I am not one of the “Buffett has lost his edge” people. But people can make mistakes and even if Bitcoin crashed tomorrow this was a huge misread from the man in Omaha. Of course Bitcoin also directly challenges the banking system as we know it and banking “as we know it” has served Mr. Buffett very well. It’d be kind of a bummer (for Buffett, not us) if Bitcoin started really eating into Wells Fargo.
“Stay away from it. It’s a mirage basically. It’s a method of transmitting money. It’s a very effective way of transmitting money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transmitting money too. Are checks worth a whole lot of money? Just because they can transmit money?” Buffett said on CNBC in 2014. “I hope bitcoin becomes a better way to do it. But you can replicate it a bunch of different ways. The idea that it [bitcoin] has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view.”
Digital currency advocates will point out that the price of bitcoin has risen more than sevenfold since Buffett expressed his negative view. In addition, the cryptocurrency was up nearly 380 percent this year through Thursday morning, according to data from industry website CoinDesk.