Michael Saylor, the co-founder and former CEO of MicroStrategy, has addressed Charlie Munger’s criticism of Bitcoin, claiming that he hasn’t taken the time to understand Bitcoin.
In a Friday interview with CNBC, Saylor said he is “sympathetic” to Munger’s criticism of the broader crypto market, noting that thousands of altcoins are little more than avenues for “gambling.” However, he argued that Warren Buffett’s right-hand man would have had a different idea about Bitcoin if he studied it.
“If he was a business leader in South America or Africa or Asia and he spent a 100 hours studying the problem, he’d be more bullish on bitcoin than I am,” Saylor explained, adding:
“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 statements came after Munger’s op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that asked for a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. Titled “Why America Should Ban Crypto,” the article argued that a cryptocurrency is “a gambling contract” and urged regulators to act and introduce a regulatory framework.
“A cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity, and not a security. Instead, it’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house, entered into in a country where gambling contracts are traditionally regulated only by states that compete in laxity,” Munger said in the op-ed.
This is not the first time Munger has lashed out at digital assets. Previously, he had said that trading in cryptocurrencies is “just dementia” and called Bitcoin “a bad combo of fraud and delusion” that is good for kidnappers.
Notably, Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, also shares the same mindset with his friend Munger when it comes to cryptocurrencies, calling Bitcoin “rat poison squared” in 2018.
Meanwhile, Michael Saylor’s big bet on Bitcoin has not gone as expected as the firm has reported a massive loss for the fourth quarter of last year. The net loss for MicroStrategy for the fourth quarter ended up at $249.7 million, with the number dragged down significantly by a $197.6 million loss from the firm’s bitcoin investment strategy.
However, in the interview with CNBC, Saylor said he continues to remain bullish on Bitcoin. He also shares more details about MicroStrategy’s plans to develop Lightning enterprise software. “Microstrategy is actually developing MicroStrategy Lightning, our own enterprise Lightning offering,” he said, adding:
“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.”