Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, has shared his cryptocurrency investment strategy and which coins he owns. He also discussed crypto market bubbles, diversification, regulation, and why he thinks non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be bigger than bitcoin.
Kevin O’Leary Discusses His Crypto Investments, Market Bubbles, and NFTs
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary discussed cryptocurrency, his investment portfolio, diversification, market bubbles, meme coins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a recent interview with Forbes, published Friday.
He explained that he views “the entire crypto industry as software development teams,” adding that he is betting on “really strong creative software engineers.” While talking about his cryptocurrency holdings, he revealed:
Ether is my largest position, bigger than bitcoin.
“It’s because so many of the financial services and transactions are occurring on it,” the Shark Tank star described. “Even new software is being developed like Polygon that consolidates transactions and reduces the overall cost in terms of gas fees on Ethereum.”
O’Leary then mentioned some of the cryptocurrencies he owns, stating:
I own hedera, polygon, bitcoin, ethereum, solana, serum — these are bets on software development teams and there are many, many use cases for them.
Moreover, Mr. Wonderful added that he holds “a significant and material position in USDC,” noting that he is “starting to pay for assets and get paid in the stablecoin.”
“At the end of the day, what determines the platform’s success and value is the speed and level of adoption. That occurs when the team has developed a platform that solves an economic problem,” he opined.
O’Leary proceeded to offer his opinion about meme cryptocurrencies. Noting that “long term coins that have no economic value are that because they don’t solve anything or create any value,” he cautioned:
I’m very skeptical of meme coins long term.
The Shark Tank star was also asked whether he thinks bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are in a bubble. He replied: “The thing to realize is, the market is the market. No one person can manipulate it, even though people claim they can … It’s millions of decisions being made every second in terms of what something is worth. And it applies to every market, whether it’s tulips, watches, bitcoin, real estate or gold.”
Noting that “Over the long run, it’s a fool’s game and you can’t win,” he stressed:
You can’t know when it’s a bubble, you simply can’t. And if you think you do, you’re absolutely wrong.
O’Leary believes in portfolio diversification. The cryptocurrency portion of his portfolio has been growing. He detailed that at some point cryptocurrency “might get to 20% of my operating company — but right now, it’s about 10.5%.” He clarified:
Within that portfolio, there’s no one token coin or chain that’s more than 5% of that portfolio. So yes, I am actively adding and trimming based on volatility.
In addition, he said that he is doing a lot of staking. “Most of my positions are now being staked,” he confirmed, noting that he’s using the crypto exchange FTX for staking. Mr. Wonderful announced in October that he is taking an equity stake in the crypto exchange and will be “paid in crypto to serve as an ambassador and spokesperson for FTX.”
When asked whether there is a chance that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could determine some of the cryptocurrencies he owns to be securities and what he will do if that happens, O’Leary promptly replied:
The minute that information gets out, I will want nothing to do with them. If I had a position I would sell it. I have no interest in going into conflict with regulators over my crypto portfolio. I want to be 100% compliant.
He said the same about XRP in November. XRP is the subject of an SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen. “I have zero interest in investing in litigation against the SEC. That is a very bad idea,” he stressed.
O’Leary also discussed non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “They offer so much value around authentication, inventory management, and all kinds of use cases in different asset classes,” he described, adding:
I think non-fungible tokens are going to be bigger than bitcoin.
He proceeded to draw attention to his NFT project. “I prefer NFTs tied to hard assets, physical assets; the one that I’m working on developing a white paper for is the watch industry,” he said. “I made a material investment in Jordan Fried’s company, Immutable Holdings, which owns nft.com, which he’s launching in January, as well as Wonderfi.”
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What do you think about Kevin O’Leary’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below.
A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.
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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers
Only 12% of American adults used crypto in 2021, and the demographic gap between those who invested in it and those who used it in transactions was enormous.
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The United States Federal Reserve Board has included data on cryptocurrency in its new Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in the 2021 report. The Fed’s ninth annual report looked at survey results from 11,000 people questioned in October and November 2021.
The report indicated financial wellbeing is the highest it has been since reporting began, with 78% of U.S. adults “doing okay or living comfortably financially.” That is an increase of 3% over the last three years. As a diagnostic of financial fitness, the report cites the 68% of Americans who say they could cover a $400 emergency expense using cash or its equivalent alone.
The report looked at cryptocurrency usage for the first time. It found that 12% of U.S. adults held or used crypto in 2020, with 11% holding it as an investment, 2% using it for a purchase or payment and 1% sending it to friends or family. Investors holding crypto “were disproportionately high-income, almost always had a traditional banking relationship, and typically had other retirement savings.” Forty-six percent had annual incomes of $100,000 or more and 89% of those who were not retired had retirement savings. Twenty-nine percent had incomes under $50,000.
The profile of the typical user making transactions with crypto differs starkly from investors. The report claimed that almost 60% of these users had incomes below $50,000, with 20% having incomes under $25,000. Only 24% had incomes above $100,000. Thirteen percent did not have a bank account. That compares with the 6% of adult Americans who lack bank accounts. Twenty-seven percent of those who used crypto for transactions did not have credit cards, compared to 17% of the total population.
Those who used crypto for transactions faced other disadvantages as well. Almost a quarter did not have a high school diploma, according to the results of the report.
WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies
Experts point out sticking points as well as greatest needs in the creation of central bank digital currencies for domestic and cross-border, wholesale and retail, uses.
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The process of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is fraught with unknowns, some of which were elucidated in a panel of experts gathered Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The panel concluded that good design is key to a successful CBDC, and there are fewer challenges for wholesale CBDC introduction.
Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that although many central banks are considering a CBDC, there is little practical experience with them. The Thai National Bank began proof-of-concept programs in 2018. Its mBridge project began as an experiment in establishing a cross-border wholesale payment corridor with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and has grown to include the Bank of China, the United Arab Emirates and the Bank for International Settlements. Cross-border transactions using traditional banking technology can take days to complete, while CBDC transactions are much faster.
Suthiwartnarueput said the use of blockchain technology can have unintended consequences. It is good for transparency, he said, but anonymity affects scalability. There is risk in a CBDC’s design because smart contracts require that the handling of every situation be specified ahead of time. He cited the current sanctions on Russia as an example of a potential challenge to CBDC design. The Thai central bank is looking at a “limited pilot” for a retail CBDC in the fourth quarter of this year.
International transactions between persons, especially remittances from workers located in other countries, which make up a market of $48 billion per year, are one of the most pressing use cases for CBDCs. Suthiwartnarueput said CBDCs can carry out such transactions at 50% less expensive and 68% faster than current money transfer technology. Currently, the average fee for a transfer of this type is 6.3% of the transaction sum.
Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann pointed out the rapid progress being made by non-blockchain fast payment technologies and raised questions for domestic retail CBDCs, such as whether accounts with central banks would pay interest. Privacy and intermediation are other thorny issues for retail CBDCs. International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said, “We feel a little behind the curve” in the creation of retail CBDCs, and Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau agreed, saying a “CBDC is not the monopoly on progress,” and central banks should not waste time in introducing it.
Suthiwartnarueput and the French central banker agreed that cross-border wholesale CBDC settlements may become a reality within five years.
fUSD stablecoin launch and rumors of Cronje’s return send Fantom (FTM) price higher
After a strong 2,000% rally in early 2021, Fantom (FTM) price collapsed alongside multiple altcoins and even though the blockchain has an impressive capability, it has yet to find mass adoption due to the lack of a compelling use case. FTM price hit an all-time high at $3.46, only to collapse to its pre-bull market lows under $0.25 after the failure of the Solidly DeFi project and the departure of developer Andre Cronje.
Three reasons for the uptrend in FTM price are the launch of the first native stablecoin on the Fantom network, new protocol upgrades and partnership announcements, which bring new functionality to the network, and speculation that Andre Cronje is working with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on Fantom.
Fantom launches its first native stablecoin
The most notable development to occur in the Fantom ecosystem in the past few weeks was the release of fUSD, the first native stablecoin on the network.
The launch of fUSD comes on the heels of the collapse of TerraUSD and looks to capture some of the capital flight from algorithmic stablecoin by offering an over-collateralized alternative.
On May 20, the Fantom Foundation released an update outlining the maximum collateral factor and minting cap for each supported form of collateral. The foundation also set the fUSD staking reward at 11.3%
The update also included details on Fantom liquid staking, setting a global cap of 150 million staked Fantom (sFTM), removing validators for the list of those eligible to mint sFTM and setting a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of FTM at 90% for the purposes of minting sFTM.
New partnerships improve sentiment for FTM
A handful of recent protocol updates and new partnerships have also helped to bring a boost in momentum to Fantom, including the launch of Snapsync, which allows new nodes to quickly join the network.
With the integration of Snapsync, the time it takes for new nodes to synch could be reduced from 24 to seven hours, helping to enhance network reliability, improve scalability and create a greater degree of decentralization.
Fantom has also announced that it is currently in the process of launching Gitcoin on the Fantom network to simplify the process of obtaining grants to develop in the Fantom ecosystem.
Fantom also partnered with Unmarshal and XP.Network. Unmarshal is a Web3 infrastructure provider that will integrate its indexing services with the Fantom protocol to give developers easy access to organized and granular on-chain data.
Through the partnership with XP.Network, Fantom users will be able to bridge nonfungible tokens (NFTs) between Ethereum (ETH), BNB Smart Chain (BNB), Elrond (EGLD), Aurora (AURORA), Tron (TRX), Avalanche (AVAX) and Velas (VLX).
Did Andre Cronje return?
Another factor, albeit speculative, bringing a boost FTM price is speculation that well-known DeFi developer Andre Cronje could be contributing toward DeFi development on the Fantom network.
Amid rumors about the return of lead DeFi developer Andre Cronje, the price of the native FTM token has risen by almost 40%. Cronje proposed a number of measures aimed at stabilizing the situation and increasing the sustainability of the Fantom ecosystem as a whole.
— Ashley Torres (@torresamba) May 23, 2022
The speculation started when Cronje submitted an fUSD optimization proposal that designed to solve a major depegging issue with the stablecoin on May 20 . A Fantom wallet that is believed to belong to Cronje has also added more than 100 million FTM over the past two weeks.
VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FTM on May 20, prior to the recent price rise.
The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.
As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for FTM spiked to a high of 89 on May 20 at the same time as its price began to increase 62.3% over the next three days.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
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