Why A Billionaire Investor Called The Cryptocurrency ‘Disgusting’

Since growing in prominence over the past decade, Bitcoin has had more than its share of vocal detractors. Billionaire investor Charlie Munger is one of them. 

On Saturday, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman and Warren Buffett’s right-hand man shared his opinions about the success of the cryptocurrency at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. 

The 97-year-old has been very outspoken about his views on cryptocurrency and has said at a past shareholder’s meeting that Bitcoin is extremely volatile and lacks regulation, so it wouldn’t serve well as an actual monetary currency. 

“Of course I hate the Bitcoin success,” Munger said. “I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

Bitcoin recently saw its highest share price surge over $65,000 thanks to Tesla, who now accepts the currency as payment from customers, and Wall Street banks. As of Sunday at noon ET, Bitcoin is valued over $56,400.

“It’s really kind of an artificial substitute for gold. And since I never buy any gold, I never buy any bitcoin,” Munger said. “Bitcoin reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about fox hunting. He said it was the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable.”

Munger, who once worked at a grocery store owned by Buffett’s grandfather, is a renowned investor and businessman whom Buffett has called a genius.

Munger’s net worth is estimated at $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Charlie Munger, 96, has been Warren Buffett’s longtime partner Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE