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Why Warren Buffett Would View Shiba Inu as Poison

By Keith Speights – Nov 3, 2021 at 5:52AM

Key Points

  • Buffett has expressed his dislike of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, for years.
  • His reasons for hating Bitcoin apply even more to Shiba Inu.
  • The multibillionaire acknowledges that cryptocurrencies can soar but still believes they'll have bad endings.

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Buffett probably even thinks of the popular cryptocurrency as "rat poison cubed."

Warren Buffett detests cryptocurrencies. The legendary investor once even said that Bitcoin (BTC 1.19%) was "probably rat poison squared." 

As far as I know, Buffett hasn't commented publicly at all about the latest cryptocurrency that's racking up enormous gains and attracting a lot of attention. I'm referring, of course, to Shiba Inu (SHIB 2.37%).

But while Buffett hasn't voiced his opinion about Shiba Inu, it's a pretty good bet that he has one. And if he does, you can rest assured that the Oracle of Omaha doesn't like it one bit. Here's why Buffett almost certainly views Shiba Inu as poison, too -- probably even rat poison cubed.

Warren Buffett with people in the background.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Why Buffett hates Bitcoin

Buffett studied under the father of value investing, Ben Graham. Although Buffett isn't as much of a die-hard value investor as he once was, he still looks closely at the valuations of any stock he buys for Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. 

It's this background that probably best explains why Buffett hates Bitcoin so much. He simply doesn't think the cryptocurrency is worth anything. In 2014, Buffett told CNBC, "The idea that it [Bitcoin] has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view." 

Buffett's main gripe about Bitcoin is that it's not a productive asset. He said in 2019, "You can stare at it all day and no little Bitcoins come out or anything like that. It's a delusion basically."

The multibillionaire doesn't even view Bitcoin as a currency. He has stated in the past that the cryptocurrency isn't a "durable means of exchange" nor is it a store of value.

Even more rat poison

But Buffett would undoubtedly view Shiba Inu as an even bigger heap of rat poison. There are certainly some concerning statistics that make the rising cryptocurrency much riskier than Bitcoin.

For example, Bitcoin is accepted by more than 15,000 established businesses. By comparison, only around 100 merchants currently accept Shiba Inu. Buffett would definitely question the cryptocurrency's value even more than he does that of Bitcoin.

And if the great investor doesn't think that Bitcoin is a store of value, he'd really dish on Shiba Inu. The typical holding time for the cryptocurrency right now is only 10 days, according to data from Coinbase. Buyers of Shiba Inu appear to be trying to trade for a quick profit rather than holding onto it for purchasing power in the future.

Buffett has also been a longtime champion of business moats. The idea is that the best assets to own are those with significant competitive advantages that can stand the test of time. 

Shiba Inu is one of nearly 13,000 cryptocurrencies. There really isn't much to differentiate it other than a few tweets from Elon Musk. But while the world's richest man owns Bitcoin, Dogecoin (DOGE 8.18%), and Ethereum (ETH 1.10%), he doesn't own Shiba Inu. 

Bad endings

You might question Buffett's wisdom when it comes to cryptocurrencies. After all, he's been against Bitcoin for years. Meanwhile, it's skyrocketed more than 10,000% since 2014.

Buffett acknowledges, though, that cryptocurrencies can rise for a long period. In Berkshire's 2018 shareholder meeting, he discussed speculative bubbles, stating, "It will feed on itself for a while and sometimes for a long while and sometimes to extraordinary numbers." However, he added, "But they come to bad endings and cryptocurrencies will come to bad endings."

Perhaps Shiba Inu isn't as poisonous as Buffett probably thinks it is. However, there are solid reasons to believe that the cryptocurrency's bubble could burst any day. Buffett might just be right that a bad ending is on the way.

Keith Speights owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Bitcoin, and Ethereum. 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 January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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