By CCN: Turns out 88-year-old Warren Buffett isn’t warming up to crypto after all. Speaking at what’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of Capitalism”, the billionaire investor told shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway how he really feels about bitcoin. His company’s annual shareholder event is being held in Omaha today, and he just couldn’t resist lamenting the digital currency that he just doesn’t understand. Buffett reportedly stated:
“It’s a gambling device… there’s been a lot of frauds connected with it. There’s been disappearances, so there’s a lot lost on it. Bitcoin hasn’t produced anything.”
At least Buffett didn’t call it “rat poison squared” like he did last year. His partner in crime, Charlie Munger, reportedly once compared crypto trading to “dementia.” Buffett’s shareholders probably come to Omaha just to hear what he’ll say next about the crypto revolution taking the economy by storm.
Bitcoin ‘Isn’t an Investment’
Buffett didn’t stop there. He went on to insult investors who not only have benefitted from the peer-to-peer nature of bitcoin but he also suggested that it’s not an investment at all. Tell that to the 100-million strong crypto community, many of whom have seen their portfolios balloon since the bitcoin price hit a new 2019 high this week. Buffett is digging his own grave, so to speak, saying:
“It doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. It’s like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me.”
Bitcoin’s market cap is now $101 billion; it’s increased from $89 billion in the past two weeks or so. If that’s a seashell, then take us to the beach so we can start collecting them.
Bitcoin’s market cap is $100 billion.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 3, 2019
The thing to keep in mind about his remarks is that his own company’s stock, Berkshire Hathaway, is underperforming the broader stock market year-to-date. It has 8% gains vs. a double-digit percentage for the S&p 500. And stocks are in the middle of an historic bull run. So probably he just can’t see the value in the cryptocurrency because he doesn’t want to.
Warren Buffett’s Button ICO
He went on to seemingly poke fun at ICOs next because he couldn’t possibly mean bitcoin when he says:
“I’ll tear off a button here. What I’ll have here is a little token…I’ll offer it to you for $1000, and I’ll see if I can get the price up to $2000 by the end of the day… But the button has one use and it’s a very limited use.”
Hmm, let’s see. Bitcoin is a store of value that rivals gold. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency that gives migrants a way to send money to their families faster and cheaper than any money-transfer service without the blockchain can do. And it’s decentralized, so it’s not subject to the whims of any central bank or government that turns on the printing press and causes inflation.
IMF to crypto: “please be gentle with our house of cards” https://t.co/8bEWXlzk4v
— Spencer Bogart (@CremeDeLaCrypto) April 11, 2019
Whether he realizes it or not, Buffett is spreading FUD about bitcoin and the blockchain, saying:
“Blockchain…is very big, but it didn’t need bitcoin. J.P. Morgan, of course, came out with their own cryptocurrency.”
Blockchain pioneer Wences Casares once said that people who fail to recognize the value of bitcoin but believe in blockchain tech demonstrate an “ignorance for how the system works.” We’ll leave Warren with Wences’ words of wisdom:
“Blockchain doesn’t exist without bitcoin…If you were to remove the bitcoin, miners would disappear and so would the blockchain.”