Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that he sees “no unique value” in bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, calling it a “delusion, basically,” according to a report from CNBC.
This is not the first time Buffett has criticized the cryptocurrency; in 2018, he said it was “probably rat poison squared.” He explained that he was sympathetic to people who bought the coin hoping that “it would change their lives.”
Bitcoin has struggled with value after reaching a high of almost $20,000 at the end of 2017. Since then, it has lost upwards of 80 percent of its value, and was trading at around $3,781 on Monday.
“It attracts charlatans,” Buffett said. “If you do something phony by going out and selling yoyos or something, there’s no money in it – but when you get into Wall Street, there’s huge money.”
Buffett has also called bitcoin a “mirage,” “not a currency” and “tulips.” On Monday, however, he did mention that blockchain, the underlying technology in bitcoin, is “important,” but that it doesn’t need to rely on bitcoin for success.
Some banking operations across the industry have been transformed in part by blockchain, which could change the processes for everything from debt to cross-border payments, and where speed is of the essence. The use of crypto in international payments will be among the first real-world use cases done with a bank – and will be centered on institutional use (rather than sold to retail customers).
On Feb. 14, CNBC reported that JPMorgan Chase will be rolling out the first cryptocurrency on offer from a major bank based in the United States. The offering will be known as JPM Coin, according to reports, and is geared toward the firm’s wholesale payments business, a segment that moves $6 trillion globally. The digital coin is designed to settle payments instantly between the bank’s customers.