$545B Asset Manager Blackstone’s CEO: ‘We Will Invest In Blockchain Tech, But I Won’t Own Crypto’
In an interview with Fortune, US billionaire and Blackstone CEO, Steve Schwarzman, propagated the “blockchain not Bitcoin (BTC)” argument saying the trillion-dollar hedge fund may invest in blockchain in future but not BTC.
‘Governments Need to control Currencies’
In the past few years, Blackstone has focused on making alternative investments but Schwarzman does not see himself or the fund investing in cryptocurrency investments. One key reason is that he does not understand the industry. The 72-year old billionaire said,
“I don’t have much interest in that because it’s hard for me to understand. I was raised in a world where someone needs to control currencies.”
Well through his life, governments (or central banks) have been the central authority in controlling the money in an economy – and for ‘good’ reason. He explained,
“There’s a reason to want to control currencies, which is why governments all do it. Part of that is to make sure the economy is as insulated as it can be from excesses.”
Too much Freedom
Bitcoin, however, governs its self with a set of mathematically coded set of rules and the community who secure the network and verifies transactions. The decentralization and peer to peer connection allow users to freely spend their money without control from a centralized authority.
However, given the anonymity feature of BTC, bad actors in the network use the platform to carry out illegal activities. This is why control of funds by the government authorities is needed according to Steve. He said,
“So the idea that you can transact without anybody knowing anything, you could have a lot of criminal behavior — dirty money, drug money — running all over the world. It only encourages that kind of activity.”
Blockchain not Bitcoin
In his closing remarks, Schwarzman praised blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies, for its extensive uses the platform offers. However, the notion of creating money on the blockchain doesn’t sit right with the Blackstone CEO.
“[Blockchain technology] is a very good idea, and it will end up being adopted because it’s good technology. Applying it to the creation of money is sort of, for my taste, pretty odd.”
– Steve Schwarzman
He further hinted that the hedge fund may start investing in blockchain startups and companies in the near future given the benefits its offers. When asked if he will ever invest in Bitcoin or other altcoins, he simply responded, “No”.