Bill Gates took on cryptocurrencies and the future of transportation in an ask me anything (AMA) session on Reddit. And, while he believes innovations in transportation have positive implications, he has reservations over cryptocurrency.
In the post, Gates said the main feature of cryptocurrencies is “their anonymity” — which is not good, he said, because the government needs to track money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist funding. Of course, there’s an issue with illegal drugs too.
“Right now, cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way,” Gates said in the post. “I think the speculative wave around ICOs [initial coin offerings] and cryptocurrencies is super risky for those who go long.”
Gates also addressed a question about how inadequate or inefficient transportation should be handled. He said private rewards for innovation in the space has worked out “quite well.”
“I think electric cars and autonomous vehicles will be great things,” Gates stated. “The Foundation is experimenting with drone delivery of medical supplies with a grantee in Rwanda and Tanzania. I am not sure the hyperloop concept makes sense — making it safe is hard.”
The Hyperloop, of course, is a futuristic system that transports people, where “pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors,” according to Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and the director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke.
But self-driving cars are a little nearer in the future. Creating possible competition for ridesharing companies such as Uber, for example, Nissan and DeNA are planning a test run of a self-driving taxi service — dubbed Easy Ride — in Japan. And Ford is launching a new partnership with Postmates to test its self-driving technology for deliveries.