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Charlie Munger Says He Admires China For Banning Cryptocurrency

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Famed investor and Warren Buffett’s right-hand man — Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger — really doesn’t like cryptocurrency. The 97-year-old billionaire recently told a conference, per CNBC, “I wish [digital currencies had] never been invented,” and, “I admire the Chinese, I think they made the correct decision, which was to simply ban them.” These comments are actually tame compared to what Munger has said about crypto in the past. Earlier this year on a call with shareholders, he said, “I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. … I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.” He’s also called Bitcoin “artificial substitute for gold.” It’s safe to say Munger truly despises digital currency. 

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger still isn’t a fan of cryptocurrency.

“I wish they’d never been invented,” Munger said at the Sohn conference in Sydney on Friday, according to The Australian Financial Review.

“I admire the Chinese, I think they made the correct decision, which was to simply ban them,” Munger added.

This year, interest in digital assets surged, with the cryptocurrency market briefly surpassing a market value of $3 trillion in November and top coins, like bitcoin, hitting record highs.

This isn’t a new stance for the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. In May, during a Q&A session at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, Munger said that his dislike for bitcoin increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Of course I hate the bitcoin success,” he said. “I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air.”

“I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,” Munger added.

Of course, bitcoin supporters would disagree with Munger. They believe bitcoin is a store of value that can be used to hedge against inflation. They’d argue that bitcoin is a sound peer-to-peer financial system.

But Munger has consistently criticized bitcoin for its extreme volatility.

“It’s really kind of an artificial substitute for gold. And since I never buy any gold, I never buy any bitcoin,” Munger said at the annual shareholders meeting for the Daily Journal in February. “Bitcoin reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about fox hunting. He said it was the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable.”

Bitcoin is currently trading at around $56,085, according to Coin Metrics, with a market value of over $1 trillion.

Originally posted CNBC.

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