Elon Musk Says Fellow Billionaire Told Him 'Tesla Would Fail' 10 Years Ago: 'I Told Him I Agreed' The Tesla CEO recalled an old conversation with Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger amid Munger's latest comments about cryptocurrency.

By Emily Rella

Bloomberg | Getty Images

It looks like an old riff between billionaires has resurfaced after a few questionable comments about the rise of crypto from one of the most seasoned businessmen in the game.

Charlie Munger, vice chairman of the Warren Buffet-run Berkshire Hathaway, has long been critical of cryptocurrency, making his opinions well known last May during a Q&A session at Berkshire Hathaway's famed annual shareholder meeting.

"Of course I hate the bitcoin success. I don't welcome a currency that's so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air," he scoffed. "I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization."

Tell us how you really feel, Munger!

Related: Elon Musk Donated $5.7 Billion to a Mystery Recipient

But new comments that arose this week led to a viral Tweet that was seen and responded to by fellow billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

The original Tweet posted an out-of-context quote from Munger where he compared cryptocurrency to a "venereal disease."

"I certainly didn't invest in crypto. I'm proud of the fact I've avoided it. It's like a venereal disease or something. I just regard it as beneath contempt," Munger said in the original quote during the annual meeting for the Daily Journal, the LA-based publication where he serves as chairman.

As an avid supporter and conversationalist on crypto (so much so that he's often been accused of manipulating the crypto market and valuation of certain coins with his commentary), Musk chimed in with his own story about an interaction he had with Munger over 10 years ago.

Related: Elon Musk Reveals When SpaceX Will Reach Its Next Major Milestone

"I was at a lunch with Munger in 2009 where he told the whole table all the ways Tesla would fail," the Tesla founder and CEO admitted to his 74 million Twitter followers. "Made me quite sad, but I told him I agreed with all those reasons & that we would probably die, but it was worth trying anyway."

Looks like the joke's on Munger — last October, Tesla became the sixth U.S. company to ever reach a valuation of $1 trillion, with Musk himself clocking in an estimated net worth of $245.5 billion as of Thursday morning.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Musk donated $5.7 billion to a mystery organization after he agreed to give away 10% of his stock in Tesla last November amid growing criticism of himself and fellow billionaires for not paying any personal income tax (as Musk is not salaried or entitled to annual cash bonuses.)

As of Thursday morning, Tesla was up 2.15% year over year.

Related: Elon Musk Admits Tesla 'Dropped the Ball' on Model X

Wavy Line
Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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