Bitcoin: Warren Buffett warns cryptocurrency craze 'will come to a bad ending'

Top investor is staying away from the craze as values drop by thousands of dollars in days

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Wednesday 10 January 2018 22:11
What is Bitcoin and why is its price so high?

Warren Buffett isn’t buying the cryptocurrency craze.

“I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said during an interview with CNBC.

As the price of bitcoin surged to a record high of nearly $20,000 (£14,800) in December, the alternative currency — and the idea of cryptocurrencies in general — generated intense interest from both amateur investors and from institutions like Goldman Sachs, which reportedly is setting up a cryptocurrency trading desk.

Mr Buffett, known for his often-prescient investing decisions, acknowledged that “virtually everybody” had seemingly expressed interest but said he would not invest in cryptocurrency.

“We don’t own any, we’re not short any, we’ll never have a position in them,” he said.

Bitcoin’s value has fluctuated over the last month, taking a precipitous plunge after soaring to new heights in mid-December.

Its value stood at $13,835 as of Wednesday morning, according to the Coinbase exchange — a drop of thousands from days earlier.

Financial experts have pointed to that volatility in warning potential investors to exercise caution, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has warned about security vulnerabilities.

But sceptics have come around somewhat, with JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon saying he regretted calling bitcoin a fraud.

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