Elon Musk tweeted then deleted an anti-vaccine cartoon featuring Bill Gates. Here’s where their simmering feud began and how it’s escalated amid the pandemic.

Elon Musk Bill Gates
Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

  • The Elon Musk-Bill Gates feud dates back to early 2020 when Gates commented on electric cars.
  • The two moguls appear to fundamentally disagree about the coronavirus as well.
  • In April, Musk tweeted and deleted an anti-vaccine cartoon featuring Gates.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bill Gates and Elon Musk don’t exactly see eye to eye.

While the Microsoft billionaire and the Tesla and SpaceX titan have never had a particularly cozy relationship, things have heated up over the past year as the two have openly sparred about everything from electric vehicles to the coronavirus.

The two moguls are among the world’s wealthiest, eclipsed only by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. While their public spats may not always be serious, they do appear to fundamentally disagree about the coronavirus – and as major players in virus treatment and the vaccine to protect against it, their clashes carry even more weight.

Here’s where the friction between Gates and Musk began and everything that’s happened since.

Gates doesn’t appear to be a fan of Tesla vehicles, and he’s said as much publicly.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates.

In February 2020, Gates said during an interview with the YouTuber Marques Brownlee that while Tesla had helped to drive innovation and adoption of electric vehicles, he recently bought a Porsche Taycan.

Gates’ comments didn’t get by Musk, who tweeted that his conversations with Gates had always been “underwhelming.”

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.

Source: Elon Musk/Twitter

But things really heated up in July when Gates took issue with Musk’s comments on the coronavirus pandemic.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates.

In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Gates criticized Musk’s comments on the virus and implied that Musk shouldn’t be speaking about the pandemic at all.

“Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates said. “He’s not much involved in vaccines. He makes a great electric car. And his rockets work well. So he’s allowed to say these things. I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much.”

Gates and Musk are involved in fighting the coronavirus, with Gates pledging $100 million to fight the virus via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Musk redirecting Tesla resources to source and produce ventilators and teaming up with the German biotech firm CureVac — in which Gates is an investor — to make a device to aid in vaccine production.

But since last March, Musk has frequently downplayed the severity of the virus and strongly criticized stay-at-home orders. He’s promoted the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus, falsely said that children are immune to it, and questioned coronavirus-deaths data.

Musk also said last year that there would be “close to zero new cases” by the end of April 2020. The death toll in the US alone recently surpassed 500,000.

The comments struck a nerve with Musk, who taunted Gates on Twitter.

elon musk
Elon Musk.

Musk jokingly posted multiple tweets about Gates, including “Billy G is not my lover” and “The rumor that Bill Gates & I are lovers is completely untrue.”


In September, Musk tweeted that Gates had “no clue” about electric trucks.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates.

In August, Gates wrote a blog post about electric vehicles that questioned whether it was practical to make vehicles like 18-wheelers fully electric.

Though he didn’t mention Tesla, the company does produce a semi.

A few weeks later, a Twitter user asked Musk about his opinion of Gates’ comments, to which Musk replied, “He has no clue.”

Musk called Gates a “knucklehead” for criticizing his coronavirus efforts.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.

During a podcast interview published in September, The New York Times’ Kara Swisher asked Musk about his feelings about the virus, including whether he planned to get vaccinated.

Musk defended himself against Gates’ comments, saying he’d spent time with Harvard University epidemiologists “doing antibody studies” and noting Tesla’s work with CureVac.

“Gates said something about me not knowing what I was doing,” Musk told Swisher. “It’s like, ‘Hey, knucklehead, we actually make the vaccine machines for CureVac, that company you’re invested in.'”

In November, Musk surpassed Gates as the world’s second-richest person.

elon musk happy.JPG
Elon Musk celebrates after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft in May 2020.

Since then, he and Jeff Bezos have flip-flopped as the world’s richest. His net worth currently stands at $175 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index

Gates recently made a jab at Musk’s focus on rockets, but did also issue him a rare compliment.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates.

During an appearance on Kara Swisher’s “Sway” podcast in February, Gates said he’s not interested in pouring his money into outer space projects like his fellow billionaires, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. 

“No, I’m not a Mars person. I know a lot of Mars people,” Gates said. “I don’t think rockets are the solution. But maybe I’m missing something there.”

He went on to say that he’d rather spend his money on vaccines here on Earth than on space travel. 

But Gates did issue a rare compliment to Musk, calling what Musk has accomplished with Tesla “one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made.”

“Underestimating Elon is not a good idea,” he said.

Gates has also taken issue with the mania surrounding cryptocurrencies, which Musk has helped fuel online.

Bill Gates speaking on a panel .JPG
Bill Gates.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Gates shared his thoughts on cryptocurrencies.

He noted how much energy bitcoin uses, making it not very environmentally friendly. He also warned investors not to dump money into bitcoin like Tesla has.

“Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down,” Gates told Bloomberg.

“I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare, so I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out,” he said. 

Musk recently tweeted, then deleted, an anti-vaccine political cartoon about Gates.

Elon Musk

The cartoon, originally created by conservative artist Ben Garrison, depicted Gates as the mastermind of a coronavirus response plan that included making people afraid, locking the country down, and then launching a “Mandatory Vaccine Rollout.”

In Musk’s version, which wasn’t sanctioned by Garrison, the last stage of the plan is a “Zune relaunch,” in reference to Microsoft’s discontinued MP3 player. 

Musk captioned the image: “Soon u will feel strange desire for Zune …” He deleted the tweet roughly two hours later. 

Gates has been at the center of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus since last year, including one theory that claimed, without evidence, that Gates wanted to use COVID-19 vaccines to implant microchips into people. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk took a swipe at Bill Gates and Microsoft Zune with an edited version of an anti-vaccination cartoon

Elon Musk Bill Gates
Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a swipe at Bill Gates and Microsoft Zune with an edited political cartoon.
  • The cartoon depicted Gates using the COVID-19 pandemic to reintroduce the MP3 player.
  • “Soon u will feel strange desire for Zune …” Musk wrote. He later deleted the tweet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk used an anti-vaccine political cartoon to take a swipe at Bill Gates and the Microsoft Zune.

Musk tweeted an edited cartoon, originally created by conservative artist Ben Garrison, depicting an illustrated version of the Microsoft cofounder.

Musk deleted the tweet about two hours later, after it had been shared more than 5,000 times.

The original cartoon carried the title “The Plannedemic.” It appeared to show Gates leaning over a step-by-step plan for instilling fear with the coronavirus pandemic and eventually launching a “Mandatory Vaccine Rollout.”

Elon Musk Zune Bill Gates Microsoft
A Twitter thread by Tesla CEO Elon Musk

In the edited version shared by Musk, the vaccine rollout had been moved forward in the list, and a new final step had been added: “Zune Relaunch.”

“Soon u will feel strange desire for Zune …” Musk wrote just after midnight on the West Coast. In a follow-up Tweet, which was also deleted, he said, “This is actually happening.”

Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player, an iPod competitor, was launched in 2006. The company stopped production on the Zune in 2011.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has long been a vocal proponent of vaccines, including those being used to fight COVID-19.

Some who oppose vaccines have spread conspiracy theories about the billionaire. One such theory claimed, without evidence, that Gates was seeking to secretly implant microchips into the population via COVID-19 vaccines. Gates has shot down such theories.

It’s unclear why Musk deleted the tweet or whether he intended to fuel fears about COVID-19 vaccines by sharing an anti-vaccine cartoon.

The edited version of the cartoon Musk shared moved the “Mandatory Vaccine Rollout” into the spot originally held by “Blame President Trump!” in Garrison’s cartoon. It also cropped the illustration to remove Garrison’s name.

Garrison, a conservative cartoonist who supported President Donald Trump, earlier this year was suspended from Twitter, according to his website.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in 2017 that Garrison had published cartoons that were “blatantly anti-Semitic.” Last July, Garrison sued the ADL and sought around $10 million in damages, according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Virginia.

Insider has reached out to Garrison for comment.

On his website, Garrison published a statement to accompany the original “The Plannedemic” cartoon.

It reads in part: “Why did a former computer nerd and mogul become so interested in vaccination and disease? Possibly because he’s worth over $100 billion and thinks he owns the world. He also wants to make an impact on humanity. Getting rid of excess humanity, that is.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates says companies have gone from staying private too long to going public too soon and that he’s avoiding ‘low quality’ SPACs

Bill Gates
  • Bill Gates believes some companies may be going public too soon amid a SPAC boom.
  • The billionaire said he will be sticking to “higher quality” SPACs in this environment.
  • Gates emphasized the need for “extreme” disclosures to protect investors from early-stage investing risks.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Bill Gates said he believes companies have “flipped” from staying private too long to going public too soon, in an interview with CNBC on Friday.

The billionaire Microsoft co-founder added that he will be avoiding “low quality” special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that have flooded the market and sticking with “higher quality” options.

Gates sat down with CNBC’s Becky Quick and former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to discuss his climate-related work for the economic club of New York on Friday. In the interview, the billionaire philanthropist was asked about the rise of SPACs and whether or not they would be a benefit to “green” startups.

SPACs have raised more money in the first quarter of 2021 than they did in all of 2020, raking in more than $97 billion in just three months, according to data from SPAC Research.

Gates emphasized the capital intensive nature of climate change solutions and green companies and said that if investors are willing to take the risk, cash from capital markets would allow “green product companies” to “improve their balance sheet and get capital for projects because the markets are saying this is important.”

On the other hand, Gates warned about the risks in early-stage investments, saying, “you’ve got to make sure your disclosure about the risks is really extreme.”

He also noted that “we’ve kind of flipped from a world where companies would probably stay private too long, to now where, unless you’re tasteful, some of these companies may be going public too soon.”

Gates added that “there will be quality companies that SPAC,” but emphasized there will also be “low-quality companies” that choose to take advantage of the SPAC boom. Gates said he will be looking to stay involved in the only higher-quality offerings.

After a meteoric rise in SPACs over the past two years, there’s been some evidence that the SPAC market is beginning to cool.

Specifically, SPAC IPO prices have begun to fall. In fact, some 93% of SPACs that went public in the last week of March traded below their $10 initial offering price, per Reuters.

SPAC ETFs are also taking a hit, the Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF (SPAK) has fallen 23% from February 17 record highs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A history of the decades-long feud between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, whose love-hate relationship spurred the success of Microsoft and Apple

Steve Jobs Bill Gates
Steve Jobs, left, and Bill Gates.

  • Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple’s Steve Jobs never quite saw eye-to-eye.
  • While the two founders had periods of civility, at other times, they were at each other’s throats.
  • Jobs insulted Gates’ taste, while Gates described Jobs as “weirdly flawed as a human being.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never quite got along.

Over the course of 30-plus years, the two went from cautious allies to bitter rivals to something almost approaching friends – sometimes, they were all three at the same time.

It seems unlikely that Apple would be where it is today without Microsoft, or Microsoft without Apple.

Here’s the history of the love-hate relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t always enemies – Microsoft made software early on for the mega-popular Apple II PC, and Gates would routinely fly down to Cupertino to see what Apple was working on.

Steve Woz Apple II
The Apple II computer.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

In the early ’80s, Jobs flew up to Washington to sell Gates on the possibility of making Microsoft software for the Apple Macintosh computer, with its revolutionary graphical user interface. Gates wasn’t particularly impressed with what he saw as a limited platform – or Jobs’ attitude.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, chairman of the board of Apple Computer, leaning on the new Macintosh personal computer following a shareholder’s meeting in Cupertino, California.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

“It was kind of a weird seduction visit where Steve was saying we don’t really need you and we’re doing this great thing, and it’s under the cover. He’s in his Steve Jobs sales mode, but kind of the sales mode that also says, ‘I don’t need you, but I might let you be involved,'” Gates later said.

bill gates
Bill Gates in New Delhi in 2008.

Source: Fortune

Still, Gates appeared alongside Jobs in a 1983 video – a “Dating Game” riff – screened for Apple employees ahead of the Macintosh’s launch. In that video, Gates compliments the Mac, saying that it “really captures people’s imagination.”

bill gates 1983 mac launch event

Source: Business Insider

Microsoft and Apple worked hand-in-hand for the first few years of the Macintosh. At one point, Gates quipped that he had more people working on the Mac than Jobs did.

Mac computers 1984

Source: Yahoo

Their relationship, already kind of rocky, fell apart when Microsoft announced the first version of Windows in 1985. A furious Jobs accused Gates and Microsoft of ripping off the Macintosh. But Gates didn’t care – he knew that graphical interfaces would be big, and didn’t think Apple had the exclusive rights to the idea.

Bill Gates Windows 98
Bill Gates.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Besides, Gates knew full well that Apple took the idea for the graphical interface from the Xerox PARC labs, a research institution they both admired.

xerox

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

When Jobs accused Gates of stealing the idea, he famously answered: “Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

bill gates 1992
Bill Gates, right, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., watches a video presentation prior to giving the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Washington Software Association in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 28, 1992. Looking on is Paul Grey, president of Softchec, Inc. of Kirkland, Wash.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

From there, the gloves were off between the two founders. “They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame,” Jobs once said. To which Gates replied: “If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields.”

steve jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Jobs thought that Gates was a stick in the mud, far too focused on business. “He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

Bill Gates

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Gates said Jobs was “fundamentally odd” and “weirdly flawed as a human being.”

Steve Jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

But Gates respected Jobs’ knack for design: “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works.”

Steve Jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

In 1985, Steve Jobs resigned from Apple after a power shift to start his own computer company, NeXT. But even though Jobs was no longer working for Microsoft’s biggest competitor, it didn’t improve relations between the two.

steve jobs
In this April 4, 1991, file photo, Steve Jobs of NeXT Computer Inc. poses for the press with his NeXTstation color computer at the NeXT facility in Redwood City, Calif.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Jobs thought that if NeXT lost and Microsoft Windows won, “we are going to enter a computer Dark Ages for about 20 years,” he told Playboy in 1985.

steve jobs neXT 1990
Vittorio Cassoni, from Ing. C. Olivetti & Co., speaking with Steve Jobs at the annual PC Forum in Tucson, Arizona, in 1990.

Source: The Telegraph

Still, Windows was winning. By the late ’80s, it became clear that Microsoft was just about unstoppable on the PC.

bill gates windows

Fast-forward to 1996, when Jobs appeared in a PBS documentary called “Triumph of the Nerds” and ripped into Gates and Microsoft, saying that they made “third-rate products.”

steve jobs

Source: PBS

Jobs went on in that same documentary: “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”

Bill Gates

Source: PBS

By the late ’90s, Apple was in serious danger of going under. When then-Apple CEO Gil Amelio moved to buy NeXT in 1996 and bring Jobs back to Apple, Gates tried to talk him out of it.

amelio jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Gates said this to Amelio: “I know his technology, it’s nothing but a warmed-over UNIX, and you’ll never be able to make it work on your machines. Don’t you understand that Steve doesn’t know anything about technology? He’s just a super salesman. I can’t believe you’re making such a stupid decision.”

Bill Gates
Bill Gates.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

But by 1997, Jobs was Apple’s CEO. At his first Macworld keynote, he announced that he had accepted an investment from Microsoft to keep Apple afloat. Bill Gates appeared on a huge screen via satellite link. The audience booed.

Bill Gates

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Gates clearly admired Jobs, even if they didn’t always see eye-to-eye. When Apple introduced iTunes, Gates sent an internal email to Microsoft that said, “Steve Jobs’ ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right, and market things as revolutionary are amazing things.”

steve jobs imac 1998

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

When Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, Gates sent another email: “I think we need some plan to prove that, even though Jobs has us a bit flat footed again, we can move quick and both match and do stuff better.”

steve jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

But Jobs was still pretty down on Microsoft, especially after Steve Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as CEO in 2000. “They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant,” Jobs once said. “I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.”

Steve Ballmer Bill Gates

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Conversely, Gates thought much of Apple’s post-iPhone success came from Jobs himself, and not from Apple’s “closed” philosophy. “The integrated approach works well when Steve is at the helm. But it doesn’t mean it will win many rounds in the future,” Gates said.

bill gates microsoft 2001
Bill Gates in New Delhi in 2008.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

And Gates didn’t think too much of the iPad. “[I]t’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.'”

Steve Jobs using an iPad

Source: CBS MoneyWatch

But Jobs didn’t think much of the Windows ecosystem either: “Of course, his fragmented model worked, but it didn’t make really great products. It produced crappy products.”

Steve Jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Jobs didn’t even have any mercy when Gates decided to quit Microsoft in 2006 to focus more on his foundation. “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology,” Jobs said.

bill gates melinda gates
Bill and Melinda Gates.

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

Still, in a weird way, the two men clearly respected each other. Appearing on stage together at the 2007 AllThingsD conference, Gates said, “I’d give a lot to have Steve’s taste.”

Steve Jobs Bill Gates

Source: The Wall Street Journal

And Jobs once said, “I admire him for the company he built – it’s impressive – and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor.”

steve jobs

Source: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

After Jobs died, Gates said, “I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of [what he said] bothers me at all.”

bill gates

Source: Yahoo

Ultimately, both men claim quite a legacy: Jobs built Apple into what is now the world’s most valuable company, while Gates is the third-richest person on Earth.

steve jobs

Source: CNBC, Bloomberg

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Bill Gates told Reddit users he plans to fly less and eat more synthetic meat as part of efforts to reduce his carbon footprint

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Bill Gates.

  • On Friday, Bill Gates said he planned to fly less and eat more synthetic meat to cut carbon emissions.
  • The Microsoft co-founder was speaking during an Reddit Ask Me Anything session.
  • He also said driving electric cars and installing solar panels at home were part of his strategy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Friday, Bill Gates said that in an effort to cut his carbon consumption, he will fly less and eat synthetic meat more often.

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist was discussing his efforts tackle climate change in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, CNBC reported.

Gates, a long-term advocate for pandemic preparedness, is once again sounding the alarm for another potentially devastating emergency – climate change.

Last year, Gates issued a stark warning for the world: “Within the next 40 years, increases in global temperatures are projected to raise global mortality rates by the same amount – 14 deaths per 100,000,” he said. “By the end of the century, if emissions growth stays high, climate change could be responsible for 73 extra deaths per 100,000 people. In a lower emissions scenario, the death rate drops to 10 per 100,000.”

More recently, he published a book on the subject, entitled “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.”

In his latest Reddit session, Gates was asked what people could do to help reduce their carbon footprints on the planet. Along with other pieces of advice, he suggested that people should consume less.

Gates was also asked what he was doing to eliminate carbon emissions. “On the personal front, I am doing a lot more,” Gates wrote. “I am driving electric cars. I have solar panels at my house. I eat synthetic meat (some of the time!). I buy green aviation fuel. I pay for direct air capture by Climeworks. I help finance electric heat pumps in low-cost housing to replace natural gas,” CNBC reported.

He also mentioned plans to fly a lot less “now that the pandemic has shown we can get by with less trips.” The pandemic has proven that business travel can be cut down or avoided, given the success of remote-work models. Gates’ company, Microsoft, makes the globally popular Teams app, which gives workers the ability to chat and meet virtually.

The urgency to act comes after Gates warned the public that “by 2060, climate change could be just as deadly as COVID-19, and by 2100 it could be five times as deadly.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

American billionaires could fund two-thirds of Biden’s COVID-19 relief package just using profits generated during the pandemic, a report shows

Jeff Bezos Bill Gates Elon Musk
Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

  • The total wealth of US billionaires rose $1.3 trillion amid the pandemic, the ATF and IPS said.
  • This could fund two-thirds of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan.
  • The momentum for measures that address wealth inequality has grown during the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

American billionaires have earned so much money during the pandemic that they could fund two-thirds of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package using profits generated in the last year, a report shows.

The combined fortune of American billionaires rose around $1.3 trillion, or 44%, from March 2020 to March 2021, Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) said.

This increase is equivalent to two-thirds of the $1.9 trillion cost of Biden’s pandemic rescue plan, which he signed into law Thursday.

The total jump in wealth for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the pandemic would fund almost all of the relief plan’s supplemental $300 weekly unemployment benefits for the next six months, the groups said.

The groups based their analysis on Forbes data.

As of Wednesday, the US’ 657 billionaires were worth a combined $4.2 trillion, the ATF and IPS said. Under current tax laws, none of this would be taxed during their lifetimes, unless the underlying assets are sold at a gain, they said.

Momentum for measures that address wealth inequality, such as through a wealth tax, has grown during the pandemic as the world’s billionaires have grown richer while other people sunk into unemployment.

Argentina became the first country to respond to the pandemic with a one-off “millionaire tax.” Fewer than one in 100 earners will pay the tax, which the government hopes will raise $3.78 billion to help pay for its pandemic response.

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts proposed an Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act for the US. This would apply an annual 2% tax on individual net worth between $50 million and $1 billion, or 3% on net worth above $1 billion.

The ATF and IPS said if the tax had been in place in 2020, US billionaires would have paid a combined $114 billion.

The number of billionaires in the US increased 7% during the pandemic, the groups said. Musk alone increased his wealth by $141.6 billion, or nearly seven-fold, over the last 12 months.

During this time period, Americans have made more than 80 million filings for unemployment benefits.

Biden is addressing some of the economic fallout of the pandemic through his relief plan, which includes $1,400 stimulus payments for most taxpayers and an expansion of the child tax credit.

Not a single Republican in either chamber of Congress voted for the package, saying it was unnecessary and too expensive.

“The relief package will ease some of the suffering, but it is temporary,” Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality at IPS, said. “We also need to permanently address the underlying economic conditions that the pandemic exposed.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has jumped 80% since the beginning of 2020, according to a study from Cambridge

GettyImages 1299369049
The bitcoin price broke past the vaunted $50,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday

  • Bitcoin now uses 80% more energy than it did at the beginning of 2020.
  • Bitcoin uses 128 terawatt-hours annually, according to estimates from Cambridge.
  • The cryptocurrency is responsible for 0.59% of total worldwide energy consumption.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has jumped 80% since the beginning of 2020 amid a meteoric rise for the digital currency.

According to Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance, the cryptocurrency’s estimated annualized electricity consumption at the beginning of 2020 was 71.07 terawatt-hours. On March 11 of this year, that figure hit 128 terawatt-hours.

For reference, in all of 2019, Australia’s main electric grid used only 192 terawatt-hours. And the entire country of Argentina uses just 125 terawatt-hours annually.

Bitcoin now represents 0.59% of total worldwide energy consumption, according to Cambridge, and if you were to rank every country in terms of their total energy consumption including bitcoin, the digital asset would be the 29th largest consumer of power on the planet.

Bitcoin’s excessive energy use and climate change impact have been under scrutiny from all sides lately. Experts have repeatedly warned about the “staggering” amount of energy required to mine the digital currency.

Even Bill Gates has critiqued bitcoin for its environmental impact.

“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” Gates said in a Clubhouse interview with New York Times reporter and CNBC co-anchor Andrew Ross. “It’s not a great climate thing.”

On the other hand, some experts say bitcoin’s energy use isn’t an issue as long as the energy comes from green sources, and it appears there has been a transition to using more green energy for digital currencies.

In September of last year the 3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study, also from the University of Cambridge, showed 39% of the energy consumed by cryptocurrencies comes from renewable energy sources.

That’s a significant improvement from the 2nd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study, which revealed that just 28% of the total energy consumed by crypto mining came from renewable sources.

Still, many experts contend cryptocurrencies have a long way to go if they want to silence critics of the coin’s climate change effects.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates advised against investing in Bitcoin, saying cryptocurrencies damage the environment

Bill Gates
Gates spoke out against bitcoin citing environmental damages caused by the cryptocurrency.

  • Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates criticized bitcoin’s environmental impact in an interview.
  • Speaking to CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, he said it used more electricity than any other method.
  • Cambridge University analysis suggested bitcoin used more energy than Argentina, the BBC reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world and an outspoken advocate, fighting against climate change.

In a Clubhouse interview with New York Times reporter and CNBC co-anchor Andrew Ross in February, Gates spoke out against bitcoin citing environmental damages caused by the cryptocurrency.

“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” Gates said. “It’s not a great climate thing.”However, he added that bitcoin’s energy use may be acceptable if green energy is used and it is not “crowding out other users.”

Gates clarified that he does not see climate change and bitcoin as being “closely related,” and labeled himself a “bitcoin skeptic,” citing a preference to invest in “products” like malaria and measles vaccines rather than cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies have become a major culprit for energy consumption, with the world’s bitcoin network using as much power as the whole of Ireland in 2018.

Analysis by the University of Cambridge released earlier this year suggested that bitcoin was now consuming more electricity than Argentina, according to the BBC.

Gates is not the only one to speak out against bitcoin’s environmental impact, with CIO of Société Générale’s Kleinwort Hambros bank, Fahad Kamal, saying bitcoin’s energy use was “staggering” and a major worry for investors.

Economist Nouriel Roubini also criticized bitcoin and the growing trend in bitcoin investment, spiked by endorsements from Tesla chief Elon Musk.

“Since the fundamental value of bitcoin is zero and would be negative if a proper carbon tax was applied to its massive polluting energy-hogging production, I predict that the current bubble will eventually end in another bust,” Roubini said.

However, others have stood behind bitcoin and the cryptocurrency soared to record highs on February 21, reaching $58,640. “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer previously told Sorkin on CNBC that it was “almost irresponsible” for companies not to own bitcoin.

Meanwhile, Ark Invest founder Cathie Woods said she expected the price of bitcoin to rise between $40,000 and $400,000 and that digital wallets would gut traditional banks.

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Bill Gates says he’s not bullish on bitcoin as it uses ‘a lot of energy’ – and warns people who aren’t as rich as Elon Musk against buying into the boom

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Bill Gates.


Bill Gates, the world’s third-richest person, is not a fan of bitcoin, partly for environmental reasons. 

According to the billionaire, not only does bitcoin use a lot of energy, it can also cause trouble for investors who may not have much money to spare, given how volatile its price is.

“Elon has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down,” Gates told Bloomberg in an interview. “I do think people get bought into these manias, who may not have as much money to spare, so I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”

Bitcoin fell 13% on Tuesday, to around $46,817, tumbling from a record of $58,354 struck just two days ago, as investors took profit on the near-doubling in price since the start of the year.

Philanthropist and climate activist Gates, whose book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” recently went on sale, has previously said cryptocurrencies have caused deaths in a fairly direct way. He also thinks the anonymity behind bitcoin transactions isn’t a good thing.

“The Gates Foundation does a lot in terms of digital currency, but those are things where you can see who’s making the transaction,” he said in the Bloomberg interview. “Digital money is a good thing, that’s a different approach.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also been vocal about her doubts on cryptocurrencies, and their environmental impact, given the amount of power used in mining digital tokens.

“I don’t think that bitcoin is widely used as a transaction mechanism,” Yellen told the New York Times on Monday. “It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering.”

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This hydrogen paste has a similar range to that of gasoline and could revolutionize the transport industry

powerpaste hydrogen fuel
The development of POWERPASTE, that may revolutionize the hydrogen industry.

As the devastating potential impacts of climate change become increasingly obvious, many are turning away from fossil fuels to power their vehicles and looking for alternatives.

The answer may lie in the hydrogen industry, which is projected to generate $2.5 trillion in revenue by 2050 and to provide hard competition to Elon Musk’s Tesla-produced electric cars.

A team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Germany has now developed a hydrogen paste, POWERPASTE, that may be easier to use especially in smaller vehicles.

TRL 5 demonstrator powerpaste hydrogen
POWERPASTE is created from a magnesium base.

Hydrogen-powered motorbikes and scooters

In 2018, the French startup Pragma Industries began selling hydrogen-powered bikes.

However, they were too expensive for the consumer market at over $9,000 per bike and $36,000 for a charging station.

POWERPASTE might be able to solve that problem, with the substance created from magnesium base and stored in the vehicle in the form of a cartridge.

All drivers need to do to refuel is swap out the old cartridge for a new one and fill a tank with water.

“POWERPASTE stores hydrogen in a chemical form at room temperature and atmospheric pressure to be then released on demand,” institute research associate Dr. Marcus Vogt said in a press release.

As the paste only begins to decompose at temperatures of around 480 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers said drivers didn’t need to worry about leaving their vehicles out in the hot sun.

ZeroAvia's world's first hydrogen-electric passenger plane flight
Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have already backed the startup ZeroAvia.

Fuel for the future

“POWERPASTE… has a huge energy storage density,” said Vogt. “It is substantially higher than that of a 700 bar high-pressure tank. And compared to batteries, it has ten times the energy storage density.”

The researchers also pointed out that the range of the paste can be compared with gasoline and may even exceed it.

They suggested that this could make it a viable option for cars or in portable fuel cells on camping trips, and could significantly extend the possibilities of drone usage.

The hydrogen industry looks set to grow significantly in the coming years.

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have already backed the startup ZeroAvia, which is developing hydrogen-powered flights.

In 2016, Germany invested $265 million in hydrogen cars and with the rise of viable alternatives, other countries may now follow suit.

The institute is now building a pilot plant at the Fraunhofer Project Center for Energy Storage and Systems in the German city of Braunschweig.

Scheduled to open later this year, they estimate an annual production capacity of four tonnes of POWERPASTE.

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