Billionaire investor Warren Buffett thinks blockchain technology “is important,” but remains far less bullish on bitcoin.
Speaking to CNBC’s Becky Quick, the chairman and CEO of the multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway reiterated his long-held views on bitcoin, calling the way some people perceive the cryptocurrency “a delusion.”
“It’s ingenious and blockchain is important but bitcoin has no unique value at all,” Buffett said. “It doesn’t produce anything, you can stare at it all day and no little bitcoins come out or anything like that.”
Acknowledging that bitcoin and blockchain were explained to him by others, Buffett added:
“People get their hopes up that something like that is going to change their lives, and it’s a very ingenious thing to figure out how to have a limited supply and make it harder and more expensive to create them as you go along and all that sort of thing but it doesn’t, the function … blockchain does not depend on [bitcoin].”
He did not elaborate on why he sees blockchain as being important.
Buffett did, however, note that JPMorgan Chase is launching its own dollar-pegged cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin. It is unclear how the so-called Sage of Omaha feels about this particular use case.
Like Buffett, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has long been a bitcoin detractor, famously calling it a “fraud” in 2017 (though he later said he regretted the comment, despite continued reservations).
‘Rat poison squared’
Buffett’s views on bitcoin are well-known: as far back as 2014, he was warning investors to avoid the cryptocurrency.
Last May, he referred to bitcoin as “rat poison squared,” noting that it was a “nonproductive asset” during the annual Berkshire shareholder meeting.
Bitcoin’s price is dependent on individuals wanting to pay more for each coin than was previously paid, he said.
Similarly, he predicted that bitcoin would come to “a bad ending” in January 2018, and emphasized that Berkshire would not hold a position in bitcoin futures.
Warren Buffett image via Krista Kennell / Shutterstock
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