World-renowned financial figure Warren Buffett famously stated his less-than-positive thoughts on bitcoin last year. Recent comments from the billionaire show he still does not favor crypto’s largest asset.
In May of 2018, Buffett posited his negativity toward bitcoin, likening the asset to rat poison, as presented in CNBC’s coverage last year. More specifically, Buffett said, “it’s probably rat poison squared,” as noted in Becky Quick’s tweet included in the televised coverage.
As part of a February 25 interview, CNBC Squawk Box co-host Becky Quick asked Buffett whether or not he had changed his opinion on bitcoin.
No. I mean It’s too bad, but bitcoin, it’s ingenious, and blockchain is important, but 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 or anything like that. It’s a delusion basically.”
Buffett did say bitcoin is ingenious in its limited supply and its mining. Although, he continued to state, “the function, and this is explained to me by people a lot smarter than I am, but they say blockchain does not depend on bitcoin.” Buffett then went on to touch on JPM Coin and its dollar pegging.
Concluding his statements on the subject, Buffett said, “I’m sympathetic to people that own it.”
The full CNBC interview, posted by the television channel’s YouTube channel, spanned many financial topics and questions. Later in the lengthy dialogue, Buffett circled back to the topic of bitcoin when Quick asked him about behavior “by investors or corporate Americans” he didn’t like at present.
As part of Buffett’s answer, he included,
Look at all the things that have been created around bitcoin. I mean there’s been a lot of fraud and disappearance and all these kinds of things. It attracts charlatans basically, because the money’s so big. I mean, If you go out and do something phony in selling yo-yos or something there’s no real money in it, but when you get into Wall Street, there’s huge money.”
Previous predictions gone wrong
Warren Buffett is wildly successful and extensively knowledgable on many topics. That, however, does not mean there is no potential for him to be incorrect regarding bitcoin.
Inc.com contributor Jessica Stillman wrote an interesting piece on previous innovative predictions proven wrong in the future. (Stillman did include that the historical origin for some of the quotes was uncertain at times.)
In 1946, regarding the future of TV, 20th Century Fox movie producer Darryl Zanuck reportedly said TV “won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night,” as quoted in the Inc article.
President of Digital Equipment Corporation Ken Olson also talked skeptically about personal computers back in 1977. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home,” Olson reportedly said.
Cover Image: Obama White House