Just a day after JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said that he regrets badmouthing poor old Bitcoin so much, renowned investor Warren Buffet reaffirmed his crypto skepticism, telling CNBC that he would “never have a position in cryptocurrencies” and “that they will come to a bad ending.”
He also admitted that his feelings were essentially nothing more than a hunch: “When it happens, or how, or anything else, I don’t know.”
Paradoxically, Buffet went on to say that he would “be glad to” buy a five-year put on “every one of the cryptocurrencies,” but he would never “short a dime’s worth.”
CNBC’s Jim Cramer rose to Buffet’s defense, saying that the Berkshire Hathaway CEO “didn’t want to hurt people.” Cramer has been critical of cryptocurrency in the past, saying that investors need to have a better understanding of the risks involved before jumping into the cryptocurrency markets.
In the past, Warren Buffet’s crypto criticism appears to have stemmed from a lack of at least some critical knowledge about the way that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology work. After calling Bitcoin a “mirage” on CNBC in 2014, Buffet went on to compare Bitcoin to checks: “A check is a way of transmitting money too. Are checks worth a whole lot of money?”
In his most recent statement, Buffet added that he doesn’t “know anything about” Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures trading.
Could Buffet be Right?
While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can never truly be stamped out by any singular government–or even a group of governments–governments can certainly make life very difficult for Bitcoin holders. The Washington Post reported in December that “governments can make the possession, use, and exchange of Bitcoin illegal.”
Indeed, the price of Bitcoin went into a serious tailspin after a sweeping set of crypto bans in China were enacted this September. Now, it appears that South Korea–the nation with the largest BTC trading volume in the world–is poised to set a similar set of bans into motion.
In the short term, this will undoubtedly have a souring effect on the price of Bitcoin. However, whether the coin will come to a “bad ending”, or indeed any kind of ending, remains to be seen.