In a surprising volte-face, billionaire George Soros is planning to start trading digital assets – three months after he dismissed cryptocurrencies as a “typical bubble”.
As per a report by Bloomberg, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that Adam Fisher, who is responsible for overseeing macro investing at the $26 billion-worth Soros Fund Management, received internal approval to trade cryptocurrencies during the past few months. He has, however, yet to make a trade.
The news marks a complete reversal in the Hungarian-American investor’s stance on crypto. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in January this year, Soros, 87, stated that cryptocurrencies were “based on some kind of misunderstanding” and could not function as actual currencies, owing to their volatility. He also highlighted their potential for usage in criminal activities.
“As long as you have dictatorships on the rise you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to to build a nest egg abroad,” he said.
The move comes in the midst of a months-long slump in the crypto market, owing primarily to increased regulatory pressure from governments and central banks globally. Since Soros’ comments at the WEF, Bitcoin has dropped by nearly 41%.
The anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies makes it difficult to track their movements, and authorities worldwide have begun to set up laws and regulatory frameworks in an attempt to restrict the scope and usage of Bitcoin and its peers.
As countries such as China and South Korea clamp down on crypto, and the market continues to look increasingly shaky, investors are getting cold feet. Mike Novogratz announced a $500 million cryptocurrency hedge fund last year, only to put the plan on hold after market conditions took a turn for the worse.
However, Soros’ move suggests a bullish optimism, pointing at the fact that the downtime may be the perfect opportunity to buy into the crypto game at hugely discounted rates. In addition, this is hardly Soros’ first brush with crypto – by the end of Q4 2017, his firm had amassed a sizeable share in pro-crypto company Overstock.com (NASDAQ:), making it the third-biggest shareholder of the e-commerce company.
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