This weekend, Elon Musk said he was “super super serious” about starting his own candy company and/or cryptocurrency. Musk also got into a squabble with Warren Buffett over candy and moats. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates gave their very honest opinions about Bitcoin and they weren’t exactly shining endorsements of the cryptocurrency.
The influential billionaires appeared on CNBC on Monday along with Charlie Munger, Buffett’s longtime business partner at Berkshire Hathaway. The trio were asked their opinions about cryptocurrencies. Buffett called Bitcoin “rat poison squared” and said it isn’t an asset because it does not create anything.
Bill Gates echoed the same feelings towards Bitcoin as Warren. “As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. [Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies] are kind of a pure ‘greater fool type of investment,” the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist added. Gates said that Bitcoin is “one of the crazier, speculative things” he’s seen, and that he would “short it if there was an easy way to do it.” Gates admitted he was given Bitcoin many years ago as a birthday gift, but quickly sold it.
But the harshest words about cryptocurrency came from Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman Charlie Munger. During Berkshire’s annual meeting on Saturday, Munger said trading cryptocurrencies is “just dementia.” Munger then likened investing in cryptocurrencies as “somebody else is trading turds and you decide you can’t be left out.” Jeez Charlie, tell us how you really feel.
But Munger didn’t stop there because he told CNBC’s Squawk Box that “Bitcoin is worthless, artificial gold. Now that is not something I think the world needs.” Charlie kept going. “The fact that it’s clever computer science doesn’t mean it should be widely used, and that respectable people should encourage other people to speculate on it,” The Berkshire VP said. “Bitcoin reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s definition of fox hunting: ‘The pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable.'” I don’t think Charlie Munger is buying cryptocurrencies anytime soon.
A few months ago, Buffett said cryptocurrency “will come to a bad ending.” However, others such as Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey predict that Bitcoin will be the “single currency” for the world in 10 years. The Winklevoss Twins have owned Bitcoin since 2012.