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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

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