Egyptian-American economist and businessman Mohamed A. El-Erian has revealed that he bought Bitcoin several years ago, but sold early due to “behavioral mistakes.”

El-Erian is “President of Queens’ College, Cambridge and chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO where he was CEO and co-chief investment officer (2007–2014).” He was also “chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council (2012–17), and is a columnist for Bloomberg View, and a contributing editor to the Financial Times.”

El-Erian told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on November 15 that he first bought Bitcoin during the crypto winter of 2018, when the price of BTC plunged to nearly $3,000. He called the price point an attractive entry point and was “compelled” to buy into Bitcoin. 

El-Erian said, 

I felt compelled to buy it — I really did. I felt like I had framed it. I had this level, I had an entry point. 

The Allianz advisor stated he held his Bitcoin position late into 2020, when the price reached nearly $20K, but sold before it extended the bull rally to an all-time price high of $60,000.

When asked about the current valuation for Bitcoin, El-Erian claimed he was unsure of where exactly he would target BTC:

You really don’t want to ask me about valuations, because I don’t quite understand why $60,000, as opposed to $68,000, is the right level. 

El-Erian also noted that Bitcoin investors largely fall into three buckets: long-haul “fundamentalists,” professional investors looking to diversify and day-trading speculators. 

The famed economist was asked when he would feel comfortable buying back into the crypto markets after selling prematurely. El-Erian explained he would only re-enter Bitcoin once the speculators are “shaken out,” while saying fundamentalists and professional investors added a strong foundation for the market. 

El-Erian mentioned that the key to crypto was the underlying technology and the model, which he claimed would be “very influential” in the period ahead. 


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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