Billionaire Howard Marks Regrets His Dismissive Comments on Bitcoin


Billionaire US investors and writer Howard Marks is among the latest prominent individuals to warm up to bitcoin. In a recent interview, he regretted calling the cryptocurrency “unfounded fad” by saying that his comments were a “knee-jerk reaction without information.”

Marks Changes his Tune on BTC

Being a relatively new invention aiming to revolutionize the stagnant traditional financial industry, bitcoin was the subject of numerous attacks, neglections, or mere dismissals.

However, its perseverance changed the mind of quite a few former skeptics, including CNBC’s Jim Cramer and MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor.

The latest to join this growing trend seems to be co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management – Howard Marks. The 74-year-old billionaire said in a July 2017 letter to investors that “digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad.”

“Maybe I’m just a dinosaur, too technologically backward to appreciate the greatness of digital currency. But, it is my firm view that the ability of these things to gain acceptance is just one more proof of the prevalence today of financial naiveté, willing risk-taking, and wishful thinking.” – he added.

Now, though, Marks seems to be significantly more open-minded on bitcoin. In a recent interview with Korea Economic Daily, he admitted that his “initial response was a knee-jerk reaction without information, and that’s not a good way to behave.”

Howard Marks. Source: BusinessInsider
Howard Marks. Source: BusinessInsider

I Know How Much I Don’t Know; Marks

The billionaire further explained that he had learned his lesson to avert commenting on topics he’s not entirely familiar with, which was the case with BTC initially. He also touched upon his previous narrative that the cryptocurrency lacks intrinsic value but now believes that there’s more to the story:

“But there are a lot of things that people want and value highly which have no intrinsic value. The supply is fixed by the software, so it can’t expand much, unlike the dollar, which can be printed in infinite amounts. And the demand is growing because more people are interested in it.”

While asserting he “can’t claim to be proven right, yet” with his “dismissive” approach in 2017, he admitted that people who have bought BTC at $5,000 or lower “look right” as of now as they stand on more than ten-fold returns in less than a year.

Featured Image Courtesy of WSJ

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