Why Does Charlie Munger Hate Bitcoin?

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  • Charlie Munger attacked Bitcoin again recently, using the most derogatory language yet
  • Munger called Bitcoin  “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization”
  • Why does Munger hate Bitcoin so much and are his views hypocritical?

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right hand man, has been in the news again after enjoying another rant about Bitcoin, calling it, among other things, “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.” The rather odd choice of words is the latest in a slew of derogatory comments from Munger over the past four years, but this is by far the most incendiary, actually painting a picture of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as being damaging rather than benign. So what exactly is behind this actual hatred of the ecosystem?

A Tale as Old as Time (or Munger)

Munger’s hatred of Bitcoin is nothing new. In December 2017 as Bitcoin mania was hitting its prior heights he called cryptocurrency trading “total insanity” and claimed that “bad people” were behind the ecosystem. Three months later he doubled down, calling Bitcoin “noxious poison” and then a few weeks later claimed that trading in cryptocurrencies was “just dementia.”

Of course there are plenty of people who don’t buy into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (both figuratively and literally), but not many have used such visceral language as Munger. Until now he has never really given much insight into why he hates it so much, except to say that the space is full of scammers, the it promoted the idea of easy money, and that cryptocurrencies don’t pay dividends so are “worthless artificial gold” – which Munger has never bought.

Bitcoin “Useful to Kidnappers”…and the Dollar Isn’t?

So far, so standard. But his most recent comments gave more of an insight into his mindset as he lamented Bitcoin because it is “useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth”. This is the only clear reason we have behind his hatred of Bitcoin from a human standpoint, and if this is why he detests it so much then we have bad news for Charlie: the humble US dollar, in which Munger, Buffet et al value their investments, isn’t just used to pay the tooth fairy and build hospitals, it’s also demanded in, shock horror, kidnappings, extortion attempts, and worse, and in far greater amounts that cryptocurrencies.

If Munger’s beef with Bitcoin is that that bad people sometimes do bad things with it (and, by the way, far less than they ever used to) then he is going to have to take a long hard look at the money in his bank account and consider the ethical ramifications of the currencies that make it up. But we suspect he won’t do that.