Thomas Peterffy Says He Owns Cryptocurrency Because ‘You Have To Play The Odds’



Online brokerage pioneer Thomas Peterffy told CNBC on Wednesday that he has invested in cryptocurrencies, while expressing skepticism about the long-term future of the digital asset class.

“Even I put some money into crypto, because while there is a chance, I think, that it won’t be a viable market, I think there is a small chance that it’s a dominant currency, so you have to play the odds, ”the billionaire founder and chairman of Interactive Brokers said on“ Closing Bell ”. He did not specify the cryptocurrency (s) he owns.

The remarks come as Interactive Brokers prepares to launch cryptocurrency trading by the end of the summer, a move considered remarkable due to the broker’s reputation for serving more sophisticated clients. .

Peterffy was previously skeptical of bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value, at earlier times, particularly in 2017, as the CME prepared to launch bitcoin futures.

At that time, Peterffy told CNBC that he had no problem with people who wanted to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but he cautioned against “associating bitcoin and others. cryptocurrencies by federal regulation to the real economy “.

Regarding the upcoming launch of crypto trading by Interactive Brokers, Peterffy said that “several of our clients have expressed interest” in being able to invest in digital assets. “And I fully understand that,” he said.

Many in the crypto community see bitcoin as a long-term store of value and express optimism about its ability, along with blockchain-based digital assets, to disrupt the traditional financial system. Jack Dorsey, the billionaire CEO of Twitter and fintech firm Square, said earlier Wednesday that he hopes bitcoin “will help create world peace.”

Bitcoin was up nearly 7% on Wednesday afternoon, trading around $ 31,800 per token. The historically volatile cryptocurrency traded as high as $ 32,765 on that day, according to Coin Metrics. The rise came a day after bitcoin fell below $ 30,000 for the first time since June 22.

Bitcoin remains down about 50% from its all-time high of nearly $ 65,000 in mid-April, around the time of the public market debut of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.

The continued adoption of bitcoin by leading investors and institutions has been seen as one of the reasons for the massive bitcoin rally that started last year and peaked in April. While bitcoin has been slightly positive since the start of the year, at this point in 2020 it was trading below $ 10,000 per token.

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