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Bill Gates. (Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images))

Bill Gates sees cryptocurrency's main appeal as anonymity, which he doesn't see as a positive. Speaking in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Gates said it allows people to buy drugs and hurts the government's ability to collect taxes and crack down on terrorism.

Why it matters: Gates' frequent AMA chats let ordinary people ask questions and also let the Microsoft co-founder weigh in on topics ranging from global affairs to the mundane.

The Government's ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long.
— Bill Gates

Nor is he big on Elon Musk's vision for high-speed transit. "I am not sure the hyperloop concept makes sense - making it safe is hard," he said.

Gates also revealed:

He can't wait for computers to understand what they read: "The most amazing thing will be when computers can read and understand the text like humans do. Today computers can do simple things like search for specific words but concepts like vacation or career or family are not 'understood.' "

He's not running for President: "I won't be running for President because I am super committed to the work Melinda and I are doing at the Foundation and outside the Foundation. I agree it is important to have a President who thinks long term about the US role in the world and the research to solve disease burdens and costs and to tackle climate change and improve education."

He's not a big beer drinker: "When I end up at something like a baseball game I drink light beer to get with the vibe of all the other beer drinkers. Sorry to disappoint real beer drinkers."

He plays tennis twice a week: "Allocating time is always tough. Tennis is a big hobby for me and I try and play twice a week (a bit more in the summer). I always try and read a few books every month and a bunch on vacation....I travel about 1/3 of the time for the Foundation which I enjoy.

Favorite celebrities: "Melinda (his wife) and Warren (Buffett) are my two favorites followed by Bono. Most celebrities I don't know very well. I do get to meet a lot of political leaders and Nelson Mandela was the most impressive ever. Jimmy Carter is also amazing.

Go deeper

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.

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