Following the weekend's Buffett and Munger bitcoin-bashing ("Someone else is trading turds and you decide I can't be left out"), the 181-year-old pair were joined by Bill Gates in a lengthy CNBC interview this morning... and Munger went rogue once again on cryptos...
"Bitcoin is worthless artificial gold which if it succeeded would facilitate a lot of illicit actvitiy."
"That is not something that the world needs."
"The fact that is clever computer science does not mean it should be widely used and that respectable people should encourage other people to speculate on it."
"Bitcoin reminds me of Oscar Wilde's definition of fox-hunting: the pursuit of the un-eatable by the un-speakable," which confused the anchor and so Munger summarized...
"I think [bitcoin] is a scumball activity."
Bill Gates then added that he was given some for a birthday and decided a few years later to sell it. He does not own any Bitcoin now.
"There's some really good technology such as sharing databases and verifying transactions, but Bitoin and ICOs, I agree [with Munger] completely - it's one of the crazier speculative things... because as an asset class you're not producing anything... you shouldn't expect it to go up...
It's a pure greater fool theory type investment and I would short it if there was an easy way to do it."
However, Munger was not done in his counter-crypto rant, as he told Yahoo Finance that bitcoin is a "combination of dementia and immorality." (Some argued, he would know). Munger then went to savage bitcoin further...
“The computer science behind bitcoin is a great triumph of the human mind,” Munger started. “They created a product that’s hard to create more of but not impossible. [But] I see an artificial speculative medium,” he said, in which people can sell it to someone else at a higher value with no intrinsic value behind it. It’s “anti-social, stupid and immoral,” he said.
“Immoral?” asked the interviewer.
“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it?” Munger asked.
“To me bitcoin is almost as bad.”
And finally Munger concluded...
“I regard the whole thing as a combination of dementia and immorality. I think the people pushing it are a disgrace. There ought to be some things that are beneath you, that you just don’t do, and this is one.”
But Charlie... how do you really feel about crypto?