Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is continuing his relentless attacks on Bitcoin. On Sunday, the day after Berskshire Hathaway’s 2018 annual shareholder’s meeting, in an interview with Yahoo Finance, when asked about Bitcoin, Munger stepped up his attacks on Bitcoin by saying that he regards the “whole business as anti-social, stupid, immoral” and that he thinks that “the people pushing it are a disgrace.”
Over the past six months, Munger has had such scathing critcism for Bitcoin and those trading it that he is probably the one person in the world who makes the world-renowned blockchain and cryptocurrency critic Professor Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini come across as a Bitcoin bull in comparison.
On 30 November 2018, at an event held by University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where Munger was a guest, when asked about his views on cryptocurrencies, he called Bitcoin “a total insanity”(as reported by CNBC):
I think it is perfectly asinine to even pause to think about them… It's bad people, crazy bubble, bad idea, luring people into the concept of easy wealth without much insight or work. That's the last thing on Earth you should think about … There's just a whole lot of things that aren't going to work for you. Figure out what they are and avoid them like the plague. And one of them is bitcoin. … It is total insanity.
Then, on 10 Jan 2018, in a phone interview with CNBC's “Squawk Box”, he referred to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “bubbles.”
Roughly a month later, on Valentine’s Day, at a question-and-answer session at the Daily Journal’s 2018 annual shareholders meeting, once again, Munger had no love for Bitcoin, calling it a “noxious poison.”
Fast forward to 28 April 2018, and Munger was bashing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saying, during an interview with Yahoo Finance, that those buying them were speculating rather than investing:
If you buy something like a farm, an apartment house, or an interest in a business… You can do that on a private basis… And it’s a perfectly satisfactory investment. You look at the investment itself to deliver the return to you. Now, if you buy something like bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don’t really have anything that has produced anything. You’re just hoping the next guy pays more.
On Saturday, 5 May 2018, at Berskhire Hathaway's 2018 annual shareholder's meeting, the place where his boss called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”, this is what Munger said about trading cryptocurrencies:
It’s just dementia… And I think the people who are professional traders that go into trading cryptocurrencies, it’s just disgusting. It’s like somebody else is trading turds and you decide, ‘I can’t be left out.'
And finally, we come to Munger’s attack the day after this meeting. During an interview with Yahoo Finance, on Sunday, 6 May 2018, Munger shocked everyone by his most ferocious attack ever on Bitcoin.
First, Munger was asked if he saw any value whatsoever in Bitcoin. This was his response:
The computer science behind Bitcoin is a great triumph of the human mind, that’s what’s captivated all these people. They’ve created a product that’s hard to create more of but not impossible … Now that is very peculiar, but they've managed to do it. So, a lot of the computer science people love it just because it is such an extreme achievement of computer science. I, of course, have no interest in that because it is not my subject. And I see an artificial speculative medium, where people are buying just because they think they can sell to somebody else at a higher price even though it inherently has no intrinsic value. And so I regard the whole business as anti-social, stupid, immoral.
When the interviewer asked him why he had use the word “immoral”, here is how Munger explained it:
Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it, or would you say that’s immoral? You wouldn’t trade them, would you? It’s too awful a concept.
Well, to me Bitcoin is almost as bad… It's not having any desirable any desirable social purpose… I regard the thing as a combination of dementia and immorality, and I think the people that are pushing it are a disgrace… There ought to be some things that are beneath you, that you just don't do, and this is one.