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Investment legend Howard Marks retracted his initial “knee-jerk reaction” to bitcoin when it traded at $5,000 and is far more open to the cryptocurrency now that it exchanges hands close to $60,000.

In Brief

  • The investment legend said bitcoin is better than an emerging-market currency.
  • His initial response to bitcoin was a “knee-jerk reaction” without good information.
  • The billionaire said his son “thankfully” owns a meaningful amount of bitcoin for the family.

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Billionaire investor Howard Marks has completely relinquished his suspicions on bitcoin, saying that growing demand for cryptocurrencies makes the digital asset a better bet than emerging-market currencies.

When bitcoin became more widely known he was quick to dismiss it,  because he viewed as lacking in intrinsic value, as he told the Korea Economic Daily in a recent video interview.

But  there are a lot of things that people want and value highly which have  no intrinsic value,” Marks added, pointing to paintings,  diamonds, or bars of gold. He also said that being able to trade bitcoin instantly makes it a useful form of transactions, unlike banks  which cannot process wire transfers on weekends.

He went on to talk about bitcoins pseudonymity, laying out more reasons why there’s a good case for bitcoin.”Nobody knows about your holdings but  you,” he said. “The government can’t know. Nobody can steal it from you. It’s better than an emerging-market currency.

Marks, who is one  of the biggest investors in distressed assets, recognised that people who purchased bitcoin when it was trading at just $5,000 – less than a tenth of what  it’s worth today – seem to have made the right decision thus far.

My  initial response was a knee-jerk reaction without information and  that’s not a good way to behave,” he continued. “Now, I’ve learned how much I don’t know.”

Bitcoin traded around $55,504 on Tuesday, about 9% lower from its record high of above $61,000 over the weekend. It is still up 88% year-to-date and up more than 995% in the last 12 months.

In a recent memo the Oaktree Capital Management co-founder said his son Andrew “thankfully” owns a meaningful amount of bitcoin for the family. “While the story is far from fully written, the least I can say  is that my sceptical view has not borne out to date,” Marks said. “This brings up what Andrew considers a very important point about the  value investor’s mentality and what is required for success as an  investor in today’s world.”


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