Finance, Startup News & Analysis

Warren Buffett warns cryptocurrencies will come to a “bad ending”

Dominic Powell /

Investing oracle Warren Buffett has weighed in on cryptocurrencies, telling CNBC he believes with “almost certainty” digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum will come to a “bad ending”.

While Buffett hasn’t put a timeframe on the demise of cryptocurrency markets, he said if he had the option, he’d bet against “every one” of them.

“If I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it but I would never short a dime’s worth,” he told CNBC.

A ‘put’ option gives traders the right to sell a specified amount of a security at a specified price over a timeframe, effectively hedging against future price drops. Currently there are no services allowing crypto traders to issue put options on currencies.

Recently, two major finance companies in the US introduced the option for futures trading of Bitcoin, a first in traditional finance circles. However, Buffett said both he and his holding company Berkshire Hathaway are not interested.

“We don’t own any, we’re not short any, we’ll never have a position in them,” he said.

“I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about. Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don’t know anything about.”

Buffett’s comments echo those of JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon, who said in September 2016 that Bitcoin “a fraud” and he would fire his employees if he found them to be trading the cryptocurrency (although Dimon says he now “regrets” making that call).

Cryptocurrency prices have taken a recent dive, with most of the market being down more than 10% over the past few days and Bitcoin backing off its recent run after smashing through the $US10,000 milestone late last year. The digital currency is currently worth $20,745.

Read more: Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and Square Peg’s Paul Bassat bet thousands on the price of Bitcoin

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Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is the lead reporter at StartupSmart.

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  • Rohan Baker

    Actually its fallen further still. It’s now AUD $18,400

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    • Meanwhile, if someone bought in at 7k only a couple months earlier and exited at 20k then would they still be a fool? That’s what I did. You can short the market, but it’s a risk… of course, just like any other market. Your remark sounds like the bitter tears of someone who stayed with BHP at 2% pa instead of taking a risk elsewhere. There are safe bets and there are high risk bets, a reasonable portfolio should have a little of every flavour.

  • aussiemike

    Cryptocurrencies are being talked down by traditional currency traders. There must be something there otherwise why would governments’ be introducing taxation rules on them. As Warrren Buffett states, why would he invest in something he doesn’t understand. In that case Warren, you are not qualified to comment.

  • The headline is nothing but click-bait eyeballs title, one can debut if such title serves the community or not depends on what side of the fence you are on with cryptocurrency! Any way without reading the above the meat is as follows Warren Buffett said in own words above “I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about. Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don’t know anything about.” take from Warren Buffett statement, that what you will.