Warren Buffett has blasted bitcoin again, calling it a “delusion.”
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, he said:
“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. It’s a delusion basically.”
Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, praised blockchain and its technology, saying “It’s a very ingenious thing to figure out how to have a limited supply and make it harder and more expensive to create.”
But the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ admitted he knows very little about the technology:
“This is explained to me by people a lot smarter than I am.”
“Rat Poison Squared”
The 88-year-old billionaire owner of Berkshire Hathaway is no stranger to slamming bitcoin and blockchain. As CCN reported in April 2018, he called the world’s largest cryptocurrency “rat poison squared” and brushed it off as speculative gambling.
“Cryptocurrencies will come to bad endings… 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.”
— Becky Quick (@BeckyQuick) May 5, 2018
Warren Buffett Just Lost $4.3 Billion in a Day
It’s an awkward time for the legendary investor to weigh in on bitcoin. His company Berkshire Hathaway lost $4.3 billion on Friday 22nd February. One of Buffett’s holdings, Kraft-Heinz, plunged 25% after a poor earnings report on Thursday evening. Buffett admitted he made a mistake, overpaying for his stake in the food and beverages company.
While Buffett built up a net worth of $87 billion over decades of savvy investing, he is admittedly out of touch with technology. He openly admits he made a mistake by failing to invest in Google and other tech companies. Speaking of his failure to invest in Amazon, he said:
“I was too dumb to realize. I did not think [Bezos] could succeed on the scale he has… [We] miss a lot of things, and we’ll keep doing it.”
Isn’t there a chance you misunderstood bitcoin, too?
An Unmitigated Fraud?
Warren Buffett has inadvertently positioned himself as a target for bitcoin enthusiasts. Last week, bitcoin bull Max Keiser called Buffett out for alleged “accounting tricks.”
#Bitcoin up on news Warren Buffett exposes himself in his annual letter as an unmitigated fraud and charlatan reliant entirely on tax-payer bailouts and accounting tricks.
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) February 23, 2019
He refers to Berkshire Hathaway’s use of stock buy-backs as an example of corporate malpractice:
“It’s pure fraud. Its sole purpose is to commit accounting fraud for the benefit of insiders.”
For many, Warren Buffet is emblematic of a corrupt and outdated financial system. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is the future.
A history of Bitcoin Bashing
Warren Buffett is unlikely to change his views on cryptocurrency and bitcoin. His comments today echo those he made a year ago when he said:
“You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”
Like so many in the traditional finance industry, however, he parrots the same old “blockchain-good, bitcoin-bad” routine. He called blockchain “important” and “ingenious,” although he failed to elaborate on what that means.
For now, he’s sympathetic:
“People get their hopes up that something like [bitcoin] is gonna change their lives,” but “who knows where we’ll be next year.”