On Saturday (April 30), Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., whom Forbes currently calls the world’s sixth richest person, spoke about Bitcoin at his company’s 2022 Annual Shareholders Meeting.
When asked about his latest thoughts on Bitcoin, Buffett — who has long been one of Bitcoin’s harshest critics, calling it “probably rat poison squared” in May 2018 — said that he had no interest in investing in Bitcoin because it is not a “productive asset” (unlike, say, real estate):
“Well I shouldn’t answer any questions on the subject, but I will… there’s there’s all kinds of people watching this that are long Bitcoin, there’s nobody that’s short, and nobody wants their windpipe stepped on, I don’t blame them…
“I would say this: that If the people in this room owned all of the farmland in the United States and you offered me 1% interest in it… [and they said] pay our group… bargain price, $25 billion dollars. I’d write you a check this afternoon… If you tell me you own 1% of the apartment houses in the United States and you offer me a 1% interest… and you want another $25 billion or something, I’d write you a check…
“Now, if you told me you owned all the Bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it because what would I do with it? I have to sell it back to you one way or another. I mean maybe it’s the same people, but it isn’t going to do anything.
“The apartments are going to produce rental and the farms are going to produce food. And if I’ve got all the Bitcoin… if I’m trying to get rid of it, people will say ‘well, why should I buy some Bitcoin from you? I mean, why don’t you call it Buffett Coin…, but I’m not going to give you anything for it’, and you’d be right, but that’s explains the difference between productive assets and something that depends on the next guy paying you more than the last guy.“
In an interview on CNBC’s morning news and talk program Squawk Box on 25 February 2019, Buffett called Bitcoin “a delusion” that “attracts charlatans.”
“Bitcoin, it’s ingenious, and blockchain is important, but Bitcoin has no unique value at all. It doesn’t produce anything. You can stare at it all day and no little bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.“
According to CNBC’s report, Warren Buffett also said:
“It attracts charlatans. If you do something phony by going out and selling yo-yos or something, there’s no money in it — but when you get into Wall Street there’s huge money.“
As for Charlie Munger, the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway — who is also chairman of Daily Journal Corporation and a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation — he also expressed his distaste for Bitcoin at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting on April 30:
“In my life, I try and avoid things that are stupid and evil and make me look bad in comparison to somebody else – and bitcoin does all three. In the first place, it’s stupid because it’s still likely to go to zero. In the second place, it’s evil because it undermines the Federal Reserve System and the national currency system, which we desperately need… And third, it makes us look foolish compared to the Communist leader in China. He was smart enough to ban Bitcoin in China and with all of our presumed advantages of civilization, we’re a lot dumber than the Communist leader in China.“
And on February 16, Munger also talked about Bitcoin during an interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer:
“It’s an ideal currency if you want to commit extortion, or kidnapping, or have a protection racket or something, Why should a civilized government want an ideal untraceable technology to come into the payment system, run by a bunch of people who want to get rich quick for doing very little for civilization? Of course, I hate it. I don’t think it’s good that our country is going crazy over Bitcoin and its ilk. I think the Communist Chinese were wiser than we were — they just banned it.“
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.