Warren Buffett compares bitcoin to 'rat poison squared' and says cryptocurrencies 'will come to a bad ending'

Prominent investor also downplays risks of US-China trade war

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Saturday 05 May 2018 20:50 BST
Warren Buffet: Bitcoin is 'rat poison squared'

Mega-investor Warren Buffett still is not buying into the cryptocurrency craze, likening bitcoin to “rat poison squared”.

“Cryptocurrencies will come to a bad ending”, Mr Buffett told shareholders at a retreat in Omaha, Nebraska, according to the Associated Press, adding that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value.

“It essentially will not deliver anything other than supposed scarcity”, added Mr Buffett, who has earned the nickname the “Oracle of Omaha” for his prescient investment decisions.

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO maintained his sceptical stance even as the alternate currency’s soaring value set off a scramble last year.

In an interview with CNBC last year, he said his company did not own any cryptocurrency and was avoiding taking a position in them.

“What’s going on definitely will come to a bad ending,” Mr Buffett said at the time.

Other prominent economists and investors have echoed those warnings, cautioning that the frenzied speculation around cryptocurrencies had the makings of a bubble.

Turning to politics, Mr Buffett downplayed the risks of a trade war breaking out as a result of Donald Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium, which sparked Chinese retaliation. He said it was unlikely that the two countries would “dig themselves into” a “real trade war”, suggesting the broad appeal of trade would prevent conflict.

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“The United States and China are going to be the two superpowers of the world, economically and in other ways for a long, long, long time. We have a lot of common interests and, like any two big economic entities, there are times when there will be tensions,” Mr, Buffett said. “But it is a win-win situation when the world trades.”

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