Billionaire investor Howard Marks, co-founder of $140 billion asset management firm Oaktree Capital, has revealed he changed his mind about bitcoin and even pointed out growing demand for it makes it better than an emerging-market currency.
When bitcoin’s popularity surged in late 2017 it caught Marks’ attention. A few months later, Marks revealed he believed buying bitcoin wasn’t investing but was instead a trade that “will be shown not to have any substance.” At the time, Marks slammed bitcoiners saying they were only buying believing “someone will buy it from them at a higher price.”
In a recent video interview with The Korea Economic Daily, the billionaire revealed he initially dismissed BTC because it does not have intrinsic value, but added there are a “lot of things that people want and value highly which have no intrinsic value,” pointing to gold, paintings, and diamonds as examples.
Marks added that being able to trade bitcoin instantaneously makes it a useful asset for transactions, as banks are unable to wire transfers when they’re closed. He added bitcoin’s pseudonymity further boosts bitcoin’s case as “nobody knows about your holdings but you” and governments cannot know.
Reacting to Marks’ comments Michael Saylor, the CEO of Nasdaq-listed business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, said that as the world looks for a store of value to replace traditional stores of value like gold and real estate, it is “inevitable that more & more successful investors like Howard Marks are doing to discover, research & embrace bitcoin.”
MicroStrategy has already invested over $2 billion to buy over 91,000 BTC, which are now worth well over $5 billion. Saylor’s firm is known for buying at any cost, going as far as issuing debt to add more BTC to its treasury.
Marks, who is well-known for investing in distressed assets, said that those who bought BTC at $5,000 seemed to have made the right decision. Commenting on his initial response to the cryptocurrency, the billionaire said it was a “knee-jerk reaction without information and that’s not a good way to behave.”
He added he now has “learned how much I don’t know.” Bitcoin is currently trading at $55,000 after dropping from an all-time high above $61,800 earlier this month. As reported, in January Marks said he was “thankful” his son Andrew invested in bitcoin and admitted he needed to change his “skeptical view.”
Featured image via Pixabay.