Here's What Bill Gates Has to Say About Bitcoin

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Does the tech guru think virtual currency is a good investment?

Bill Gates is best known for co-founding Microsoft, but the billionaire entrepreneur has been involved in many other ventures as well -- including running a huge charitable foundation.

He clearly knows a lot about technology and about finances. As a result of his knowledge, it can pay to listen to his advice about Bitcoin if you're thinking about investing in the popular cryptocurrency.

So what does Gates have to say about it?

This is Bill Gates's advice about Bitcoin

Gates addressed the issue of investing in Bitcoin in a conversation about Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Bitcoin holdings. Musk has famously been bullish on Bitcoin, and Tesla (the company, not Musk) made a $1.5 billion bet on the cryptocurrency.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Gates commented that "Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down." However, while the Microsoft founder made clear that he wasn't concerned that Musk's fortunes would rise or fall with the cryptocurrency, he did warn others who might be considering a large investment in the virtual coin.

"I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare," Gates said. "My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out."

Gates, in other words, appears to believe that cryptocurrencies -- including Bitcoin -- may not necessarily be sound investments. Like many financial experts who are wary of crypto, Gates's comments suggest he may think people are buying Bitcoin based on hype rather than because the coin has a lot of underlying potential.

Because Gates described Bitcoin's ups and downs as "random," his words also suggest he may not believe the price of the coin necessarily tracks its intrinsic value. His warning also addresses the issue of volatility as the price of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) can fluctuate widely -- sometimes in a matter of hours or days.

Since most people do have less money than Musk, everyday investors may want to take Gates's advice and be wary of sinking a lot of money into crypto investments. In other words, if you'd face real financial consequences if your Bitcoin investment performs poorly, you may want to avoid taking a big risk with your money.

A Bitcoin investment could potentially pay off if the timing is just right or if there's a major shift and Bitcoin becomes a viable real-world currency as more companies start accepting it. But there is also a huge risk associated with any crypto investments since the market is so unregulated and because there's a lot of uncertainty about the future of virtual currencies.

That said, you don't have to listen to the advice of Bill Gates or any expert commentary about Bitcoin. If you do your research and decide you're confident your investment is a sound one, then you may decide to go forward with a crypto investment. Just be aware of the outsized risk and don't invest so much that you put your financial security on the line.

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