bitcoin, the most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, saw its value drop below $24,000 — about 14% — which was its lowest level during the past 18 months following Celsius’ announcement.
Crypto exchange Binance also announced its decision to temporarily suspend Bitcoin withdrawals amid the drop, with CEO Changpeng Zhao citing a “struck transaction causing a backlog.”
Ethereum, which is the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, also experienced a significant drop of more than 18.3%, with its value dipping below $1,200.
Other cryptocurrencies significantly affected by the market wide selloff include BNB (15% drop), Dogecoin (18.3%) and Solana (18.9%) on Monday.
On Wednesday (June 15), Bitcoin’s last trading was reported at $21,107, a drop of 7% during the past 24 hours, CNBC reported.