Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger railed against bitcoin in Berkshire’s annual meeting Saturday, calling the cryptocurrency — which Munger and longtime partner Warren Buffett have excoriated for years — “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”
During a live question-and-answer session Saturday, an investor challenged Buffett and Munger on their well-documented skepticism of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, whose price has surged more than sixfold over the last year.
Buffett dodged the question, joking that he’ll anger bitcoin owners if he criticizes it.
Munger was less diplomatic: He said he hates bitcoin’s recent gains, arguing the currency was “created out of thin air” and is a go-to payment method for criminals.
“I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists,” Munger said. “I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”
Bitcoin skepticism isn’t a new position for the two leaders of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett has called bitcoin a “delusion” and “rat poison,” and he vowed last year to never own any cryptocurrencies, arguing they attract charlatans and “basically have no value.” Munger, for his part, has called bitcoin “artificial gold” and insisted its volatility makes it useless as a means of exchange, and he’s compared crypto investing to “trading turds.”