• March 11, 2022

Kevin O'Leary claims to have invested 20% of his assets in cryptocurrency, including tokens and blockchain firms.

  • One-fifth of Kevin O'Leary's investment interests are related to crypto tokens, currencies, and companies, he said on Friday.
  • "I have millions of dollars," O'Leary said in an interview on "Squawk Box," "and 20 percent of my portfolio is now in cryptocurrencies and blockchain."
  • Although cryptocurrency has grown in popularity in recent years, regulators are nonetheless concerned about speculation.

Kevin O'Leary, a celebrity investor, said on Friday that cryptocurrencies and companies in the embryonic digital asset industry account for one-fifth of his investment holdings.

"I have millions of dollars," O'Leary said in an interview on "Squawk Box," "and 20 percent of my portfolio is now in cryptocurrencies and blockchain." Cryptocurrencies run on blockchains, which are distributed digital ledgers.

In recent years, cryptocurrencies have received a lot of attention and investment, especially from huge organisations and well-known people like hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and fund manager Bill Miller. Many people recommend bitcoin, the world's most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as a long-term investment. There are also a slew of other, smaller digital tokens.

Bitcoin has just been around since January 2009, according to crypto supporters, so it's still early days for the business. Despite this, crypto businesses continue to draw billions of dollars in venture capital funding.

Simultaneously, the new asset class remains volatile, with authorities such as Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler warning of its "very speculative" nature and lack of investor protection. Pump-and-dump strategies in some digital tokens have also been cautioned about by the outgoing chair of the UK's banking regulator.

Billionaire businessman Charlie Munger, a longstanding associate of Warren Buffett and a Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman, has been a vocal critic of digital currencies and their volatility. He said in February that he wished the US had banned them. Buffett isn't a fan, calling bitcoin "rat poison squared" in 2018. Bitcoin has been compared to a Ponzi scheme by some.

When asked by Andrew Ross Sorkin whether some cryptocurrencies will be obsolete in a decade, O'Leary stated he had considered the risk element.

"You must have a wide range of interests. "I own 32 various positions, including equity FTX," O'Leary added, revealing that he is a paid spokesperson for the cryptocurrency exchange, which was created by 30-year-old billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

"The whole point is that you never know who will win." Is Ethereum going to be victorious? Is Solana going to be victorious? Is it Helium or Avalanche that you're looking for? "I own them all," claimed O'Leary, who also invests in venture capital and is a co-host of "Shark Tank." He's also the chairman and founder of O'Shares ETFs.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday for the US government to investigate the cryptocurrency sector. O'Leary's comments come two days after Biden signed an executive order directing the US government to investigate the cryptocurrency industry. The purpose of the executive order, according to the administration, is to manage concerns while also "harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technologies."

"It wasn't an outright prohibition," O'Leary added, "so that's excellent news." However, he expressed reservations about Biden's directive's emphasis on the risks of cryptocurrency to the environment.

Mining bitcoin, which in fact entails running computers to validate transactions throughout the blockchain network, necessitates a significant amount of computing power. As a result, many have bemoaned bitcoin mining's carbon footprint.

O’Leary said, he has at least one private bitcoin mining plant. He did, however, say that after Biden's executive order, he sold his shares in publicly traded bitcoin mining companies.