🤑, 🤔, or 😰? What the world’s financial bigwigs think about bitcoin

Not buying it.
Not buying it.
Image: AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus
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Bitcoin has risen from an obscure experiment in cryptography to the topic du jour among the masters of the financial universe in a few short years. These days, if you’re a business bigwig, you’d better be prepared with a considered view on bitcoin and the technical idea that animates it, the blockchain, before donning a wireless mic at TED or making small talk on the slopes at Davos.

Here’s where some of the world’s financial heavyweights stand on the cryptocurrency, both in their own words and according to our highly scientific emoji scale:

🤑 Revolution!
🤔 Too soon to tell
😰 Bubble trouble

😰 Alwaleed bin Talal, CEO, Kingdom Holding: “I think this is Enron in the making

😰 Ben Bernanke, former chairman, US Federal Reserve: “Bitcoin has serious problems

😰 Jack Bogle, founder, Vanguard: “Avoid bitcoin like the plague

🤔 Lloyd Blankfein, CEO, Goldman Sachs: “Still thinking about bitcoin. No conclusion

😰 Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway: “A real bubble in that sort of thing“; “Bitcoin is not a currency

🤑 Jose Canseco, former baseball pro: “It is the end of the beginning for cryptocurrency, bitcoin at $10k by New Years Eve

🤑 Mark Carney, governor, Bank of England: “Potential to enhance resilience

😰 Vítor Constâncio, vice president, European Central Bank: “Bitcoin is a sort of tulip

😰 Ray Dalio, founder, Bridgewater Associates: “Bitcoin is a bubble

🤑 Aswath Damodaran, professor, New York University: “Cryptocurrencies have taken the role of gold

😰 Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan: “It’s a fraud

🤔 Mario Draghi, president, European Central bank: “It would actually not be in our powers to prohibit and regulate

🤑 Larry Fink, CEO, Blackrock: “I’m a big believer in the potential of what a cryptocurrency can do

🤑 James Gorman, CEO, Morgan Stanley: “More than just a fad

🤑 Abby Johnson, CEO, Fidelity: “I’m a believer

🤔 Neel Kashkari, president, Federal Reserve of Minneapolis: “It’s too early to know where this is going to go

😰 Paul Krugman, professor, City University of New York: “Bitcoin is evil

🤔 Haruhiko Kuroda, governor, Bank of Japan: “May have the potential of significantly changing the structure of financial services

🤑 Christine Lagarde, managing director, IMF: “Might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money

🤑 Arthur Levitt, former commissioner, SEC: “I don’t know whether it will be bitcoin or ethereum … But it’s here to stay

😰 Howard Marks, co-chairman, Oaktree: “Nothing but an unfounded fad

🤑 Blythe Masters, CEO, Digital Asset Holdings: “It’s analogous to email for money

🤑 Ravi Menon, managing director, Monetary Authority of Singapore: “Potentially transformative

😰 Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America: “There ought to be a hard look at the policy of anonymous currencies”

😰🤑 Mike Novogratz, former chief investment officer, Fortress: “This is going to be the largest bubble of our lifetimes… Everybody should have some

🤑 Vikram Pandit, former CEO, Citi: “Have the promise to change the world

😰🤑 Kenneth Rogoff, professor, Harvard: “In the long run, the technology will thrive, but that the price of bitcoin will collapse

😰 Robert Shiller, professor, Yale: “The best example [of a bubble] right now is bitcoin

😰 Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate: “[Bitcoin] ought to be outlawed

🤑 Larry Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury: “A very important kind of idea

🤑 Peter Thiel, technology investor: “I do think people are a little bit … underestimating bitcoin especially because … it’s like a reserve form of money, it’s like gold

😰 Randy Quarles, US Federal Reserve vice chairman for supervision: “More serious financial stability issues may result if [cryptocurrencies] achieve wide-scale usage

🤔 Janet Yellen, chairman, US Federal Reserve: “A very important new technology

🤑 Zhou Xiaochuan, governor, People’s Bank of China: “Digital currency and cash will co-exist for a long time

This story was updated on Dec. 1 with comments from Randy Quarles.