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Warren Buffett on buying bitcoin: 'That is not investing'

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

When Warren Buffett speaks, investors listen. And Buffett is still not sold on bitcoin.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance in Omaha, Neb., leading up to Berkshire Hathaway’s May 5 annual shareholder meeting, Buffett laid out his latest thinking on cryptocurrency investing.

“There’s two kinds of items that people buy and think they’re investing,” he says. “One really is investing and the other isn’t.”

Bitcoin, he says, isn’t.

“If you buy something like a farm, an apartment house, or an interest in a business… You can do that on a private basis… And it’s a perfectly satisfactory investment. You look at the investment itself to deliver the return to you. Now, if you buy something like bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don’t really have anything that has produced anything. You’re just hoping the next guy pays more.”

When you buy cryptocurrency, Buffett continues, “You aren’t investing when you do that. You’re speculating. There’s nothing wrong with it. If you wanna gamble somebody else will come along and pay more money tomorrow, that’s one kind of game. That is not investing.”

To be sure, many big banks, and blue-chip American corporations like IBM (a company Buffett himself backed heavily for nearly a decade), have embraced blockchain, the underlying decentralized ledger technology on which bitcoin is built.

But for now, Warren Buffett isn’t buying crypto.

Watch Warren Buffett LIVE at the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting exclusively on the Yahoo Finance app and desktop. Coverage begins May 5 at 9:45am ETSet a reminder now!

Daniel Roberts covers bitcoin and blockchain at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite

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