When it comes to cryptocurrency, seemingly everyone’s got something to say. Whether it’s Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk - or even rapper 50 Cent - cryptocurrency is the talk of the town.
Let’s take a look at what the big players in the tech and finance industry think of crypto.
Despite being one of the most forward-thinking tech moguls of his generation, Gates is not a huge fan of cryptocurrency.
In February this year, Gates told the Wall Street Journal that “it’d be good to get rid of” the criminal activity often associated with cryptocurrency. Around the same time, he didn’t own any bitcoin, and had a neutral view.
“Bitcoin can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are, and I don’t have a way of predicting how that will progress,” he said.
He’s also against the negative environmental effects that come with mining and transacting cryptocurrencies. And he’s not wrong: bitcoin mining reportedly generates 37 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every single year.
Verdict: Not into it now, but hasn’t ruled it out entirely.
Where do we start with E-Musk?
It’s therefore no question that Musk - the same man who has lofty goals of building a city on Mars - supports cryptocurrency.
However, earlier this year he backflipped on his decision to . In a statement to Twitter, he revealed he was “concerned” about the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions”, and suspended vehicle purchases with the coin.
But in the same vein, Musk said he still supported crypto, and would keep Tesla’s bitcoin “as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy”.
Verdict: Supports it, but enjoys stirring the pot.
US Shark Tank judge Kevin O’Leary knows a thing or two about tech - he started a consumer software company in the 90s and sold it for a whopping US$4.2 billion (AU$5.7 billion) to toy manufacturing company Mattel at the height of the dot-com bubble.
And this year, he revealed he would never, ever (read: ever) invest in Bitcoin.
O’Leary went on to say he expected regulators to “come down hard” on Bitcoin and, well, he may not have been wrong.
Verdict: It’s a no from O’Leary.
Even in his early days as Aussie PM, ScoMo showed support for cryptocurrencies.
In 2018, he called blockchain the “biggest change in our payment rail system...for decades and decades”, and he said it would “open up massive opportunities”.
He said the thing he “liked about it most” was that it would deliver some tough competition for the big banks, which he hoped would give customers more power.
Verdict: Supports, but not actively.
We probably won’t ever know if Australia’s Federal Treasurer invests in bitcoin, but we do know he’s watching it closely from a Government perspective.
“For all of the noise around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the reality is that they are not currently being widely used for everyday payments,” he said in a 2019 speech.
“However Bitcoin’s creation and that of the new Libra currency still in development by Facebook has been instigated through the development of blockchain technology...These are developments that regulators are watching closely.”