'Big Short' investor Michael Burry slams NFTs with a quote warning 'crypto grifters' are selling them as 'magic beans'

Michael Burry big shortJim Spellman / Getty ImagesMichael Burry.
  • Michael Burry subtly criticized non-fungible tokens (NFTs) this week.
  • “The Big Short” investor shared a quote comparing NFTs to “magic beans.”
  • Burry has blasted Tesla, bitcoin, Dogecoin, GameStop, and other popular bets this year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Michael Burry isn’t a fan of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), if his Twitter profile is any indication.

The investor has changed his header image to a screenshot of this quote: “NFTs exist so that the crypto grifters can have a new kind of magic bean to sell for actual money, and pretend they’re not selling magic beans.”

The quote is from “NFTs: crypto grifters try to scam artists, again,” an article posted by David Gerard on his “Attack of the 15.24m Blockchain” blog last week. Gerard is the author of a book with the same name as his blog, which tackles bitcoin, smart contracts, and other cryptocurrency topics.

The quote shared by Burry is a “correct description of the process,” Gerard told Insider in an email. “The crypto world has always been about creating a new kind of worthless magic bean to sell for actual money – first bitcoins, then altcoins, then ICO tokens, then DeFi, now NFTs.”

“You *could* say something is worth what someone will pay for it; but it’s *also* fair to state that the intrinsic value of these things is zero,” Gerard continued. “And you can definitely get rich with them, but you’re much more likely to lose your shirt.”

NFTs serve as virtual certificates of ownership and authenticity for digital items, and are stored securely on a blockchain. They’re getting lots of attention after a digital art NFT was sold for $US69 ($89) million at a Christie’s auction last week.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban, and other high-profile figures have also discussed and dabbled with the technology in recent days. However, critics question the value of NFTs given it’s virtually impossible to stop others copying, downloading, and sharing digital images and videos.

Moreover, Gerard argues on his blog that NFT proponents are using artists as “aspiring suckers” to pump cryptocurrencies, and handing them “crumbs” for their efforts.

Burry is best known for his billion-dollar bet against the US housing bubble in the mid-2000s, which was chronicled in the book and the movie, “The Big Short.” He’s slammed popular investments including Tesla, GameStop, bitcoin, and Dogecoin this year, and warned investors against buying into speculative bubbles.

The Scion Asset Management boss recently signaled he was taking a break from tweeting. However, the latest change to his Twitter profile suggests he still wants to have his say.

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