Howard Marks, a billionaire investor and the founder of Oaktree Capital Management, has recently slammed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as he stated buying bitcoin isn’t an investment, but a trade that “will be shown not to have any substance.”
Speaking at the eight annual CNBC and Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference in New York, Marks stated:
It's not an investment … it's a trade. In the long run, I think it will be shown not to have any substance.
Per the billionaire investor, those who are buying the flagship cryptocurrency are only doing so because they believe “someone will buy it from them at a higher price.” This, per his words, is part of the “greater fool theory.” The theory itself sees someone buy an asset at a highly inflated price, so it can then be sold to someone else at an even higher price, effectively being passed to the next “fool.”
As such, Marks noted, people buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies not because of their intrinsic value, but “because they think it’s going up.” The investor’s Oaktree Capital notably has $121 billion of assets under management, with Marks himself having a net worth of over $2 billion.
Notably, Marks had in the past revealed he isn’t a cryptocurrency fan. According to Business Insider, around this time last year he stated cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether “aren’t real,” At the time, he wrote in a memo to clients:
Some people are eager to speculate on digital currency for profit. Others want to put a little money into these to-date-profitable phenomena rather than run the risk of missing out. But they're not real!
His words echo those of billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who’s also stated that buying bitcoin isn’t investing. Buffett and his long-time Lieutenant Charlie Munger have earlier this year slammed bitcoin by comparing it to “turds” and “dementia,” and saying it’s “probably rat poison squared.”
Speaking to CNBC in a joint interview, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Buffett told investors to “just beware” of bitcoin. The billionaire’s words on the flagship cryptocurrency have angered many in the community. Recently, as CryptoGlobe covered, an anonymous trader bet BTC will surpass Berkshire Hathaway’s stock by 2023.