Scott Millin | CNBC
Celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary is investing in digital currencies, but he hasn’t taken it lightly, telling CNBC that he would rather consult with regulators in this space than be a “crypto cowboy.”
O’Leary told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday that he preferred to consult with regulators before investing in the cryptocurrency, to see “what is possible and what is not” in terms of their stance on the space.
“I have no interest in investing in litigation against the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission]”It’s a very bad idea,” he said in a discussion with fintech company Ripple on the US regulator’s case.
The SEC’s case against Ripple focuses on its concerns about the fintech firm’s relationship with the world’s seventh-largest cryptocurrency, XRP. NS The SEC alleges that Ripple and its executives Sold $1.3 billion worth of tokens in an unregistered securities offering.
O’Leary, who is an investor in “Shark Tank” and chairman of the O’Shares ETF, said he prefers to adjust and comply with regulators “because that’s where the real capital is.”
“I’m not interested in being a crypto cowboy and making anyone unhappy with me because … I have so much wealth in the real world that I’ve already invested in that I have to comply,” he said.
In terms of investing in digital cash pegged to national currencies, also known as “stablecoins”, O’Leary said he has no interest in holding the digital Russian ruble or the Chinese yuan because they need to be linked to the country’s blockchain. There is not enough information about or how they were monitoring the ownership of the money.
Instead, O’Leary believed that the biggest opportunity for stablecoins remains with a currency pegged to the US dollar.
However, O’Leary explained that he was sitting on “large amounts of cash” over the years after selling off a lot of his commercial property investments, which would lose purchasing power due to inflation.
By comparison, O’Leary said he could earn a potential 6% return by buying into USD Coin, the world’s second largest stablecoin operated by digital currency company Circle and pegged to the US dollar. However, O’Leary clarified that he can currently only invest up to 5% of his cash in USDC.
But he said there was an opportunity for the US to “lead the charge” with stablecoins.
O’Leary said he was in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to attend the city’s annual fintech festival, to talk to the government and regulators, and to understand how the country is adopting its rules for blockchain in finance. But where does he stand?
He said he didn’t consider cryptocurrencies like bitcoin “in the same way that others do.”
O’Leary said he sees this as “software development” and so, when he was looking to invest in the space, he wanted to understand which blockchain platform would be a “long-term win.”
He named Solana, Polygon and HBAR as some examples.
“I need to invest in all of them, not just one of them because I don’t know who will be the winner,” he explained, explaining that he is looking for markets that offer the best engineering talent and policy in the process. Were. ,
O’Leary said the US does not currently have an exchange-traded fund that holds bitcoin because the regulator is “taking its time” on blockchain regulation.
“That’s why I come here, I want to hear from the regulator what the plan is so that I can get into it as I go into every jurisdiction that thinks about decentralized finance,” he said.