After being the target of activist hedge fund manager’s Carl Icahn’s wrath, Marc Andreessen went after legendary investor Warren Buffett, referring to the “Oracle of Omaha” as an “old white man” who doesn’t understand technology.
Buffett calls Bitcoin a “mirage”
At issue are Buffett’s comments regarding Bitcoin, of which Andreessen is a staunch supporter. When asked at a Bitcoin conference what he thought of Buffett saying Bitcoin was a “mirage,” Andreessen responded: “The historical track record of old white men who don’t understand technology crapping on technology, I think, is 100%.”
Andreessen has made nearly $50 million in investments in Bitcoin for Andreessen Horowitz, the $1.5 Billion venture capital fund in which he is a partner. Andreessen has said he intends on investing hundreds of millions more in Bitcoin.
Andreessen: “Fringe” technology entering mainstream
Andreessen noted that Bitcoin was a “fringe technology” but pointed out that new technologies typically come from the fringe, not the mainstream. Andreessen created the Netscape Internet browser, which was ultimately sold to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The tech investor downplayed Bitcoin’s connection to illegal activities, saying such concerns are overblown and comparing similar concerns with the Internet in the early 1990s, according to a report in Marketwatch. “We consider ourselves mainstream investors,” Andreessen was quoted as saying, adding that his firm invests only in companies that “want to be on the straight and narrow.”
The report noted the investments Balaji Srinivasan, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, is looking at involving two types of firms. One type is open-source software firms similar to Red Hat for Bitcoin. The second type of company would be a ratings and testing company similar to Underwriters Laboratories.
Taking a swipe at Buffett as well, Srinivasan said “Bitcoin has outperformed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) by a lot.”
Need more banks
Andreessen and Srinivasan led off the Coinsummit and as headliners were expected to set the tone for the conference, which they did. While the group is positive on Bitcoin, a concern is that major banks have failed to enter the Bitcoin fray. “We need more banks,” Micky Malka, of Bibbit Capital was quoted as saying. “Overall, we’re superearly (in the process of adoption).”