Charlie Munger: Crypto entrepreneurs “want to get rich quick” without “doing anything for civilization”
Berkshire Hathaway Vice President (BRK-A, BRK-B) Charlie Munger on Wednesday strongly criticized cryptocurrency traders as part of a rapidly evolving scheme and accused the United States of what he considered a failure.
Munger, 98, a longtime critic of the cryptocurrency trade, said the more popular market was run by “people who want to get rich quick for doing so little for civilization.”
“I don’t think it’s good that our country is crazy about bitcoin and its likes,” he added. “I hate that.”
Munger said this in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer at the annual meeting of shareholders of the Daily Journal, chaired by Munger.
Sharp words for cryptocurrency denote the second in a series of similar Munger notes. In recent years, he has described bitcoin as “rat poison” and “harmful poison.” Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, a longtime friend and colleague of Munger’s, also described bitcoin as a “rat poison.”
A survey conducted by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) in June found that one-third of mainstream investment firms agreed with Buffett’s behaviour. In an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, Munger also expressed his anger at the US government over the failure to ban cryptocurrency.
“It’s a big mistake to admit it,” Munger said. “You released the evil spirit from the bottle.”
Munger, on the other hand, praised China for banning cryptocurrencies in September.
“I think the Chinese Communists are wiser than we are,” he said. “They just forbid it.”
The outlook for US cryptocurrency regulation remains unclear, even as top federal officials show a desire to strengthen governance. In July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for the speedy adoption of rules for stablecoins, a form of cryptocurrency that puts its value on a product or currency such as the US dollar.
In August, SEC President Gary Gensler described the crypto market as the “wild wild west” and has since expressed a desire to regulate it.
Munger expressed skepticism about the government’s desire for strong cryptocurrency regulation.
“The reality is our regulatory stance – when they leave the government, they go into this difficult propaganda capitalism,” he said.
“So it’s very difficult to get the government to make good and smart decisions about something like bitcoin.”