Bill Gates said that he would short bitcoin if he could. Tyler Winklevoss is calling his bluff.
Speaking with CNBC, the Microsoft co-founder and prolific philanthropist said that he wished there was an easy way to short bitcoin so that he could take advantage of the opportunity.
“As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment,” he said. “I agree I would short if there was an easy way to do it.”
That has been a common refrain from bitcoin bears for quite some time, but there’s just one problem — it no longer passes muster.
However, in December, two regulated US exchanges — CBOE and CME — launched conventional bitcoin futures products, enabling bulls and bears alike to stake out their bitcoin positions in a secure marketplace.
That’s why Tyler Winklevoss put Gates on notice that he needs to put his money where is mouth is.
Winklevoss — who along with his brother Cameron co-founded cryptocurrency exchange Gemini — challenged Gates to make good on his alleged desire by opening a bitcoin short position on Chicago exchange CBOE.
“Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin,” he wrote on Twitter. “You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is!”
Those futures, incidentally, are based on pricing data supplied by Gemini’s daily two-sided auctions.
And while these products may be too pricey for the average retail investor, Gates is not likely to have much trouble cobbling together the funds necessary to trade CBOE’s 1 BTC contracts.
His tweet also tagged Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett, who — along with Gates, who sits on the company’s board of directors — was in Omaha, Nebraska for the firm’s annual shareholders meeting.
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