Michael Saylor, co-founder and former CEO of MicroStrategy, responds to Charlie Munger’s criticism of Bitcoin, arguing that Munger hasn’t taken the time to understand Bitcoin.
Saylor told CNBC on Friday that he is “sympathetic” to Munger’s critique of the broader crypto industry, noting that hundreds of altcoins are little more than outlets for “gaming.” He contended, however, that if Warren Buffett’s right-hand guy had examined Bitcoin, he would have had a different opinion.
“If he was a business leader in South America, Africa, or Asia and spent a hundred hours studying the subject, he’d be more positive on bitcoin than I am,” Saylor added.
“The Western elites have not had the time to study … but I’ve never really met someone with an incentive living in the rest of the world that spent some time thinking about it that wasn’t enthusiastic about bitcoin.”
The words followed Munger’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which he called for a total ban on cryptocurrency. The post, titled “Why America Should Ban Crypto,” contended that bitcoin is “a gambling contract” and asked policymakers to intervene and implement a legal framework.
“A cryptocurrency is not a currency, a commodity, or a financial instrument. Instead, it’s a gambling contract with a roughly 100% house edge, signed in a country where gaming contracts are usually governed solely by states that compete in laxity “Munger stated in his op-ed.
This is hardly Munger’s first time criticizing digital assets. Previously, he claimed that cryptocurrency trading is “simply dementia” and that Bitcoin is a “terrible combination of fraud and delusion” that is beneficial to kidnappers.
Notably, Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has the same attitude against cryptocurrencies as his friend Munger, calling Bitcoin “rat poison squared” in 2018.
Meanwhile, Michael Saylor’s large gamble on Bitcoin hasn’t gone as planned, with the firm reporting a massive loss in the fourth quarter of last year. MicroStrategy’s net loss for the fourth quarter was $249.7 million, weighed down notably by a $197.6 million loss from the firm’s bitcoin investment strategy.
However, in an interview with CNBC, Saylor stated that he remains enthusiastic on Bitcoin. He also discusses MicroStrategy’s aspirations to develop Lightning enterprise software. “Microstrategy is building MicroStrategy Lightning, our own enterprise Lightning product,” he added.
“We’re going to allow CMOs to offer Lightning rewards or bitcoin rewards, like a frequent flier program, to hundreds of thousands or millions of their customers, all of their employees and all of their prospects, at the speed of light off a website — and we’re very enthusiastic about that.”
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