Bitcoin Is 'Poison,' Says Berkshire Billionaire Charlie Munger

At a time when investors were looking to conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway for details about stock holdings, the company's leadership was focused on another area: cryptocurrencies. Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger spoke out about bitcoin, which he sees as a "noxious poison." 

Munger spoke about the latest investment craze at a shareholder meeting for Daily Journal, a Los Angeles-based publishing company for which he serves as chair and director, according to a report by CNBC. Munger is also the vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway and the longstanding investment partner of Warren Buffett, whose net worth tops $76 billion. 

Munger indicated that he believes the current hype involving bitcoin is "totally asinine." He continued by commenting on the government crackdown in China, which some have speculated could be repeated elsewhere and possibly even in the United States. "Our government's more lax approach to it is wrong," Munger suggested, adding that "the right answer to something like that is to step on it hard."

More Receptive to Blockchain Technology

Munger didn't seem to suggest that cryptocurrencies were entirely bad, however, at least because of the blockchain technology that they have helped to proliferate.

Many industries outside of cryptocurrencies have taken on blockchain to enhance traditional business models. What Munger doesn't have time for, however, is the investing frenzy which has ballooned the values of cryptocurrencies the world over to outlandish levels.

When asked about the general economic climate and the government's intension to increase the deficit, Munger expressed concern. He said he's worried "about the rising level of government debt. On the other hand, it's possible the world will function well even with a different pattern of government behavior." Ultimately, he retained some wry optimism. "Don't expect the world to go totally to hell," he said.

Munger's skepticism about bitcoin is shared by his boss, billionaire Warren Buffett, the chair and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. "In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending," Buffett said. (See more: Warren Buffett: Cryptocurrency Will Come to a Bad End.)

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns cryptocurrencies.

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