Did Bill Gates Give Away Bitcoin?

The question of whether Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates gave away bitcoin has circulated online in recent years. However, there is no evidence that Gates has ever given away substantial amounts of the popular cryptocurrency.

Bill Gates’ Stance on Bitcoin

Bill Gates has made several public statements about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies over the years. While he has acknowledged the technology behind it, he has been critical of bitcoin as an investment asset.

Did Bill Gates Give Away Bitcoin?

Here are some key comments Gates has made about bitcoin:

  • In 2014, Gates stated that “Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.” This shows Gates recognized some of the advantages of bitcoin early on.
  • In 2018, when asked at a Reddit AMA whether he owned any bitcoin, Gates said “I’d short it if there was an easy way to do it.” He explained that the anonymous nature of bitcoin made it useful for illicit activities. This indicated his bearish stance on bitcoin as an investment.
  • In 2021, Gates again criticized bitcoin’s anonymous nature, saying “Part of what’s going on here is when you have less transparent markets, that benefits people who are up to no good.” He also expressed concern over bitcoin’s environmental impact given its high energy use.

So while Gates acknowledged the innovation behind cryptocurrencies, he adopted a skeptical stance regarding bitcoin as an investment and criticized some of its drawbacks. He never indicated any plans to accumulate or give away bitcoin.

Analyzing Claims Gates Gave Away Bitcoin

Nonetheless, various claims have popped up online in recent years alleging that Gates gave away or planned to give away large amounts of bitcoin. Let’s analyze some of these claims:

Claim: Gates Gave Away $2 Million in BTC on Reddit

Verdict: False

In 2021, posts circulated on social media claiming Gates gave away $2 million worth of BTC in a Reddit AMA thread. However, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.

  • Gates did participate in a Reddit AMA in February 2018, but he did not give away any bitcoin.
  • The AMA thread shows no transactions of bitcoin initiated by Gates or any mention of a bitcoin giveaway.
  • Analysis by reputable fact-checking sites like Snopes have also debunked this claim.

So this appears to be a completely unsubstantiated rumor. Gates did not hand out $2 million in bitcoin on Reddit.

Claim: Gates Will Give Away $56 Million in BTC on TV

Verdict: False

In 2022, another viral claim alleged Gates planned to give away $56 million in BTC in October 2021 during TV interviews. This was accompanied by supposed “leaked footage” showing Gates announcing the giveaway.

However, this footage was fabricated:

  • The video uses clips from a 2010 BBC interview with Gates, but with a fake graphic added.
  • No major TV appearance by Gates with a BTC giveaway occurred in October 2021.
  • No credible news sources reported on such a giveaway pledge by Gates at that time.

This was another hoax intended to spread false information and pump hype regarding major figures and bitcoin.

Claim: Gates Foundation Holds Bitcoin

Verdict: Unverified

Some articles have claimed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation holds bitcoin based on its diverse investment portfolio. However, there is no solid proof of this.

  • The Foundation’s publicly listed assets do not show any direct bitcoin holdings.
  • The Foundation has not reported acquiring or donating any bitcoin.
  • As a large-scale charitable organization, it is unlikely the Foundation would invest heavily in such a volatile asset.

While it is possible the Foundation’s investments include indirect bitcoin exposure through funds or equity, there is no evidence it holds substantial bitcoin assets directly.

Likelihood of a Future Bitcoin Donation

Based on Gates’ skeptical stance towards bitcoin as an asset, it is unlikely he would give away large amounts of bitcoin in the future. However, the possibility can’t be ruled out entirely.

Here are some key points on the likelihood of Gates donating bitcoin:

  • Tax benefits – Donating appreciated assets like bitcoin can provide tax benefits for billionaires like Gates. However, the anonymous nature of bitcoin makes it less attractive for transparent charitable giving.
  • Mainstream acceptance – If bitcoin gains greater mainstream adoption and proves its utility in coming years, Gates could warm up to it and decide to donate some holdings. But so far he remains unconvinced.
  • Environmental impact – Unless bitcoin mining transitions to more sustainable energy sources, it is unlikely Gates would support it given his climate change activism.
  • Microsoft adoption – If Microsoft begins officially accepting bitcoin as payment or investing its corporate cash reserves in it, Gates may change his tune and donate some personal holdings. But Microsoft has been cautious on bitcoin so far.

So while a future bitcoin donation can’t be ruled out, it seems unlikely given Gates’ current stance. Stranger things have happened in the world of crypto though.


Based on currently available information, Bill Gates does not appear to have ever given away any significant amount of bitcoin. Claims that he donated millions of dollars in bitcoin on Reddit or pledged giveaways in TV interviews have been debunked as fabricated hoaxes. While the Gates Foundation may have indirect bitcoin exposure through diversified investments, there is no evidence it holds substantial bitcoin assets directly. Given Gates’ critical comments about bitcoin over the years and its lack of transparency and sustainability, a major future bitcoin donation seems improbable but not impossible if circumstances change. So in summary, the answer to whether Bill Gates gave away bitcoin appears to be no at this time despite persistent rumors to the contrary. Only time will tell if one of the world’s wealthiest public figures ever decides to give the world’s largest cryptocurrency a try.

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