Some Billionaires Embrace Cryptocurrencies in Case Money ‘Goes to Hell’

Hungarian-born billionaire Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers Group, says the online brokerage is now expanding the cryptocurrencies it offers its customers after sensing "urgency" from their clients to get in. He still hasn't decided whether cryptocurrencies are a good investment — "I think it can go to zero, and I think it can go to a million dollars," he tells Bloomberg. "I have no idea." But he's invested a small amount just as a hedge against possible problems with fiat currency. His approach highlights the shifting attitude toward crypto by investors who once scorned or were wary of digital tokens but realized, especially in 2021, that they can't bear to miss out on the potential for big gains.... [American billionaire] Ray Dalio recently revealed he was holding at least some Bitcoin and Ethereum in his portfolio only months after questioning crypto's utility as a store of wealth. The Bridgewater Associates founder views the investments as an alternative money in a world where "cash is trash'' and inflation erodes buying power. [American billionaire hedge fund manager] Paul Tudor Jones disclosed he's invested as a hedge against inflation, and almost half the family offices Goldman Sachs Group Inc. does business with were interested in adding digital currencies to their portfolios, according to a recent bank survey. Crypto moved increasingly into the mainstream of finance, albeit with mixed success. ProShares launched the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF, which attracted more than $1 billion in two days, before inflows sputtered and the price slumped since its October debut. Crypto enthusiasts are still hoping U.S. regulators approve an ETF that actually holds Bitcoin in 2022. Faring better, Coinbase Global Inc. went public and now has a $54 billion market valuation. It's founder, Brian Armstrong, is worth $9.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index... There's still plenty of skepticism from Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy, but also pragmatism. [Multinational hedge fund] Citadel's Ken Griffin recently described the rush to embrace cryptocurrencies as a "jihadist call" against the U.S. dollar. But Griffin said his own firm would trade crypto if there were more regulation. JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin "worthless" in October, but that came even as the New York-based banking giant was bulking up hiring to help its clients trade digital currencies. The bank's clients are "adults," Dimon has said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.