Look at all the oblivious fools arguing market rhetoric.
Billionaires have billions because bankers can cheat. Bitcoins end cheating. QED. Cheating billionaires hate people having bitcoins.
It took me just fifteen minutes of listening to Bill Gates on Charlie Rose to confirm that billionaires don't and won't like BItcoin.
Mr. Gates throws around a lot of "we did this" type of statements, and what he really means is "we used our power and influence to get governments to do this". I'm not saying the accomplishments were bad, but anything that lessen's a billionaire's influence will not be something the billionaires will support.
Fortunately Bitcoin isn't most valuable by gaining support of the relatively few billionaires but instead it is most valuable by gaining support of the billions (of people on the planet).
Here's the June 2012 interview:
At about 0:10:20 into the video:
Charlie Rose: [In India] How much corruption?
Bill Gates: Well there's always going to be some corruption. You want to design systems that make it harder for there to be corruption. Where you can really trace the money down to the recipient of that money. It's partly why we'd like to get digital currencies on cellphones so you don't have as much where somebody else can collect it along the way.
Charlie Rose: You'ld like to get that done. What is necessary for that to happen?
Bill Gates: The cellphones are now getting powerful enough. The government has to set some standards. There's a lot of energy being put into this in India. It has happened only in Kenya. It's the only developing country that has this digital currency. And now that India sees that it has happened in one place they are trying to clear out the regulations and get it going?
Charlie Rose: And how does it work in Kenya?
Bill Gates: You can actually use your cellphone and send money to other people, like a relative that is out in the rural area or if you go into a store and buy something you can just do that on your cellphone.
Charlie Rose: And they take their cellphone in to do things buy products or whatever.
Bill Gates: Exactly. It makes all these financial issues -- the fees to move money around, to have loans of various types, it makes it a lot simpler when you aren't having to handle paper currency.
A few takeaways from that:
1.) For government spending where there is the need for transparency, there's no reason why triple-entry accounting shouldn't be mandatory. Most of that can be done today, without the need for Bitcoin even.
2.) Mr. Gates might want to have someone explain to him the difference between a "digital currency" and "mobile banking", "electronic currency", "representative money", etc.
3.) ill Gates once said in an interview that he reads every page of The Economist. If he still does, then he'ld know that it is not just Kenya where mobile banking and mobile payments are widely used:
Mr. Gates has a very specific view on where innovation originates. He is impressed with the level of research occurring from the top universities in China. He talks about problems being solved after "lots of IQ" (and, presumably, money paying those salaries) are expended on certain problems.
That map from the Economist article was recently used in another article which described "reverse innovation". Reverse innovation is progress that occurs in the trenches -- in the developing world which the combination of local smarts apply technology and create new solutions to their problems that weren't introduced from the "top research" centers. There's another term for "reserve innovation" -- free market competition. When markets are free, the best solutions are sometimes discovered locally where the problems are most acute -- and not alwys designed in some office by some well-funded company thousands of miles away.
The local market in Kenya determined that mobile payments which allowed the transfer of value (mobile airtime credits) via SMS texting on feature phones worked fairly well when free of regulations (M-PESA didn't have to follow the same AML/KYC as banks in the country did.)
[Edited: Inserted a new point #2]