Charlie Munger says bitcoin’s rise is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’

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It seems safe to say that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. vice president Charlie Munger’s crypto skepticism has not been softened by the rally in prices of bitcoins and other digital assets.

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“’Of course, I hate the success of bitcoin and do not welcome a currency that is useful to kidnappers and extortionists, etc. I also don’t like spending an extra few billion and billions of dollars on someone who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. So I think I should say modestly that I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization. And I will leave the criticism to others. “- Charlie Munger

Munger’s comments came in response to a question at Berkshire BRK.A’s annual shareholders meeting, -1.29% BRK.B, -0.95% on Saturday. Munger and President Warren Buffett were asked about their feelings regarding the rise in cryptocurrency values ​​given Munger’s previous characterization of bitcoin as worthless “artificial gold”.

Read: Berkshire Hathaway Returns to Quarterly Gains on Insurance and Stock Gains Buffett, who over the years previously described crypto as “rat poison squared” and an “illusion”, with “no unique value”, said that It would “dodge” the question, considering that the vast majority of investors who watched the meeting online were probably bitcoin holders. “We probably have hundreds of thousands of people watching that own bitcoin, and we probably have two people who are short. So we have a choice of making 400,000 people angry and unhappy with us … or making two people happy, and that’s a silly equation, ”Buffett joked. Munger, however, was not reluctant and said the question was like waving a “red flag” in front of a bull: Bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.72%, which is notoriously volatile, has rallied over the past year, topping $ 60,000 for the first time in March before a pullback that briefly took it below $ 50,000 earlier this month. The digital asset was trading near $ 56,700 as of noon Sunday, down 1.7% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin was trading at around $ 29,000 in early 2021 and around $ 8,000 a year ago. See: ‘I’ve learned how much I don’t know’ about bitcoin, says investor Howard Marks. While this year’s event was the second in a row to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buffett and Munger addressed a range of inquiries in a 3.5-hour question-and-answer session. Barron’s on MarketWatch: Berkshire Hathaway‘s Earnings Show Warren Buffett’s company is on a roll Many of the questions were specific to Berkshire, with Buffett dismissing criticism of the company’s sale of its airline stakes during the height of the pandemic. Other topics included the increase in short-term trading activity by individual investors, the impact of Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicles, or SPACs, on the trading environment, signs of inflation in the economy, and the moral debate in around the buyback of shares. Read: Warren Buffett cautions investors not to bet on stocks