Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger urged the U.S. government to ban cryptocurrencies like China, saying a lack of regulation enabled wretched excess and a gambling mentality. “A cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity, and not a security,” the 99-year-old Munger said in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening. “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. “Obviously the U.S. should now enact a new federal law that prevents this from happening.” Munger, along with his business partner, Warren Buffett, have been longtime cryptocurrency skeptics, contending they are not tangible or productive assets. Munger’s latest comments came as the crypto industry was plagued with problems from failed projects to a liquidity crunch, exacerbated by the fall of FTX, once one of the world’s largest exchanges. The cryptocurrency market lost more than $2 trillion in value last year. The price of bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, plunged 65% in 2022 and it has rebounded about 40% to trade around $23,824, according to Coin Metrics. The renowned investor said in recent years privately owned companies have issued thousands of new cryptocurrencies, and they have become publicly traded without any governmental preapproval of disclosures.
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