“If you buy something like bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don’t have anything that is producing anything. You’re just hoping the next guy pays more. And you only feel you’ll find the next guy to pay more if he thinks he’s going to find someone that’s going to pay more,” adding (just to make sure his point was made) “You aren’t investing when you do that, you’re speculating.”
In layman‘s terms
The “Oracle of Omaha“ continued by presenting a practical example:
“If you buy something [like]a farm, an apartment house or an interest in a business and look to the asset itself to determine whether you’ve done something — what the farm produces, what the business earns… it’s a perfectly satisfactory investment. You look at the investment itself to deliver the return to you. If you ban trading in farms, you could still buy farms, and have a perfectly decent investment… if you ban trading in… bitcoin, which nobody knows exactly what it is, people would say, ‘Well why in the world would I buy it?’”
Bitcoin currently holds no intrinsic value, operates in a mostly unregulated marketplace, and suffers from high volatility. All of these factors have led Buffet, among others, to have considerable skepticism on the subject.
While the Berkshire Hathaway founder opted for a diplomatic yet blunt opinion. Others, not so much. NYU‘s Nouriel Roubini, an economist who spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference, adheres to Buffet‘s skeptic perspective. In the end, he states point blank that, to him, bitcoin is “just bullsh*t“.