Warren Buffett and his aged sidekick Charlie Munger have been pretty hard on bitcoins and all things cryptocurrent. They’ve said, “with almost certainty,” that “they will come to a bad end.” They’ve called it “rat poison squared” and the province of gamblers and “the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable.” They’ve called it “anti-social” and “stupid,” “almost as bad” as “trading freshly harvested baby brains,” and a “combination of dementia and immorality.” They’ve said they “have no value and don’t produce anything.” They’ve said its “worthless artificial gold” and “we’ll never have a position in them.”
Hey, speaking of gold, the Berkshire boys have been pretty hard on it, too. They’ve said it doesn’t grow and is “incapable of producing anything,” which sounds an awful lot like a physical version of crypto. They’ve said, “you can fondle the cube, but it will not respond.” They’ve said they would “rather trust in the intrinsic value of a bunch of really fine businesses… than take some piece of metal that people dig out of the ground in South Africa and then put back in the ground at Fort Knox.” They’ve said “gold would be way down on my list as a store of value.” They’ve said, “I can’t imagine a worse crowd to deal with than a bunch of gold bugs.”
Berkshire late Friday disclosed that it held a $565 million stake in Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s second-largest gold miner, at the end of the second quarter…. The news “is earth-shaking in the gold market,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, adding that Berkshire taking the stake in Barrick at the same time that it unloaded billions of dollars in bank stocks such as Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. was instilling more faith in the bullion rally.
So, you know, never say never about the future Berkshire bitcoin portfolio. Or, for that matter, say it all you want, as Buffett and Munger have done, for as the Oracle of Omaha would tell you himself, “never” doesn’t necessarily mean never.