This afternoon, philanthropist and noted Microsoft founder Bill Gates was asked how he feels about bitcoin during a reddit AMA session.
reddit user dirtbikerr450 asked Mr. Gates,
What is your opinion on bitcoins or cyptocurency as a whole? Also do you own any yourself?
Mr. Gates responded with his feelings regarding bitcoin and the difficulties they face using it within the Gates Foundation,
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.
Making sure that it doesn’t help terrorists is a challenge for all new technology.
Mr. Gates stated that while the Gates Foundation is currently using digital currency, concerns with volatility and the lack of transaction reversal makes the technology unusable for the foundation’s specific uses with the poor and underbanked. When asked if his feelings regarding bitcoin have changed over the last year he stated,
We are far closer to getting these digital currencies into the poor countries. It was a year of great progress. We are hoping to have India and Nigeria going in the next 2 years if things go well. Kenya and Tanzania and Bangladesh have grown a lot although those systems still need some improvements.
It appears that Mr. Gates has seen some improvement in the last year regarding digital currencies, but doesn’t feel bitcoin specifically is ready for use in the Gates Foundation as of yet.