Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman calls crypto "venereal disease," says it should be banned

midian182

Posts: 7,907   +82
Staff member
A hot potato: Most people are in one of three camps when it comes to cryptocurrency: love it, dislike it, or indifferent to the whole concept of digital currency. Billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger appears to have a category all of his own—he despises it with a passion.

Speaking during a shareholder meeting for Los Angeles-based newspaper chain Daily Journal Corp., Munger said crypto was only useful for extortion, kidnappings, and tax evasion, calling it “beyond contempt.”

In case anyone was still unsure about how he feels, Munger added that he wished crypto had been banned immediately and praised China for banning it. “I certainly didn’t invest in crypto. I’m proud of the fact that I avoided it. It’s like some venereal disease,” Munger added.

Munger has made his feelings on crypto known in the past. “I hate the bitcoin success,” he said last year. “I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

Despite his apparent loathing, Munger said he was not completely opposed to the US Federal Reserve launching its own digital currency. “The Federal Reserve could have a currency if they want one […] we’ve got a digital currency already, it’s called a bank account. The banks are all integrated with the Federal Reserve system.”

Munger also spoke about the GameStop stock craze in 2021. “The great short squeeze in GameStop was wretched excess, certainly the bitcoin thing was wretched excess," he said. Munger added that he would put a tax on short-term gains made in the stock market, thereby discouraging similar “speculation” and reducing market liquidity.

It’s often been said that the older generations of millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, are less willing to embrace crypto than their younger counterparts. Perhaps illustrating this claim is the fact that 98-year-old Munger was born in the same year Lenin died and the Ottoman Empire ended, and his 91-year-old boss Warren Buffet once called Bitcoin “rat poison squared.”

For all that the pair seem to hate crypto, it hasn’t stopped Berkshire Hathaway from buying $1 billion worth of shares in Nubank, Brazil’s largest fintech bank, which is popular among crypto investors within the South American nation, reports Cointelegraph.

Image credit: Rodnae Productions

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winjer

Posts: 427   +1,952
Bitcoin is basically a Ponzi scheme, with a veneer of tech to confound people.
Unfortunately most law makers lack the tech knowledge to understand what it really is, so in most countries, the law is still lagging behind this scam.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,254
"For all that the pair seem to hate crypto, it hasn’t stopped Berkshire Hathaway from buying $1 billion worth of shares in Nubank, Brazil’s largest fintech bank, which is popular among crypto investors within the South American nation, reports Cointelegraph."

Pump & Dumps also have their counterpart of Dump & Pump so It's not surprising actually: They still want more and another crash is taking too long for their liking so they're aiming at possibly generating another crash so they can buy in more.

If we are to accept that Crypto already has both Faces and in the case of Musk, Heel turns, then it's obvious you need dedicated Heels too that would never "Babyface" Crypto.

Although all of this hyper capitalist stuff is so dystopian than I should probably explain the above wrestling reference is for the point of view of a tech bro, for regular people that are neither rich coders and are also not suckers or marks, yeah reverse all the Face and Heel stuff.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,254
Bitcoin is basically a Ponzi scheme, with a veneer of tech to confound people.
Unfortunately most law makers lack the tech knowledge to understand what it really is, so in most countries, the law is still lagging behind this scam.
I would argue they also lack the political will to contradict the basic principles of many of their rich & powerful venture capitalist campaign donors and lobbyists: The techno babble stuff is only there to confuse tech unsaavy people and boomers but the principles of mass market manipulation are basically the same as any stock market they've been protecting for over a century now.
 

Mithan

Posts: 131   +146
Bitcoin is basically a Ponzi scheme, with a veneer of tech to confound people.
Unfortunately most law makers lack the tech knowledge to understand what it really is, so in most countries, the law is still lagging behind this scam.

Agreed. Eventually, it will collapse. It isn't a stock for a company, that actually pays you to own it. (If you buy Meme Stocks, that is on you).

It is entirely designed for early adopters to "get rich quick", and the guys in at the end will eventually lose their asses on it.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
They've called crypto everything from "anonymous" to a "hedge against inflation" to "a boost for green energy" to "a threat to the banks" to "financial freedom".

#1 We know it isn't a hedge against inflation based solely on the events of C19 between 2020 and now. Crypto has shown more volatility than the US dollar and the stock market.

#2 We know it isn't anonymous: government IS involved and government IS arresting people for crypto crimes.

#3 We know it isn't "financial freedom" unless you were the early money into the ponzi scheme.

#4 We know it isn't "Green" because the miners simply build a bigger, more inefficient machine to mine more even when you use geothermal energy to run them.

In the early days of Bitcoin, it was so ridiculously difficult to even get into it (lack of wallets and online wallets) that you had to be well connected just to get in, and once you got in there was always the possibility of "losing your key/password" which meant you inevitably became "the floor" as you put money in that you couldn't get out. Later, more wallets came to market making it easier to trade the crypto, despite there were very few use cases and people were merely speculating on the BTC price. Now there's over 17,000 cryptos with BTC making up about 45% of the overall crypto value - and the money is being split in so many directions, that "nothing" can gain much ground.

The early-money into some cryptos does its best to hype their own crypto investments so they can get enough people in to one day make profit and cash out.

This, by very definition is a well-organized ponzi scheme connected to 17,000 pump and dumps and should be made illegal immediately.

My theory is that crypto is a scheme between government and banks to get people to gamble their stimulus checks away to help curb inflation. Otherwise, the government probably would have banned it already.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
Agreed. Eventually, it will collapse. It isn't a stock for a company, that actually pays you to own it. (If you buy Meme Stocks, that is on you).

It is entirely designed for early adopters to "get rich quick", and the guys in at the end will eventually lose their asses on it.
The fact you think networks like Bitcoin's are just going to "collapse" but that companies can't only shows your badly educated you are on tech and economics.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
A 98 Year Old Billionaire?
One that thinks GameStop saga was about "wretched excess."

It wasn't, it was about crushing a hedge fund. The degree to which these financial liches misread the acts of revolt against them like that and crypto is comical.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,205
In the early days of Bitcoin, it was so ridiculously difficult to even get into it (lack of wallets and online wallets) that you had to be well connected just to get in...

I was in high school when I started mining on my desktop CPU. I promise I wasn't connected to anything. You just had to be lucky enough to learn about this 'internet funny money', and bored enough to experiment with it.

...and once you got in there was always the possibility of "losing your key/password" which meant you inevitably became "the floor" as you put money in that you couldn't get out.

And this did happen to me, but I didn't put in a single dollar beyond what my parents paid for the electric into my desktop. Literal pennies.

 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
I was in high school when I started mining on my desktop CPU. I promise I wasn't connected to anything. You just had to be lucky enough to learn about this 'internet funny money', and bored enough to experiment with it.



And this did happen to me, but I didn't put in a single dollar beyond what my parents paid for the electric into my desktop. Literal pennies.
N.b. I was in a position to do this myself at that time but did not, because I took the advice of fools like the naysayers in this thread and the lies of old cretins like Munger. Thankfully I disabused myself of their notions a few years ago and while I am not in Lambo territory I am in buy a house and improve it territory and not living in some rent-a-slum, and this kind of emancipation is exactly what vampires like Munger and his cringing hangers-on fear and hate.
 
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Revolution 11

Posts: 135   +173
Munger was born in the year when the Ottoman Empire died? When you put it that way, he sounds a lot older and the Ottoman Empire sounds a lot sooner in history.
 

Eflow

Posts: 46   +93
Explain how please. Anyone.

Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme because it's a near zero-sum game (it's not truly zero-sum due to mining). One person's losses are another person's gains.

Stocks, by comparison, are not zero-sum because they reflect ownership of an underlying (and likely profitable) business. Stock owners often receive cash payments in the form of dividends and stock repurchases.

Crypto gains come from payments from other investors

Stock gains come from payments from other investors and payments from the underlying company.

Stocks also have intrinsic value, whereas cryptos have none. Speculative buying and selling of an intrinsically worthless asset = ponsi scheme.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme because it's a near zero-sum game (it's not truly zero-sum due to mining). One person's losses are another person's gains.

Stocks, by comparison, are not zero-sum because they reflect ownership of an underlying (and likely profitable) business. Stock owners often receive cash payments in the form of dividends and stock repurchases.

Crypto gains come from payments from other investors

Stock gains come from payments from other investors and payments from the underlying company.

Stocks also have intrinsic value, whereas cryptos have none. Speculative buying and selling of an intrinsically worthless asset = ponsi scheme.
Assets have value because of what they do. Wheat has value because it's a food product that you can consume to sustain yourself. Gold has value because it does not rot, tarnish or rust, and in the latter day because of its other useful electro-chemical properties.

Bitcoin has value because it's the first digital asset that combines decentralization, resistance to double-spending, and resistance to censorship. These are properties that have value to someone, even if they're not something you value.
 

Eflow

Posts: 46   +93
Assets have value because of what they do. Wheat has value because it's a food product that you can consume to sustain yourself. Gold has value because it does not rot, tarnish or rust, and in the latter day because of its other useful electro-chemical properties.

Bitcoin has value because it's the first digital asset that combines decentralization, resistance to double-spending, and resistance to censorship. These are properties that have value to someone, even if they're not something you value.
Intrinsic value on a cash-flow generating asset is something that can be quantified. Value on a commodity is not.

Bitcoin's value as a commodity is very low compared to its current price (again not quantifiable, but my opinion). The entire crypto market is propped up by speculators who hope demand for a low-utilization commodity will grow over time.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
Intrinsic value on a cash-flow generating asset is something that can be quantified. Value on a commodity is not.

Bitcoin's value as a commodity is very low compared to its current price (again not quantifiable, but my opinion). The entire crypto market is propped up by speculators who hope demand for a low-utilization commodity will grow over time.
It's only low-utilization and declining if you think governments are going to become less restrictive and authoritarian. I don't possess that optimism.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,596   +2,812
TechSpot Elite
N.b. I was in a position to do this myself at that time but did not, because I took the advice of fools like the naysayers in this thread and the lies of old cretins like Munger. Thankfully I disabused myself of their notions a few years ago and while I am not in Lambo territory I am in buy a house and improve it territory and not living in some rent-a-slum, and this kind of emancipation is exactly what vampires like Munger and his cringing hangers-on fear and hate.
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