Billionaire Investor Ken Griffin Says He's a Crypto Skeptic

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin said he questions the value of cryptocurrencies and laments how younger investors have been attracted to the digital coins rather than stocks of companies that drive economic growth.

While Griffin’s securities trading business has considered making markets in crypto-assets, the Citadel founder said he has “a hard time” being a liquidity provider in a product he doesn’t believe in.

“I don’t have a single portfolio manager who has told me we should buy crypto,” Griffin said at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York on Wednesday.

Griffin, who started Citadel in his early 20s and has primarily profited by short-term trading in global financial markets, said he wished younger people weren’t buying Bitcoin but instead investing in companies that define the future of the U.S., pushing capital toward job creation, innovation and economic growth.

“What’s unfortunate is the amount of hype and the number of early investors who’ve been caught up in this hype,” Griffin said.

Bitcoin has plummeted about 60 percent from its December peak near $20,000 but is up about 200 percent in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained about 16 percent. While BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said this week that he hasn’t heard from clients interested in buying the digital coins, other big names in finance including George Soros and Alan Howard are either planning to trade the virtual assets or have already done so, joining hedge fund manager turned crypto champion Michael Novogratz.

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