Billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger on Friday (Dec. 3) said at the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Conference in Sydney that China “made the correct decision” to ban most cryptocurrency-related activity.
“The Chinese made the correct decision, which is to just simply ban them,” said Munger, 97, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review. Earlier this year, China forced major Bitcoin mining operators to leave the country as part of a crackdown on the industry.
China also banned crypto trading and other virtual currencies-related activities, moves that hurt Alibaba and Tencent, among other more traditional platforms, which saw their stock prices plummet in large part because of the China ban.
Munger, though, said at the conference that China acted in “an adult fashion” with its ban and that he prefers to make money “by selling people things that are good for them, not things that are bad for them.” He said he wished cryptocurrency had never been invented and compared today’s investment environment to the dot-com boom of the 1990s.
“I think the dot-com boom was crazier in terms of valuations than even what we have now,” he said. “But overall, I consider this era even crazier than the dot-com era.”
Munger said earlier this year he hates Bitcoin, adding that the “whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”
In September, China-based SparkPool, the second largest Ethereum mining pool in the world, ceased its operations because of the country’s “regulatory policy requirements.”
The People’s Bank of China banned cryptocurrency because of concerns about national security and the need to guard investors against risk. The bank cited illicit activities connected to cryptocurrency — gambling, pyramid schemes, money laundering — specifically mentioning bitcoin, ether and tether.
The ruling also forbids crypto services run by overseas exchanges to carry out digital transactions with people in China.