Ken Griffin, the founder of the $38 billion hedge fund Citadel and market-maker Citadel Securities, is a cryptocurrency skeptic and recently criticized the time and energy spent on cryptocurrencies.
“I wish all this passion and energy that went into crypto was directed toward making the United States stronger,” said Griffin on Monday in an interview with Bloomberg at the Economic Club of Chicago.
“What a crazy concept this is that we as a country embrace so many bright, young, talented people to come up with a replacement for our reserve currency.”
According to him, it’s “a jihadist call” that “we don’t believe in the dollar.”
While not a fan of crypto, Griffin said his firm would trade digital assets if they were properly regulated.
“I just don’t want to take on the regulatory risk in this regulatory void that some of my contemporaries are willing to take on,” he said. Market makers, firms that provide market liquidity, such as Jump Trading and DRW, have embraced the asset class.
Griffin further praised US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler for increasing the scrutiny of cryptocurrencies.
He “is spot-on on the need to have thoughtful regulation around cryptocurrency,” Griffin said, adding:
“I actually think that doing so will make it a smaller market because it will become a far more competitive market when there is regulatory clarity and that will be good.”
The hedge fund billionaire has long been a crypto skeptic as back in 2018, when he questioned crypto’s value, moaning about how young investors are attracted to the crypto asset instead of company stocks that drive economic growth.
Citadel’s Wellington hedge fund rose 18.5% this year through September after recording a 7.8% gain last month but only managed to beat the S&P 500’s total return of 16%, reported Bloomberg citing a person familiar with the matter.
When it comes to year-to-date returns of the crypto market, Bitcoin is up 68%, Ethereum 363%, Solana 8914%, and Dogecoin 4055%. The total crypto market cap recorded gains of 148% in the year through September, according to CoinGecko.
During the conversation, Griffin also commented on inflation running hot, which he says is “unsettling,” but noted the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is doing the best he can. He further said that people who are in the early part of their careers are making a “grave mistake” by not going back to the office.
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