“I have none. I like to invest in valuable things. The value of companies is based on how they make great products. The value of crypto is just what someone else decides someone else will pay for it, so it’s not a contribution to society like other investments.”
This is not the first time that Bill Gates has indicated that he is not necessarily convinced of the potential of cryptocurrencies. In February of last year he already stated that the world would be better off without the discovery of crypto technology. Also, at the time, the cryptocurrency industry was primarily used for criminal activity, according to Gates.
After this harsh sentence, Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, came out to respond through his Twitter: “Either you are with Bill Gates or against Bill Gates.”
Currently, the price of bitcoin (BTC) suffers a sharp drop, reaching around $30,000. This means that bitcoin has lost 56% of its value since its all-time high, in November 2021. At the time, the price was almost $69,000. This is a big problem for Bukele.
When the president of El Salvador announced in June 2021 that his country would adopt bitcoin as its second national currency, along with the dollar, he made a big promise to his citizens. The adoption of bitcoin, he said, would digitize the economy, decrease dependence on the US dollar, lower remittance rates, which account for about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and boost investment. El Salvador could become the first country to demonstrate the transformative power of cryptocurrency on a national scale.
But now he faces a serious problem. The loss of millions of dollars by buying more and more bitcoins that constantly continue to lose value is for Bukele just one problem among others. The loss of creditworthiness could be worse in the eyes of his creditors. According to data from the Ministry of Finance, the amount of public debt was just over 14 billion dollars. El Salvador could go into default in January 2023 when US$800 million must be paid.