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Here's What Charlie Munger Thinks of the Bitcoin Boom

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Updated Jun 22, 2021 at 3:54PM

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Warren Buffett's longtime partner just gave some unfiltered commentary about the cryptocurrency market.

Charlie Munger is known for telling investors exactly how he feels about popular trends, and he recently did exactly that about Bitcoin (BTC -0.36%). In this Fool Live clip, recorded on May 3, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, and Jason Moser discuss the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman's Bitcoin comments and why he's not likely to change his mind anytime soon.

Matt Frankel: Well, let's get to the Bitcoin part because let's get this out of the way because I know Jason is going to be triggered and offended by these comments.

Jason Moser: Hate mail is addressed to Matt Frankel.

Frankel: They're not my words.

Moser: No. That's right. We're just communicating what we've heard. But I thought this would be a fun one to talk about so, yeah, let's dig in a little bit on Munger's feelings on Bitcoin.

Frankel: First of all, Buffett dodged the question, he even said I'm dodging the question.

Moser: It's like politics.

Frankel: He completely understands that his opinion on Bitcoin is not a popular one.

Moser: Yeah.

Frankel: Buffett does. Munger has always been an unfiltered speaker. Whatever filter he had now that he's 97 is gone.

Moser: Yeah. 

Frankel: He's had some pretty mean comments about Bitcoin through the years already. He said, "Of course I hate the Bitcoin success." That's what he said.  He said, "I don't welcome a currency that's so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth. Nor do I like shuffling out a few extra billions and billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air." If that wasn't enough, he went on to say that it's "disgusting and contrary to the interest of civilization."

Moser: Wow.

Frankel: Tell us how you really feel, Charlie.

Moser: Those are strong words. Agree with them or disagree with them, we're talking about, obviously, his feelings on the matter, and granted he's not the only one I'm sure that feels that way. But yeah, it does seem like he's opening the invitation for a lot of blow back there from the younger generations of investors who feel like he's too old, he just doesn't get it, Bitcoin is the future, whatever it may be. Everybody has got an opinion on the matter. It's not like Charlie is just some guy who picked a couple of stocks and rode that success. He's been part of building something pretty special and pretty meaningful over the last several decades. He knows a thing or two.

Frankel: I don't want to get involved in the Twitter war. I know there's a lot of people at The Motley Fool who love Bitcoin, who are big believers in it.

Moser: Yeah.

Frankel: It's a very polarizing investing topic.

Moser: Yeah. I think it's interesting too, because you said these are his words, but he refers to it as a currency. There is a debate to be had as currency versus asset. Two very different things. It certainly depends on the perspective of how you're viewing it, whether it's an asset, or a currency, or something else.

Frankel: Yes, what I would say is don't be so quick to dismiss Munger as "OK boomer," or any of those. I think he's actually above a boomer.

Moser: I think you're right.

Frankel: I think the oldest boomers are in their 70s right now, and he's well beyond that.

Moser: That's no surprise his feelings on the matter. I would imagine with things like Dogecoin (DOGE 10.18%), they just become magnified, and so there you go. You can agree with him or disagree with him, but clearly, there's more than one opinion on the matter.

Frankel: I saw something on a chat that said, you think his comments on Bitcoin are bad, you better be lucky they didn't mention Dogecoin because it could've exploded. 

Moser: I have a feeling there are going to be more of these types of things introduced in the near future. It will be interesting to watch how this market shakes out.

Frankel: You know what else I've noticed, nobody just kind of likes Bitcoin. Everyone either thinks it's the next big thing in finance, or they're Charlie Munger.

Moser: It's difficult for me to fully wrap my head around why it matters. I've always said and I stand by this, Bitcoin bulls, to me, they've done a phenomenally horrible job at explaining why it matters. I'm not saying it doesn't, don't get me wrong, so don't at me. Understand, I don't care. I just don't care about Bitcoin. But what I am saying is they've done a very poor job of explaining why it really matters. You can tell me about decentralized, and unhackable, and yadda, yadda yadda. But they've just done a very poor job of explaining why it really matters. I'm sure we will get a lot of people explaining from here on out why it really matters on Twitter and whatnot, that's fine. But it will be interesting to watch that space evolve because you're right, it's either one or the other. You either love it or you hate it, and I would add maybe a third category and I think I fall on this third category, you just are apathetic. You just don't believe in it.

Frankel: I was going to start calling you Jason Munger.

Moser: I just don't care. There's a third category so I don't lose sleep over it. If it works out great. If it doesn't fine. You know what, I know what I don't know. Maybe Munger will be proud of me, because I've realized what I don't know, and that's really one of his more famous quotes. It revolves around, "hey, know what you don't know because that's when real wisdom starts kicking in." We'll see. Sign of a good investor is the ability to change one's mind, so maybe he'll change his mind one day, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see.

Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Bitcoin, and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short June 2021 $240 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Bitcoin Stock Quote
Bitcoin
BTC
$24,316.82 (-0.36%) $-88.44
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.A
$452,697.25 (1.66%) $7,395.26
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.B
$301.55 (1.71%) $5.08
Twitter, Inc. Stock Quote
Twitter, Inc.
TWTR
$44.26 (0.73%) $0.32
Dogecoin Stock Quote
Dogecoin
DOGE
$0.08 (10.18%) $0.01

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