Bitcoin is ‘noxious poison’, says Warren Buffett investment chief | Technology

Billionaire vice-chair of Berkshire Hathaway calls for crackdown on ‘asinine’ cryptocurrency

a bitcoin 'coin' and a graph showing a long steady fall






Bitcoin fell below $6,000 recently on 6 February. It exceeded $19,000 in November 2017.
Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

Bitcoin is heading towards $10,000 again, despite comments from the US billionaire Charles Munger who described the digital currency as “noxious poison”.

Munger, the vice-chairman of Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, said he considered the bitcoin craze to be “totally asinine”.

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Speaking at the annual meeting of the US publishing firm Daily Journal, which he chairs, in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Munger said: “I never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”


Bitcoin is rising towards $10,000, a level it has not seen since 1 February. It hit $9,977 earlier on Thursday and is now trading at around $9,580, up nearly 1%.

Munger called for a government crackdown on the cryptocurrency, similar to the one in China, saying: “Our government’s more lax approach to it is wrong. The right answer to something like that is to step on it hard.”

Bitcoin tumbled last month to below $6,000 when China stepped up its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, reportedly targeting online platforms and mobile apps. Chinese state media reported that the government was planning to stamp out remaining cryptocurrency trading in the country following its crackdown last year, when Beijing shut down bitcoin exchanges and banned all initial coin offerings.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, also signalled a crackdown.

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” – a decentralised tradeable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption – or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it is hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

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