Bill Gates gave his opinion on bitcoins during the Sibos 2014 conference

Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) former CEO, Bill Gates, advocated bitcoins (CURRENCY:BTC) while speaking in interview with Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart” show. He said that the digital currency has an edge over fiat currencies as it has low transaction costs.

In the interview at the Sibos banking conference in Boston, Mr. Gates called bitcoin “exciting” because parties do not need to be physically present during transactions. He added that the digital currency’s characteristics allow convenience even in large transactions, compared to large transaction in fiat currencies.

Despite expressing his excitement towards the digital currency, Gates went on to say that it might not be the best alternative for markets that require low-cost payment solutions. He added that bitcoin might not be as attractive to the mass market as it should because of its links to money laundering and the anonymity it gives to the transactors.

Mr. Gates went on to say that in the digital currency space customers are willing to be known, and most of them do not prefer the anonymity that bitcoin allows them. He said that bitcoin technology is vital and could be used to build a similar platform where people are more comfortable in conducting transactions, provided the transactions can be recorded and that there is no link with terrorism or money laundering.

Bill Gates previously came across the topic of bitcoins in February this year, on Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. However, in that session, Mr. Gates largely ignored the topic of bitcoins and instead focused on M-Pesa, a centralized money service in Kenya launched by Vodafone.

Mr. Gates said that his foundation –the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation –is making efforts to get “involved in digital money” and he also forecasted that digital money will reach India, as well as the poorest nations over the next few years.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on its website that it will contribute $50 million to fight the Ebola virus and its outbreak in areas of West Africa.

It will be interesting to see whether Bill Gates continues to endorse bitcoins in the future given his enthusiasm for a digital money environment.

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with our FREE daily email newsletter.