Chamath Palihapitiya, Social Capital founder and CEO, discusses his outlook on bitcoin and recent critical comments on the digital currency from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
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Chamath Palihapitiya: I Am A Buffett ‘Disciple’ But He’s Wrong About Bitcoin | CNBC
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is wrong about bitcoin, tech venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya said Wednesday.
“Not everybody is right all the time,” the former Facebook executive told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He said knowledge about technology is not in the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO’s “circle of competence.”
Buffett bashed bitcoin Monday in an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, saying the world’s largest cryptocurrency doesn’t produce anything except more buyers looking to make money by selling to new buyers. Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, a Berkshire board member, slammed bitcoin as well.
Palihapitiya, who called himself a Buffett “disciple,” said he sees the cryptocurrency as a replacement to gold. “Something like bitcoin is really important,” Palihapitiya said, “because it is not correlated to the rest of the market.”
Palihapitiya added that he feels he is “in two different universes. I need a passport to go between the bitcoin world and the regular world.”
He said people like him who have owned the cryptocurrency since 2012 view it as a hedge to the “traditional financial infrastructure.” Whether that’s true or not is unclear, he added, “but that’s how we’ve all viewed it.”
It’s important to remember what happened during the financial crisis, Palihapitiya said. “Everything broke down” and “things that we thought were hedges went away.”
The cryptocurrency, which has faced heavy skepticism, was around $9,275 on Wednesday morning, according to industry site CoinDesk.
Over his four-year tenure at Facebook, which started in 2007, Palihapitiya served in various management roles, including vice president of user growth.
In December, Palihapitiya bashed social media, and by extension Facebook, for creating a society that confuses “popularity” with “truth.” He argued, “The tools that we have created today are starting to erode the social fabric of how society works.”
Facebook took issue with Palihapitiya’s remarks, saying in a statement that he hasn’t worked for the company for six years, and insisting that the company has undergone changes since then.