As one of the most legendary investors of his generation, just about any financial move that Warren Buffett makes will draw eyeballs. Now that the Oracle of Omaha has successfully offloaded his banking stocks and bought gold, some believe that he could be making a move for Bitcoin next.
Buffett Playing the Long, Safe Game
On Saturday, Jason Williams, the co-founder and partner at crypto hedge fund Morgan Creek Digital, said on Twitter that he believed Buffet could be making a move for the top digital asset, in line with his gold push.
Buffett sold banks and bought gold. He will buy #Bitcoin soon.
— Jason A. Williams🚀 (@GoingParabolic) August 15, 2020
Williams’ statement came just days after sources confirmed that Buffet and his investment conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, had pulled out of its major banking positions. According to a report from Fortune Magazine, Berkshire sold its stocks in top banking firms like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, PNC, and Wells Fargo.
Fortune explained that Buffett could have made the move in anticipation of increasing loan defaults. While most of these banks posted favorable quarterly results in Q2 2020, many of them remained wary of defaults as many of their debtors could be unable to pay loans due to the pandemic.
Buffett and Berkshire now appear to be playing things safe. After losing $50 billion in investments in Q1, the investment conglomerate has been carefully downsizing its investment in hard-hit sectors of the economy. As of May, the firm sold up to $6.5 billion in stocks, majorly from the four top airlines — Delta, United, Southwest, and American Airlines.
Besides airlines, Berkshire also sold stocks in restaurants and oil companies. All moves have had a credible cause. The pandemic grounded flights both locally and internationally, meaning that airline companies were acutely vulnerable. While flights are returning slowly across the nation, international flights are still primarily grounded.
Restaurants have also remained primarily closed across the country, and the oil sector was left sputtering after the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) index plunged into negative prices for the first time in U.S. history.
Swapping his banking stocks, Buffett purchased a significant amount of gold instead. Per the Fortune report, the investment guru purchased up to $565 million stock in Barrick Gold, a Canadian gold mining company whose stock has risen by as much as 45 percent this year.
Could Buffett Really Buy Gold? Industry Reacts
No one knows what Buffett is doing. However, he appears to be toeing the same line as other investors — out of risky stocks and holding on to safe-haven assets. This gives cause to believe that he could be moving into Bitcoin next.
While Buffett has been critical of Bitcoin in the past, the asset has been on a significant uptrend recently. Data from Skew markets shows that Bitcoin and gold have been on a similar upsurge since April, and investors have been turning their focus to the top cryptocurrency as well.
For now, however, Buffett’s next investment remains a mystery. While Williams is anticipating a big Bitcoin play from Berkshire, however, some industry experts believe that this pivot into gold is a win for Bitcoin regardless of Buffett’s interest (or lack of it).
Max Keiser, the founder of Heisenberg Capital and an early Bitcoin investor, explained in a recent tweet that the positive sentiment for gold could mean a higher valuation for Bitcoin in the coming months.
Travis Kling, a former securities manager, also shared an old interview where Buffett was critical of gold. As he explained, the fact that Berkshire now bought gold only means that the future looks bright for Bitcoin despite current skepticism.