“‘I’ve seen people do stupid things all my life.’”
In an interview early Wednesday with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Warren Buffett again shared his thoughts on bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.15% and crypto more broadly, likening them to the gambling he has seen throughout his life.
“I didn’t like chain letters when I was a kid. I thought, why in the world should I send along a chain letter?” said Buffett. “I’ve seen people do stupid things all my life. And I really, I empathize with that. I mean, people like to play the lottery. … People love the idea that they’re going to make more money tomorrow.”
Though Buffett has expressed this view before, what was surprising about Wednesday’s interview is that he doubled down on it in the face of bitcoin’s recent rally.
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin asked him when, exactly, bitcoin would become “not a thing.” Bitcoin has existed for 15 years, and was above $30,000 on Tuesday, its highest since June 2022. Some industry experts have looked at it as a safe haven when compared with other investing options.
But Buffett compared crypto to witnessing people gambling when he was on his honeymoon in the 1950s in Las Vegas.
“I looked at all these people, who had flown thousands of miles to do something that [was] unintelligent as fast as they could,” said Buffett. “They thought the dice were hot or something like that. And I thought, I’m going to get rich in this country, I mean, if that’s what people do. I can be smarter than that.”
“It really drives them crazy if their next-door neighbor is making more money not knowing what they’re doing, and they’re just sitting there and their spouse is saying, ‘Why is that guy getting a second car, and why are we missing this whole thing?’ ” Buffett added. “The gambling instinct is so strong.”
Bitcoin was trading at $30,509 on Friday evening, up 0.67% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data. The token is still far from its peak of $65,000 in November 2021.