Thomas Peterffy says he owns some cryptocurrency because 'you have to play the odds'

Online brokerage pioneer Thomas Peterffy instructed CNBC on Wednesday he’s invested in cryptocurrencies, whereas nonetheless expressing skepticism over the long-term way forward for the digital asset class.

“Even I myself have put a little bit of money into crypto, because even though chances are, I think, that this is not going to be a viable market, I think that there’s a small chance that this will be a dominant currency, so you have to play the odds,” the billionaire founder and chairman of Interactive Brokers stated on “Closing Bell.” He didn’t specify which cryptocurrency or cryptocurrencies he owns.

The remarks come as Interactive Brokers prepares to launch cryptocurrency trading by the end of summer, a transfer seen as noteworthy due to the e-broker’s fame for serving extra refined shoppers.

Peterffy has beforehand been skeptical of bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market worth, at earlier factors, significantly in 2017 as the CME prepared to launch bitcoin futures.

At that point, Peterffy told CNBC he had no downside with individuals who needed to commerce bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies, however he warned of “linking bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by federal regulations to the real economy.”

Regarding Interactive Brokers’ upcoming launch of crypto buying and selling, Peterffy stated “several of our clients expressed an interest” in having the ability to spend money on the digital belongings. “And I completely understand it,” he stated.

Many in the crypto neighborhood see bitcoin as a long-term retailer of worth and specific optimism about its means, together with blockchain-based digital belongings, to disrupt the conventional monetary system. Jack Dorsey, the billionaire CEO of Twitter and fintech agency Square, stated earlier Wednesday he hopes bitcoin “helps create world peace.”

Bitcoin was up practically 7% Wednesday afternoon, buying and selling round $31,800 per token. The traditionally risky cryptocurrency traded as excessive as $32,765 on the day, in accordance to Coin Metrics. The transfer greater got here sooner or later after bitcoin fell beneath $30,000 for the first time since June 22.

Bitcoin stays down about 50% from its all-time excessive close to $65,000 in mid-April, round the time of cryptocurrency alternate Coinbase‘s public markets debut.

Further adoption of bitcoin by high-profile buyers and establishments was seen as one purpose for bitcoin’s large rally that started final 12 months and peaked in April. While bitcoin is barely constructive 12 months to date, at this level in 2020, it traded beneath $10,000 per token.

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