Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett says he won’t buy all the bitcoin in the world for $25. Meanwhile, his longtime business partner and right-hand man, Charlie Munger, says bitcoin is stupid and evil, noting that the cryptocurrency makes him look bad.
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger talked about bitcoin during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting Saturday. Buffett is Berkshire’s CEO and chairman of the board. Munger, often known as his right-hand man, is the company’s vice chairman of the board.
The Oracle of Omaha, famous for saying bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared,” explained in some detail why he would not buy BTC. He said:
Whether it goes up or down in the next year, or five or 10 years, I don’t know. But the one thing I’m pretty sure of is that it doesn’t produce anything … It’s got a magic to it and people have attached magics to lots of things.
Buffett gave some examples. He would pay $25 billion for a 1% interest in all the farmland in the United States. He would also pay $25 billion for a 1% interest in all the apartment houses in the country. “I would write you a check this afternoon,” he affirmed.
However, when it comes to buying bitcoin, he detailed:
Now if you told me you own all of 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’d have to sell it back to you one way or another. It isn’t going to do anything.
Unlike bitcoin, “The apartments are going to produce rent and the farms are going to produce food,” he stressed.
The Berkshire boss proceeded to discuss the U.S. dollar. “Assets, to have value, have to deliver something to somebody. And there’s only one currency that’s accepted. You can come up with all kinds of things — we can put up Berkshire coins … but in the end, this is money,” he added, holding up a $20 bill. “And there’s no reason in the world why the United States government … is going to let Berkshire money replace theirs.”
Munger also reiterated his harsh stance on bitcoin Saturday. The Berkshire vice chairman shared:
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,” Munger continued. “It’s evil because it undermines the Federal Reserve system … and third, it makes us look foolish compared to the Communist leader in China. He was smart enough to ban bitcoin in China.”
The Berkshire vice chairman also mentioned bitcoin in reply to a question about what single investment should one put money in as a safeguard against high inflation. He said:
When you have your own retirement account, and your friendly adviser suggests you put all the money into bitcoin, just say ‘no.’
Munger has repeatedly slammed bitcoin. In February, he said that the government should ban the cryptocurrency, calling it a “venereal disease.” He has praised China several times in the past for banning cryptocurrency, stating that he wished crypto has never been invented. In May last year, he said that bitcoin was “disgusting and contrary to the interest of civilization.”
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