Buying bitcoin is gambling, says Warren Buffett
He wasn't the first to say it, but when one of the world's most influential investors says buying Bitcoin is gambling rather than investing, it's worth noting.
The price of bitcoin rose more than twenty-fold in 2017, leading some of us - including MoneyLens' Marcus - to feel as if the whole world was making its fortune trading the cryptocurrency.
Not so, and Marcus has looked into some of the problems "cryptos" have faced here.
Warren Buffett, the 87-year-old chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, certainly has his doubts too - and when the Sage of Omaha speaks, investors listen.
He said in an interview with Yahoo Finance ahead of Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting on 5 May:
"There's two kinds of items that people buy and think they're investing. One really is investing and the other 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."
He referred to bitcoin as a "game" and a "gamble" and said: "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."
He said in January in an interview with CNBC: "I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending". In the interview, available online here, he said: " I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about. Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don't know anything about."
Back in 2014 he said of bitcoin: "Stay away from it. It's a mirage, basically," adding: "The idea that is has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view."
Well, he does have a reputation for taking a long-term view and he's not changed his mind.