It’s hard for the new kids to impress the cool kids, even on Wall Street.
Meaning Warren Buffett isn’t too hot on cryptocurrencies.
“In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” Mr. Buffett said in an interview on CNBC Wednesday.
“Now when it happens or how or anything else I don’t know, but I know this: if I could buy long term puts, if I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it,” he said.
Though Mr. Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway will “never have a position in” digital currencies, he didn’t deny that the currencies were the business world’s latest interest.
“I have 11 schools coming on Friday,” Mr. Buffett said, alluding to the regular visits he hosts with business-school students. “The questions will be on bitcoin. And I won’t know the answers.”
Mr. Buffett has expressed skepticism about digital currencies several times before, but so far his caution appears to have gone unheeded by the investors who have piled in to bitcoin and its alternatives. Last month, bitcoin rose 40% in under a two-day span, surpassing the $19,000 mark on some exchanges. Initial coin offerings, a way for some startups to raise money through making a digital currency, have also grown in popularity.
But if JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon’s recent statement on the subject is any indication, Mr. Buffett might want to choose his words regarding cryptocurrencies carefully. After calling bitcoin a fraud, Mr. Dimon told Maria Bartiromo on FOX Business Tuesday he regretted his comments.
“I’m not interested that much in the subject at all,” he said on FOX Business.
In September, Mr. Dimon had said at Barclays’ financial services conference that “if we had a trader who traded bitcoin, I’d fire them in a second.” He also said he thought the currency “will eventually blow up.”