Hedge fund manager and founder of Citadel, Ken Griffin, says that none of his portfolio managers has encouraged him to buy any cryptocurrency. According to his reasoning, he cannot advocate for a product without having confidence in it. Griffin bas been pessimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies for years. In fact, he stated that he wished millennials would ignore them as an investment because he sees no need for cryptocurrencies.
Griffin made these comments during the annual Delivering Alpha Conference held in New York City. This Conference brought together institutional investors and corporate CEOs as they discussed challenges and opportunities in the global financial sector. However, it seems as though the most significant takeaway from this Conference was Griffin’s remarks on cryptocurrencies.
Specific Criticisms Leveled Against Cryptocurrencies by Griffin
Griffin started his attack on cryptocurrencies by comparing them to the US dollar. More specifically, he said that having US dollars is inevitable if a US citizen wants to pay his taxes. Most analysts recognize that, in this assertion, Griffin is alluding to the fact that conventional currencies have the legal backing of respective governments. Cryptocurrencies do not.
Then Griffin explained the growth of these currencies. He attributes this growth to an overblown hype that brought in early investors. According to Griffin, these early investors cannot escape this market without taking significant losses because their positions are too big. Therefore, their only option is to push it forward even if it has a bleak future. Finally, he says millennials should invest their money elsewhere.
Why Griffin’s Opinion Matters
These remarks would not have made headline news if an ordinary investor had uttered them. They became significant news because Griffin is a highly respected and successful investor. He is worth $8.7 billion making him the wealthiest individual in Illinois and manages more than $29 billion in assets.
It is worth noting that Griffin is a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation (CMR). Therefore, his opinion on unregulated financial sectors matters, including the cryptocurrency market.
Griffin’s criticism of cryptocurrencies is nothing new. In December 2017, he said that the market was a bubble. At that time, he was reacting to Bitcoin’s unexpected rise to $1,000. Griffin has admitted though that cryptocurrencies would have an impact on financial markets worldwide. However, he was still skeptical about the nature of this impact but even he acknowledged that it would be intense.
Others Who Have Expressed Concerns with Cryptocurrencies
Other prominent personalities and investors have expressed their doubts about blockchain technology. They include Paul Krugman, Mohamed A. El-Erian, Warren Buffet, Howard Marks, and Jamie Dimon. None of them went as far as comparing the cryptocurrency hype to the tulip mania in Holland as Griffin did. He made this comparison in November last year.
The Future Prospects of Cryptocurrencies
Governments worldwide are now seeking ways of regulating this industry instead of banning it. For example, South Korea recently created a specific division within its Financial Services Commission to formulate and implement cryptocurrency policies. India is also in favor or regulating it as well, after initially banning it.
Notable investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators are also looking into cryptocurrencies as the next frontier in profit generation or socioeconomic revolution. They include Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Al Gore, Ashton Kutcher, and Chamath Palihapitiya.
Here are the most recent cryptocurrencies prices from Yahoo! Finance.
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