Bill Gates blasts NFTs as 'greater fool theory', mocks Bored Ape Yacht Club

Bill Gates
"Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely." Photo credit: Getty Images

Billionaire Bill Gates has blasted the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), revealing he's not a big fan of cryptocurrency at a climate change event.

The co-founder and former Microsoft CEO told the TechCrunch gathering that NFTs were "100 percent based on greater fool theory".

That's the idea that assets that are worthless or overpriced can still make money - as long as a bigger idiot is willing to buy them.

"Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely," Gates laughed, a mocking reference to the popular NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has lost value recently.

The philanthropist said he was a fan of more old-fashioned investments and businesses.

"I'm used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products," he said.

He also added he was neither "long or short" on cryptocurrencies, referencing investment strategies where shares are held for a long time or are 'shorted' to try and make big money in a quick time.

Gates suggested he was suspicious of assets, like cryptocurrencies, that are designed to "avoid taxation or any sort of government rules".

Given Gates' recent focus on climate change and the impact certain cryptocurrencies have on energy usage due to how they're generated, it's not a surprise he's not a fan.

In an interview with Bloomberg last year after it was revealed that Elon Musk and Tesla had made a massive investment in bitcoin, Gates was less than enthusiastic.

"I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare, so I'm not bullish on bitcoin," he said at the time.

"My general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out."

Cryptocurrencies are currently well done on where they were at the beginning of the year, what some suspect could be a "crypto winter".

Just yesterday Coinbase, one of the big exchanges, announced it was firing 1100 employees. They found out via email to their personal email accounts, with all access to their work account terminated before they were told.