Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary: Bitcoin Has Value, But Lacks Regulatory Backing

Kevin O’Leary, a notable investor and Bitcoin critic, has repeatedly hit Bitcoin for its perceived failures. However, he appears to be softening his stance on the asset, although he still has reservations.

Government Approval the Final Ingredient for “Valuable” Bitcoin

O’Leary is the chairman of investment firm O’Shares ETFs. The Canadian businessman, famous for his time on ABC’s Shark Tank, recently sat down to discuss Bitcoin with Anthony Pompliano, a notable crypto trader and investor. In an episode of the latter’s Pomp Podcast, O’Leary explained that he had moved past his previous criticism of Bitcoin.

The businessman explained that he owns Bitcoin and could invest more in the asset in the future. However, he explained that he was still not comfortable with making long-term investments into the leading cryptocurrency.

O’Leary added that he would prefer investing in other alternative assets, as he didn’t see Bitcoin’s long-term potential. He explained that most of his estimated $400 million net worth remains in gold and that his most prominent issue with Bitcoin is that it still doesn’t have backing from financial regulators.

O’Leary has come a long way from his skeptical days. Last year, he got into an infamous spat with Pompliano on CNBC’s Squawk Box, when he declared that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. The investor explained that Bitcoin has no underlying value, adding that the halving process designed to regulate the asset’s supply was mere “BS.” He also pointed out that he had bought some Bitcoin and got burned in the process.

For his part, Pompliano explained that Bitcoin merely had a rough start. Like every disruptive technology, the asset needed to stabilize. Eventually, it would function as a practical currency form.

Confusion Among Gold Bugs

O’Leary now appears more optimistic about the asset. In part, he explained to Pompliano that the world needs a digital currency.

However, that won’t happen without backing from regulators. O’Leary added that he would put more of his wealth into Bitcoin if governments regulate the asset. For now, he is taking a more conservative approach with gold. O’Leary said,

“If you told me the Swiss and the Euro and the American and the Canadian, Australian governments agreed to whatever that is, I would put up to 20% of my portfolio in it.”

While O’Leary is sticking to his belief in gold, some other enthusiasts of the $2 trillion asset are rethinking their strategies.

Last week, Dan Tapiero, the founder of Gold Bullion International, told Pompliano that there is no questioning Bitcoin’s eventual rise above gold. Tapiero highlighted that it is only a matter of time for the leading cryptocurrency to overtake gold, pointing to factors like increased institutional investment and attraction to millennials.

While Tapiero advised investors to maintain balanced portfolios, he asserted that Bitcoin’s six-figure price peg is inevitable.

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