vice chairman Charlie Munger—viewed by many as Warren Buffett’s right-hand man—on Wednesday praised China for banning cryptocurrencies, saying he was “ashamed” that the U.S. has not outlawed
and its ilk.
“It’s worthless, it’s no good, it’s crazy. It’ll do nothing but harm. It’s antisocial to allow it,” Munger said Wednesday, speaking of what he called “crypto crappo” at the annual shareholders meeting of the
Daily Journal Corporation
As well as being the vice chairman of
(BRK.A and BRK.B), famed stockpicker Munger is the former chairman of the Daily Journal and continues to sit on the newspaper company’s board.
“I’m ashamed of my country that so many people believe in this crap and the government allows it to exist,” Munger said. “The guy who made the correct decision on this is the Chinese leader, [who] took one look at crypto sh-t and said ‘not in my China’ … he’s right and we’re wrong.” China, under President Xi Jinping, banned cryptocurrency transactions in late 2021.
Munger is a longtime cryptoskeptic and has spoken out repeatedly over the years about the dangers of investing in high-risk digital assets like Bitcoin, which have no fundamental value behind them. At times, he has looked wrong, or at least on the wrong side of the market—such as in the midst of Bitcoin’s 2020 and 2021 bull run, which saw the asset rise to a November 2021 high near $69,000 from below $10,000.
But, like many wagers made by 99-year-old Munger, he has turned out correct in time. Bitcoin was changing hands on Thursday at less than a quarter of its late-2021 all-time high, with the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies down to $1.1 trillion from almost $3 trillion over the same period.
Cascading prices have also ushered in a wave of business failures and bankruptcies across the digital asset landscape, including some—like crypto exchange FTX and lender Celsius—amid allegations of fraud.
While Munger said he’s “ashamed” the U.S. hasn’t banned Bitcoin, his hopes for a crackdown may soon be at least partially satisfied. Regulatory storm clouds have been gathering around crypto for months, with the Securities and Exchange Commission striking a distinctly more aggressive tone in recent weeks.
Write to Jack Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org