The cryptocurrency hype has reached new levels in recent months, following the explosion of Bitcoin, and arrival of new entries like IOTA, Ripple, and Litecoin. Its rise has turned early investors into millionaire and millionaires into billionaires. After years of scrutiny, Bitcoin and its competitors finally seem to be catching on with mainstream audiences, which could provide the footing they need to be taken seriously by large financial institutions. If that happens, the sky’s the limit.
But, as we’ve seen, these digital currencies are still extremely volatile, and many investors are warning of a Bitcoin doomsday. The latest is billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who predicts the cryptocurrency craze will not end well.
“In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” Buffett told CNBC on Wednesday.
The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway admitted that he doesn’t have more specific predictions, though he did say he’d never short, or bet against, cryptocurrency.
“When it happens or how or anything else, I don’t know,” he told CNBC. “If I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it but I would never short a dime’s worth. But I do think what’s going on will definitely come to a bad ending.”
The legendary investor and one of the richest people in the world conceded that he doesn’t know much about the currency.
“I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about,” he added. “Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don’t know anything about.”
With a net worth of $81 billion, Buffet is one of the most successful investors in history. But he’s not immune to mistakes. Last year, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” admitted that he made a mistake by not buying Google shares years ago. He also said he was “too dumb” not to invest in Amazon, which he didn’t believe could scale so quickly.
Bitcoin has dipped significantly since reaching a peak value of $20,000 in 2017. The boost it received from exchange operators like CME Group opening their platform to allow futures trading has, at least temporarily, been overshadowed by government regulation. Today, South Korean officials are discussing whether they will ban trading through cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitcoin’s current value is around $14,000.