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.