'Crypto Voldemort' Charlie Munger calls for U.S. ban, again

Quick Take

  • Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and called for the U.S. to ban cryptocurrency.
  • It’s not the first time he’s been critical of the sector.

Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and longtime crypto critic, used an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal published late Tuesday to call for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the U.S. Munger also praised China's industry crackdown.

"A cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity, and not a security," he wrote. "It’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house."

The 99-year-old blamed the "wretched excess" in the sector on a public that doesn't fully understand the subject matter, as well as a lack of regulation. It's not the first time Munger's has been critical, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet is also well known for his unfavorable opinion of Bitcoin.

Munger referred to China’s ban on crypto as one of two precedents that could “guide us into sound action.” 

'Thank the Chinese'

"What should the U.S. do after a ban of cryptocurrencies is in place?" Munger continued. "Thank the Chinese communist leader for his splendid example of uncommon sense."


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The op-ed was widely shared on social media, with many differing opinions.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Charlie Munger – but why does he want to be Crypto Voldemort on this?” Ash Bennington, senior host and crypto editor at Real Vision, a financial TV channel, said in a tweet.

Stephen Diehl, a software engineer in London, said he agreed with Munger.

Crypto is so toxic that we simultaneously have both rapacious American capitalists and the Chinese communist party finally agreeing on something for once — banning it,” he tweeted.

While bitcoin is well known for its volatility, the cryptocurrency has beaten Berkshire Hathaway shares over the past five-year period, rising nearly 170% compared to a gain of 45%, according to data from TradingView.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Sarah is a reporter at The Block covering policy, regulation and legal happenings. Before, Sarah was a reporter with CQ Legal writing about securities regulation, which is where she first started reporting on crypto. Sarah has also written for The Bond Buyer and American Banker, among other finance-related publications. She graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a degree in print and digital journalism. Sarah is based in Washington D.C., and is an avid coffee lover. You can follow her on Twitter @ForTheWynn.


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