Ken Griffin says he would not see ‘financial underpinning’ of cryptocurrencies

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Ken Griffin talking on the 2018 Delivering Alpha Convention in New York on July 18th, 2018.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Ken Griffin, who runs a sprawling Wall Avenue empire that features market making operations and a hedge fund, was dismissive of cryptocurrencies whilst some see the rising asset as the way forward for finance.

“I simply do not spend a lot time occupied with cryptocurrencies … I do not see the financial underpinning of cryptocurrencies. I perceive tips on how to worth a inventory — the web current worth of earnings — I perceive how to consider foreign money trade charges all over the world,” Griffin stated to Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “I do not understand how to consider what’s successfully a digital token.”

Bitcoin has soared in latest months, boosted partially by adoption from main monetary establishments, traders and corporations, together with Tesla. Employees and customers of major Wall Street banks are additionally pushing for higher involvement in cryptocurrencies.

Citadel’s market making arm handles about 40% of the every day retail buying and selling in the US, making it one of many greatest corporations concerned within the nation’s monetary plumbing. The agency additionally operates a hedge fund.

Bitcoin was buying and selling above $52,000 per coin on Friday, in response to Coin Metrics, placing its six-month acquire at greater than 330%.

Griffin’s feedback got here as a part of an interview regarding Citadel’s role in the GameStop saga. The agency dealt with retail trades from low cost brokerage Robinhood in the course of the Reddit-fueled brief squeeze on the inventory, and Griffin testified earlier than Congress on Thursday.

Citadel’s hedge fund arm additionally made an funding in January in Melvin Capital, one of many hedge funds hit hardest by GameStop’s fast rise. Griffin defended that decision on Friday.