Rich dudes are running out of insults for Bitcoin
Bitcoin bashing has been a popular sport among the very rich for quite a while, but this week the usual suspects have considerably upped their game.
These days, it’s no longer enough to call Bitcoin a bad or dangerous investment. If you want to convince the world that Bitcoin is no good, you need to conjure up a string of adjectives so scathing that it makes the Bitcoin sound worse than the plague.
Just yesterday, in an interview with Yahoo Finance, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger called Bitcoin “anti-social,” “stupid,” “immoral,” and a “turd.” He likened it to organ trading, said people pushing Bitcoin are a “disgrace,” and he somehow managed to squeeze the word “dementia” in there, too.
And I didn’t just make the plague thing up; in an earlier comment, dating Dec. 2017, Munger actually likened Bitcoin to that largely eradicated, extremely infectious disease — though he mercifully didn’t specify whether he’s talking about the pneumonic or the marginally less horrible bubonic form.
Munger’s boss, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, shares his outlook on Bitcoin. He, too, has recently become creative when it comes to bad-mouthing the popular cryptocurrency. A few days ago, he told CNBC that Bitcoin is probably “rat poison squared.”
I’m not exactly sure how you square rat poison, but it sounds very bad — far worse than regular rat poison. Though, to be completely frank, rat poison is only bad if you ingest it. Perhaps Buffett, who’d built his empire with long-term investments in no-nonsense stocks including Coca-Cola and Apple, is referring to owning a rat poison manufacturing business. That doesn’t sound so bad, unless you’re a rat.
On Monday, Bill Gates himself joined the party, calling Bitcoin a “greater fool theory” type of investment. He added that he would short it if there was an easy way to do it, which was somewhat odd as there is a pretty easy way to short Bitcoin, as noted by investor and cryptocurrency proponent Tyler Winklevoss.
If you’re keeping count, that’s two out of three richest people on the planet. Jeff Bezos, if you have something bad to say about Bitcoin, you had better start working on your derogatory remarks because the bar has been set high.
I get it: Journalists like to ask rich people and famous investors about Bitcoin and they oblige them with answers. But some of these comments are borderline comedy, and are more likely to provoke a few laughs than to sway anyone’s opinion.
Obviously, if you’re looking for quality information on Bitcoin, you probably shouldn’t listen to people who keep setting unrealistic price goals or just keep yelling “HODL,” either (in cryptocurrency lingo, “hodl” means holding on to an asset for dear life and never selling it, no matter the losses). There are plenty of smart, reasonable people in the cryptocurrency space who’ll likely skip the price talk altogether and focus on the technology, which is at the very least promising.
Bitcoin’s price has pulled back somewhat following the remarks from Buffett, Munger and Gates, despite The New York Times‘ report that the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE is looking to launch a Bitcoin trading platform. Historically, however, scathing remarks from famous investors have done little to stifle its price growth. Perhaps what’s needed is stronger words still — or perhaps the crypto crowd doesn’t really care about comments from people who are otherwise more or less uninterested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH .