On Wednesday, Thomas Peterffy, online brokerage pioneer told CNBC that he’s engaged in cryptocurrencies, but he’s still skeptical about the virtual currency class’s long-term prospects.
“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 said on “Closing Bell.” He made no mention of the cryptocurrency or coins he holds.
The criticism comes as Interactive Brokers prepares to offer cryptocurrency exchanges by the end of the summer, a move that will be notable given the e-reputation brokers for targeting more affluent clientele.
Peterffy has repeatedly expressed reservations about bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, most recently in 2017 as the CME set to open futures contracts.
Peterffy told CNBC at the time that he had no objections to people trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but he warned against “linking bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by federal regulations to the real economy.”
Peterffy stated that “several of our clients expressed an interest” in being able to participate in virtual currencies when it comes to Interactive Brokers’ future launch of crypto trading. “And I completely understand it,” he continued.
Many in the cryptocurrency world consider bitcoin as a long-term source of wealth and are optimistic about its potential to destroy the conventional global economy, alongside blockchain-based digital content. The billionaire CEO of Twitter and fintech startup Square, Jack Dorsey, said earlier Wednesday that he hopes bitcoin “helps create world peace.”
One reason for bitcoin’s big surge, which started the previous year and peaked in April, was increased acceptance by high-profile investors and financial institutions. While bitcoin has had a fantastic year so far, it was trading for less than $10,000 per token at the start of 2020.