Wall Street mogul: I was wrong about crypto, Bitcoin has been one of the greatest successes in finance

  • Billionaire Ken Griffin of Citadel has admitted that he was wrong about crypto, which he described as having been one of the greatest successes of the last 15 years.
  • He further revealed in an interview that his firm Citadel will seek to get into the crypto market, most likely as a market maker as it helps other firms with capital allocation.

One of Wall Street’s most successful investors has admitted that he was wrong about cryptocurrencies. Ken Griffin, the billionaire behind Citadel stated in a recent interview that after being one of the biggest Bitcoin critics on Wall Street, he believes crypto has been one of the greatest successes of the past 15 years. He further revealed that his firm will be exploring how it can get involved in the crypto market.

Griffin is an American hedge fund manager who is the founder, chief investment officer, and 80 percent owner of Citadel LLC and its offshoot Citadel Securities. The former is regarded as the largest market maker in the U.S securities market. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is the 40th richest person in the world, with his wealth estimated to be just above $30 billion.

In an interview with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein for Bloomberg, Griffin stated:

Crypto has been one of the great stories in finance over the course of the last 15 years.

While acknowledging the success that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had, he admitted that he has been a skeptic for many years, just as many others on Wall Street. In November last year, he claimed that Bitcoin has no commercial uses and that “for most problems, it’s really not the solution that we need.”

“People are very focused on a world of new ideas and new creation. I worry that some of this passion is misplaced when it comes to cryptocurrencies,” he claimed during an event hosted by the New York Times.

However, as he told Bloomberg, he now knows he was wrong to wish cryptos away.

 And I’ll be clear, I’ve been in the naysayer camp over that period of time. But the crypto market today has a market capitalization of about $2 trillion in round numbers, which tells you that I haven’t been right on this call.

“I still have my skepticism, but there are hundreds and millions of people in this world today who disagree with that,” he added.

Griffin’s company Citadel Securities announced in mid-January that it had raised $1.5 billion at a $22 billion valuation. The funding round was led by VC giant Sequoia Capital alongside Paradigm, the crypto VC firm founded by Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase. Paradigm has invested in some of the biggest successes in the crypto industry, including Uniswap, BlockFi, Chainalysis, Compound, FTX, Maker, and OpenSea.

As Griffin revealed, the entanglement with a crypto company is part of an overall shift by Citadel Securities to become pro-crypto. He said that the firm is planning on venturing into crypto market making.

To the extent that we’re trying to help institutions and investors solve their portfolio allocation problems, we have to give serious consideration to being a market maker in crypto. It’s fair to assume that over the months to come, you will see us engage in making markets in cryptocurrencies.

 

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Steve has been a blockchain writer for four years, and a crypto enthusiast for even longer. He is most excited by the application of blockchain to solve the challenges facing developing nations.

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