Despite Warren Buffett’s Warnings Calling Bitcoin ‘Rat Poison,’ Berkshire Hathaway Continues Profiting Off Crypto

Though many of the top asset managers and investors are investing in, or at least open to crypto and Bitcoin, a few remain hesitant to adopt the asset. Most prominent among the anti-Bitcoin camp is legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Buffett’s strategy of investing in solid companies that continuously generate cash and value has been hugely successful. This has allowed his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to sustain itself through market peaks and troughs.

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Buffett is notorious for his anti-Bitcoin stance, saying in a 2018 interview with Yahoo! Finance, “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.”

At the 2022 Berkshire shareholders meeting, Buffett explained his stance on Bitcoin saying, “If you told me you own all of the Bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it because what would I do with it? I’d have to sell it back to you one way or another. It isn’t going to do anything.”

Buffett is against Bitcoin and crypto in general. However, this stance does not entirely translate into his company’s investments. Berkshire Hathaway is heavily invested in Brazilian fintech Nu Holdings Ltd. The investment was its strongest performer in 2023.

Founded in 2013, Nu initially offered low-cost bank accounts and personal loans through a format that was much more digitized than its competitors. In 2022, the company launched Nucripto, which allows users to buy and sell more than 15 tokens.

While its crypto business makes up a somewhat small portion of its revenue, it still operates in the crypto sphere, and its customer base continues to grow. It also launched its own cryptocurrency called Nucoin.

Buffett had invested $500 million in Nu Holdings through a series G funding round before the company went public in December 2021. A few months later, Buffett increased his stake by another $250 million, resulting in a total investment of $750 million.

The investment has paid off. Nu is up nearly 50% in 2024 alone and recently set all-time highs. This is also coming off a strong 2023, in which the stock was up nearly 100%.

These huge gains could shift Buffett’s focus toward crypto. Seeing the profits earned on a crypto-related business could cause the investor to rethink his strategy and stance on crypto. Bitcoin has outperformed most major indices so far in 2024. The token is up nearly 70% in 2024, well above the S&P 500, which is up just over 10% in 2024.

With Bitcoin and crypto entering the spotlight again, lots of eyes are on Berkshire Hathaway and Buffett as they contemplate whether to continue investing in Bitcoin-adjacent businesses or even the tokens themselves

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