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Billionaire Ken Griffin admits he was wrong about crypto after previously slamming it as a ‘jihadist call’

March 3, 2022, 10:47 PM UTC

Citadel CEO and billionaire Ken Griffin has joined the list of billionaires admitting they were wrong about crypto.

“The crypto market today has a market capitalization of about $2 trillion in round numbers, which tells you that I haven’t been right on this call,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg. He also called the rise of cryptocurrencies “one of the greatest stories in finance over the last 15 years.”

Griffin has previously been extremely critical of crypto, with CNBC noting he once called it “a jihadist call” against the dollar. He also said it was similar to the “tulip bulb mania” of the 1630s, in which the prices of flowers spiked before crashing.

Even though he said he remains skeptical about the market’s long-term value, he told Bloomberg that his investment firm will likely work with cryptocurrencies in the near future.

Griffin’s skepticism of crypto may have played a role in his participation last fall in an auction of one of the few remaining original copies of the U.S. Constitution. His main competition was a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, a crypto collective that had formed specifically to bid in the auction at Sotheby’s. Griffin’s bid won.

Griffin isn’t the only billionaire to change his stance on the value of cryptocurrencies.

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, who famously referred to crypto as “rat poison,” recently invested $1 billion in crypto-friendly Nubank. Still, his longtime partner Charlie Munger continued to deride crypto, more recently likening it to “venereal disease.”

Shark Tank celebrity and billionaire Mark Cuban once complained that crypto is “too difficult to use, too easy to hack, way too easy to lose, too hard to understand, too hard to assess a value.” Today, he has invested heavily and refers to himself as a “crypto evangelist.”

Financier Carl Icahn invested $1.5 billion in crypto after previously saying he “wouldn’t touch the stuff.”

The change in heart shows the $40 trillion crypto market is here to stay.

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