How Warren Buffett, Known Hater Of Cryptocurrency, Owns CryptoPunk Stake

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has been an outspoken critic of cryptocurrency over the years.

Several of the holdings owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) have invested in the growth of cryptocurrency, which could lead to Buffett changing his tune or selling positions in his portfolio.

What Happened: On Monday, Visa Inc V made headlines with the purchase of CryptoPunk #7,610.

Visa paid 49.5 Ethereum ETH/USD for the non-fungible token, or around $149,939. The move led to a surge in buying of CryptoPunks, a series of 10,000 NFTs launched in 2017. The acquisition by Visa could also help legitimize NFTs as it marks a large well-known company betting on a single NFT asset growing in valuation.

Visa has stated it wants “a seat at the table” for the growth of NFTs. The company has been growing its services and offerings of cryptocurrency.

Related Link: CryptoPunks Have Outperformed Bitcoin And Ethereum In 2021 

Why It’s Important: One of the top shareholders of Visa is Berkshire Hathaway, which owns 9,987,460 shares as of the latest 13F filing. This represents around 0.59% of Visa’s shares outstanding. Visa is the 16th-largest stake in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio, valued at $2.3 billion.

Buffett has spoken negatively of cryptocurrency before, calling Bitcoin BTC/USD “probably rat poison squared.”

“In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending. If I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it but I would never short a dime’s worth,” Buffett told CNBC in 2018.

Bitcoin is the seventh highest valued stock/asset at $922.3 billion, compared to Berkshire Hathaway at ninth with a market cap of $643.5 billion. Ethereum is ranked 21st at $385.8 billion.

While Buffett has criticized Bitcoin, he has been relatively silent on the emergence of Ethereum and NFTs.

Buffett speaking out against both of these items would imply criticism of a company that is among the biggest holdings in his portfolio.

Another Berkshire Hathaway holding, Brazilian bank Nubank, has supported cryptocurrency and recently acquired Easynvest.

The bank now offers exposure to Bitcoin through an Easynvest ETF and has a dedicated section covering cryptocurrency on its website.

What's Next? Will Buffett have a change of heart about cryptocurrency, stay silent about his portfolio companies moving to cryptocurrency growth items or start liquidating positions like Visa due to his distaste for cryptocurrencies?

Photo: Cryptopunks mosaic via larvalabs on Wikimedia

Posted In: BitcoinCryptoPunkEthereumWarren BuffettCryptocurrencyNewsMarkets

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