‘It’s like a venereal disease’: Warren Buffett close aide Charlie Munger bats for crypto

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Veteran investor Charlie Munger, who is also a long-time business partner of Warren Buffett, said cryptocurrencies are “beneath contempt” and that they should be banned as they are only used in extortion, kidnappings and tax evasion.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the LA-based newspaper company, Daily Journal Corp, which he chairs, the 98-year-old investing icon showed no mercy for the digital currency, likening it to a “sexually transmitted disease.”

“I wish it had been banned immediately, and I admire the Chinese for banning it,” Munger said on February 16, noting that he had never invested in crypto and was proud of avoiding it.

“It’s like a venereal disease or something. I just regard it as beneath contempt,” he said.

The billionaire, who is better known as the Vice Chairman of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, had earlier described Bitcoin as a “rat poison.”

Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, had also earlier ridiculed cryptocurrency as a non-productive asset as against stocks, which earn money for investors in the markets.

However, despite their open criticism of the digital currency, Berkshire Hathaway seems to be warming up to exposure in cryptocurrencies.

A securities filing on February 14 showed that Berkshire Hathaway had purchased $1 billion worth of stock of Brazil’s largest fintech bank Nubank, which is popular among the country’s crypto investors, Cointelegraph reported.

Through his Nubank investment, Buffett can be seen as supporting the digital currency without taking back his criticisms of the past, Greg Waisman, Co-Founder of crypto wallet service Mercuryo, told Cointelegraph.

Although Munger seemed to be fine with the US Federal Reserve launching its own digital currency, the veteran investor questioned the move.

“We’ve got a digital currency already, it’s called a bank account. The banks are all integrated with the Federal Reserve system,” he said.

Meanwhile, he warned of other market excesses such as the flow of venture capital into startups, saying it is like throwing “too much money too fast.”

Munger spoke on a range of topics during the annual meeting, including tensions between the US and China, calling it “massively stupid.”

“We wish that China and the United States got along better,” he said.

Munger’s Daily Journal has recently doubled its stake in China’s e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. 

 

(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)



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