Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman remains staunchly skeptical of crypto in the wake of FTX’s collapse.
Having previously characterized Bitcoin as “rat poison” and a “venereal disease,” Charlie Munger now likens the most valuable cryptocurrency to child trafficking.
“There are people who think they’ve got to be in on every deal that’s hot,” he told CNBC on Tuesday, while reflecting on high-profile investors getting involved with the industry. “They don’t care if it’s child prostitution or Bitcoin. I think it’s totally crazy.”
The 98-year-old billionaire said that watching numerous “reputable” people support crypto both pains and depresses him, and that they’ve made a “huge mistake” by associating with such “scumball promotions.”
Munger said that while the parties involved with FTX were “well-intentioned,” they were blinded by a mixture of “fraud” and “delusion.”
One of the world’s largest and most high-profile crypto exchanges, FTX, filed for bankruptcy on Friday after allegedly embezzling customer funds to prop up its sister firm, Alameda Research. In the wake of their collapse, the numerous sponsors and partners to sign deals with FTX within the past few years are rushing to cut ties.
Ironically, many crypto community figureheads have argued that FTX’s fallout only reinforces the need for decentralized technologies like Bitcoin, which don’t require centralized intermediaries to function. Munger, however, draws no distinction between crypto itself or its surrounding industry giants.
“Good ideas carried to wretched excess, become bad ideas,” he said. “Nobody’s gonna say, ‘I got some s*** that I want to sell you. They say, ‘It’s blockchain!’”
Instead of crypto, the vice chair remains a fan of the legacy monetary system’s central banking model. “By and large, I like central bankers. By and large, I hate Bitcoin promoters,” he said.
Two exceptions to that rule are Elon Musk and Tesla, despite their prior promotion and acceptance of Bitcoin. “I do not equate Tesla with Bitcoin,” he said. “Tesla has made some real contributions to the civilization.”