Charlie Munger, 99-year-old billionaire, believes that the crypto-currency industry’s lack of regulation is encouraging private companies to launch crypto-currencies with a predatory tokenism. He’s not wrong, but his solution – banning all crypto-currencies in the U.S. – seems a bit radical.
Following China’s “Splendid Example
The 99-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. published an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday calling for the U.S. to ban crypto-currencies completely.
“A crypto-currency isn’t a currency, nor a commodity, nor a security. Instead, it’s a gambling contract with a near 100% house edge, entered into in a country where gambling contracts have traditionally been regulated only by states that compete on laxity“, said Charlie Munger. He criticized crypto-currency projects that sell tokens to venture capitalists in advance before making only a small portion of the token supply available to the public – a predatory system that allows first-round investors to dump their holdings on individual investors.
“Such a miserable excess has occurred because there is a gap in the regulation” said Charlie Munger, citing the need for government pre-approval of disclosures before a new coin is issued by a private company. He then urged the U.S. to follow China’s lead and ban crypto-currencies outright, stating that “the nation should thank Xi Jinping for his splendid example of uncommon sense“.
This is not the first time the billionaire has expressed his views on crypto; in fact, the editorial may mark Charlie Munger’s most reasonable critique of the industry to date. In May 2021, Charlie Munger stated that the asset class was “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization“, adding that he did not welcome “a currency so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so on.“
Charlie Munger’s famous business partner, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, has also expressed skepticism about crypto, albeit in milder terms. “The’idea that Bitcoin has some huge intrinsic value is a joke in my opinion” he said in a 2018 CNBC interview.