Cryptocurrency crash appears to be proving Buffett's criticism was justified


FRI, NOV 23, 2018


Buffett's prediction of a "bad ending" for cryptocurrencies appears to be coming true

Just days after bitcoin hit an all-time high above $19,000 in late December of 2017, Warren Buffett appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" and said, "In terms of cryptocurrencies generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending." 

Commenters on the CNBC YouTube clip were not kind, calling him "drunk," "old," "gramps", "an old fossil," and a "dinosaur." (He did have some defenders who suggested "millennial hipsters" were taking a risk by challenging one of the world's most successful investors.)


In that interview Buffett said he didn't know when that "bad ending" would come. Bloomberg's Lionel Laurent argues that time in now.


In "Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett Have the Last Laugh on Bitcoin," Laurent notes bitcoin is now around $4,000, down almost 80 percent since December.


"The cryptocurrency experts, who clearly didn't see this coming, are blaming all sorts of temporary culprits ... but they're kidding themselves. This is a long-term unraveling of all of the lies, exaggeration and populist fantasies that drove last year's market mania."


Bitcoin supporters counter it's too soon to declare winners and losers. Rick D. writes on NewsBTC that while there's "no denying" the bitcoin market has dropped, it, like all markets, experiences booms and busts." Replying directly to the Bloomberg piece, he argues that "to pronounce the entire space dead for repeating a price pattern that has happened several times before is jumping the gun at best, and click-bait sensationalism at worst."


  • Forbes contributor Gary Mishuris makes the strong case that even if you had known about Buffett's spectacular track record in the 1950s and '60s, you probably wouldn't have invested with him because "his partnership did not appear conventional and he did not invest conventionally." (Buffett even recalls "there were people in Omaha who thought what I was doing was some sort of Ponzi scheme.")


  • Fortune's Adam Seessel looks at what he calls "An Evolve-or-Die Moment for the World's Great Investors." He writes that Buffett has become a value heretic, telling shareholders, in Seessel's words, "the world was changing, and the tech companies that value investors used to haughtily dismiss were here to stay—and were immensely valuable." But in a "deep and important debate" among value investors, some are following Buffett into tech while others are still "betting on the very same old-economy companies that Buffett long favored."



Buffett and Munger have been dubious about bitcoin since at least 2013.


Here's a collection of nine video clips from CNBC's Warren Buffett Archive in which they say things like they have "no confidence" in bitcoin, it's "not a currency," "it's a mirage," it's "creating nothing," and that trading it is like "trading turds." 



Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares closed at $310,340 Friday, up 4.6% over the previous four weeks, and up 13.1% from one year ago.

Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares closed at $207.07, up 4.3% over the previous four weeks, and up 13.6% from one year ago.

The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at 2632.56, down 1.0% over the previous four weeks, and up 1.2% from one year ago.



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