Charlie Munger on Bitcoin: “It’s totally insane”

Patrick Poke

Livewire Markets

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman, Charlie Munger, is not known for his subtlety. In a recent conversation at the University of Michigan, Munger was true to style and has some fairly strong messages for cryptocurrency enthusiasts and novices alike. A transcription of his comments on Bitcoin is available below, or you can watch the full interview, which is full of Munger’s trademark wisdom and wit.

“I think it’s perfectly asinine to even pause to think about them.

You know, it’s one thing to think that gold has some marvellous store of value, because man has no way of inventing more gold or getting it very easily, so it has the advantage of rarity. Believe me, man is capable of somehow creating more Bitcoin.

They tell you they’re not going to do it, but they mean that they’re not going to do it unless they want to. If they say they’ve got rules and they can’t do it, don’t believe them. When there’s enough incentive, bad things will happen.

Bad people, crazy bubble, bad idea – luring people into the concept of easy wealth without much insight or work. It’s the last thing on earth that you should think about. If it worked it would be bad for you, because you’d try to do it again. It’s totally insane. 

By the way, I just laid out a wonderful life lesson for you; give a whole lot of things a wide berth. They don’t exist. Crooks, crazies, egomaniacs, people full of resentment, people full of self-pity, people who feel like victims, there’s a whole lot of things that aren’t going to work for you. Figure out what they are and avoid them like the plague. One of them is Bitcoin.

The worst thing would happen if you won, because then you’d do it again. It’s total insanity. It’s so easy to simplify life – all these things are beneath you. People who are promoting Bitcoin, I don’t want them to know my address, they’re not my kind of people.”

A cryptocurrency fact to tell your friends

The combined market captialisation of the top 100 cryptocurrencies is US$670.6B, which exceeds the market capitalisation of Berkshire Hathway (US$510.8B) by more than $150B. 

Watch the full video

Discussion of Bitcoin starts at 38:35


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Managing Editor
Livewire Markets

Patrick was one of Livewire’s first employees, joining in 2015 after nearly a decade working in insurance, superannuation, and retail banking. He is passionate about investing, with a particular interest in Australian small-caps.

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