JOHANNESBURG — The Oracle of Omaha has nailed his colours to the mast when it comes to the recent mania around cryptocurrencies. In an interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett said that he doesn’t understand cryptocurrencies and therefore steers clear of them. But he also said that he believes the current craze around cryptos will have a “bad ending” and that if there was a 5-year put option on all cryptocurrencies, he would sign up for it. Buffett also took a side-swipe at listed companies that have made Bitcoin announcements and then seen a subsequent spike in their share prices. Just this week, Kodak’s shares soared as it announced that it will be renting out Bitcoin mining rigs and launching its own digital token. The likes of Long Island Tea has also renamed itself Long Blockchain, boosting its overall market cap… – Gareth van Zyl
In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending. Now, when it happens, or how, or anything else, I don’t know. But I know this: if I can buy long-term puts (put options)…if I can buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it. But I would never short a dime’s worth.
Have you ever thought about trading the futures to take a negative position on Bitcoin?
J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon says he regrets making negative comments about bitcoin: 'The blockchain is real' https://t.co/HKkMqLWvz9
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 9, 2018
You would not do that?
No. There’s no reason. I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about. Why in the world should I take a long or a short on something I don’t know anything about. So, we don’t have to know what cocoa beans are going to do or cryptocurrencies. We just have to focus on 8 or 10 stocks, businesses basically, that we think are decent businesses. I think what’s going on will definitely come to a bad ending. I mean, you’ve got virtually everybody [talking about cryptocurrencies.] I’ve got a class in schools coming on Friday — the questions will be on Bitcoin and I won’t know the answers.
When we sat down Warren, you did say that I should have got involved in Bitcoin this morning.
Well, that is true (laughs). That would have been much more interesting to the audience that we were going to issue a whole series of cryptocurrencies tomorrow, but we aren’t, believe me. And we don’t own any, we not short any, we won’t grab a position in them.