Citadel CEO Says Bitcoin Still A "Head Scratcher" But Billionaire Lasry Sees $40,000 Soon

Ken Griffin, the CEO and founder of the Citadel hedge fund, has reiterated his negative stance on Bitcoin (BTC) in an interview with CNBC this morning.

Speaking at the Delivering Alpha Conference in New York, CoinTelegraph’s Helen Partz reports that Griffin admitted that he “still scratch[es] [his] head” about Bitcoin, claiming that the younger generation should “do something more productive than invest in digital currencies.”

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

To prove his point of view, the billionaire pointed out that none of his clients have ever suggested investing in cryptocurrencies:

“I don’t have a single portfolio manager who has told me we should buy crypto, not a single portfolio manager.”

Griffin further declared that his company is having a “hard time” deciding whether it should be a liquidity provider for a product that he “[does not] believe in,” adding

“There’s no need for cryptocurrencies. They’re a solution in search of a problem.”

In late 2017, Citadel’s Griffin had made a similar statement about Bitcoin, comparing the top cryptocurrency with the “Dutch tulip bulb mania” in the 1600s and noting that “these bubbles tend to end in tears. And I worry about how this bubble might end.”

Founded by Griffin in 1990, the Citadel hedge fund manages over $30 billion of assets. The global financial institution is one of the oldest hedge funds in the world, being only one of three percentof hedge funds that have been working for more than 20 years.

Others on Wall Street have embraced cryptocurrencies in their turn. Earlier this week, the world’s largest largest asset manager BlackRock announced it is setting up a working group to estimate the benefits of involvement in Bitcoin, a turn away from the company’s previous critical stance on cryptocurrency.

And last week, billionaire Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management hedge fund reportedly invested in the Autonomous Partners crypto and blockchain-focused hedge fund.

And, as CoinTelegraph’s William Suberg notes, Avenue Capital Group co-founder Marc Lasry has said that Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is going to hit $40,000 in bullish comments to CNBC this morning.

Marc Lasry: I’m personally invested around 1% in bitcoin from CNBC.

Speaking in an interview for the network’s Squawk Box segment, Lasry, whose debt management firm controls around $9.6 billion of assets, saw increasing ease of crypto trading as a major motivator for Bitcoin to rise, noting

“As it gets more into the mainstream, and as more markets end up allowing it to trade where it’s freely tradable, to me that’s more of the bet.”

Lasry added that he foresaw Bitcoin investors “making 5 to 10 times their money in 3 to 5 years.”

Lasry had previously expressed regret at not purchasing Bitcoin sooner, with reports this week alleging that he had since converted one percent of his net worth to the largest cryptocurrency.

Lasry added in the CNBC interview that the reason he likes Bitcoin is “because it’s the one everybody is going to come to.”

Lasry’s prediction came amid a rapid uptick in Bitcoin’s fortunes, with the coin suddenly rising up to 12 percent July 17 and maintaining new levels above $7,400 since.

Institutional investors have become a significant talking point in recent weeks regarding Bitcoin, with commentators eyeing movement towards the crypto sphere from the likes of investment giant BlackRock as a possible sign major new interest is on the way.

At $40,000, Lasry’s prediction is meanwhile conservative in nature compared to figures like those proposed by Tim Draper, whose 2022 Bitcoin price forecast is currently set at $250,000.

Controversial crypto personality John McAfee, infamously bullish, has meanwhile doubled down on Bitcoin hitting the $1 million price point hitting as soon as 2020.

*  *  *

For now, Bitcoin is up over 20% this week – its best week since December 2017.

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