Warren Buffett might be the most legendary investor on earth. The Omaha resident, famous for both his billions and his frugality, built Berkshire Hathaway into a financial empire. So when he talks money, people listen, and his discussion of Bitcoin has probably perked up a few years.
Before you ask, Buffet point-blank says he doesn’t own any Bitcoin, and since he doesn’t know anything about Bitcoin or how it works, he has no intention of getting into the Bitcoin game. In fact, what’s going on in the cryptocurrency market seems, to him, a bit of a warning, he told CNBC: “In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said. “When it happens or how or anything else, I don’t know.”
But Buffet isn’t irrationally down on Bitcoin. In fact, he says if he could buy cryptocurrency on a five-year future, he’d probably do it for every one of them, but that he wouldn’t “short a dime’s worth.” That’s an interesting point, on Buffet’s part, and it’s not without historical precedent. If you bought a few Bitcoin in January 2013 at around $22 a pop, if you cashed them in today, they’d be worth nearly $14,000 a pop. Not a bad rate of return.
The question, of course, is what the value will be five years from now, which is Buffet’s entire point. Keep in mind, Buffet has made his billions by taking the long view, looking for companies that are undervalued by the market, buying them, and sitting on them until the market appreciates what they’re worth. That’s tricky to do with Bitcoin, which is dependent entirely on the whims of its fans, but other currencies, like Ethereum or XRP. may have a more secure road to being an investment.
It really comes down to where you see the market in five years, and whether you agree with Buffett or not, he does have a point about the cryptocurrency market; right now, everybody’s looking at next week, not next year.
Frontpage August 19, 2019