‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary shrugged off government crypto bans and revealed he’ll keep buying the bitcoin dip in an interview. Here are 10 highlights.

kevin o'leary
“Shark Tank” investor, Kevin O’Leary

  • Kevin O’Leary explained why governments won’t be able to put a lid on cryptocurrencies in a recent interview.
  • The “Shark Tank” star spoke about the tipping-point for institutions getting into bitcoin and his involvement in making it ESG-compliant.
  • He shared what would prompt him to bump up his bitcoin allocation to 5%, and outlined what it would take to get a yield off his holding.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Famed investor Kevin O’Leary called bitcoin the “granddaddy” of digital assets and explained why he thinks governments will be unable to ban cryptocurrencies, speaking in a “Bitcoin Magazine” podcast with hosts David Zell and Matt Odell on Tuesday.

The “Shark Tank” co-host, who is a major shareholder in a new DeFi investing company, also spoke about bitcoin’s move to becoming ESG-friendly and what the tipping point for institutional adoption will be – and how that could help its price eventually skyrocket.

Here are 10 highlights from O’Leary’s interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. “I’m never going to sell it, I’m not going to trade it. I’m going to own it, and I anticipate it will appreciate over time and probably beat the S&P 500 index.” – on considering bitcoin as property, not currency.

2. “I’m not going to try and trade in and out of price adjustments. I’m going to allocate 3% – and if the price drops, I’ll buy more. That’s the whole point.” – on bitcoin’s volatility being problematic for institutional investors.

3. “The institutional investor is not on board yet. But my thesis is: when we resolve the issues around bitcoin right now in the next couple of years, and allocation starts happening from sovereign funds and pension plans, you’re gonna see a material appreciation in price.” – on value appreciation over time.

4. “The most desirable asset in crypto is bitcoin – it is the gold standard of crypto.” – on institutions considering allocations to cryptocurrencies.

5. “I don’t see a situation where it’s going to be made illegal anywhere, and the thesis is the genie’s out of the bottle. Bitcoin is distributed all around the world and used as property, and currency, in every country on Earth. And so, I don’t really see, even if one country says they’re going to make it illegal, how they’re exactly going to do that.” – on bitcoin being regulated by governments.

6. “Regulating it out of existence is a low probability as far as I’m concerned. Not going to happen. In fact, it’s going the other way.” – on regulators having to deal with bitcoin’s use.

7. “The world is going to move towards digital currency. Bitcoin was the beginning of that, it is the granddaddy of it all, which is why it’s so desirable.” – on the inevitability of digital currencies being the future.

8. “I have had many discussions with some of the larger players in bitcoin in terms of ownership and assets. And the reason we have a collective interest in it is that we see the logjam being broken up, and then institutions coming into an asset class we already are positioned it – that’s a very attractive outcome.” – on being involved in bitcoin’s move to becoming ESG-friendly.

9. “I’m looking at increasing my allocation. Next stop will be 5% on bitcoin (from 3%) and at the same time investing in infrastructure so that I can actually do the same thing that anybody else wants to. I would like to actually make yield off my coin, and that involves getting a platform that allows me to do that easily, compliantly with tax reporting.” – on his investment in institutional tax-compliant platforms for bitcoin that are just starting up.

10. “Bitcoin is volatile. There’s no question about it. But I think everyday we move towards more adoption at the institutional level. But there’s going to be the proverbial tipping point when all of a sudden one or two or three large institutions do an allocation, and you’re going to see the price of bitcoin skyrocket.” – on the digital asset overcoming ESG hurdles.

Read More: A managing partner at a venture fund that’s backed more than 30 billion-dollar blockchain projects compares the technology today to the dot-com boom of the 1990s – and breaks down 4 platform types and the cryptos leading each one into the future

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‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary says decentralized finance could be the future – and plans to launch a DeFi investing company

kevin oleary shark tank
Kevin O’Leary.

Kevin O’Leary revealed on Anthony Pompliano’s podcast that he’s a major shareholder of a new decentralized-finance (DeFi) company, which aims to help investors profit from DeFi. The “Shark Tank” star and O’Leary Funds boss also predicted DeFi will play a key role in crypto’s future, and said he’s deeply interested in the space.

“What interests me the most right now is DeFi. I think it’s where the puck is going,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said that DeFi enables him to wrap up crypto assets into Ethereum chains to make a profit, whereas storing capital in crypto investments does not allow that.

“There must be millions of people who have a little bit of coin who want to make some 4%, 5%, 6% on it,” was the thought that led him to ask his team to find experts on the matter, which they did in the Canadian startup DeFi Ventures.

The company is working to find a commercial solution to DeFi investing, enabling anyone who has a wallet to wrap their assets and utilise DeFi’s benefits automatically and in a compliant way.

O’Leary said he led a $20 million fundraising round for the company, which has yet to go live. “I am going to rename it to WonderFi because it is going to be my vehicle and I think it’s just the beginning of some great things to come,” said the investor, whose nickname is Mr. Wonderful.

The investor also said that bitcoin’s recent volatility has boosted his DeFi investments and driven up profits. “We’ve had tremendous volatility on bitcoin these last ten days. That actually enhances DeFi, it makes it better. I’m making way more on my contracts now,” he continued.

Higher returns are also making him consider shifting his asset allocation. While he currently still holds 5% gold and 3% crypto, this might change as gold does not provide him with returns, O’Leary said.

Talking about his start in the crypto industry, O’Leary spoke about the ESG concerns linked to cryptocurrencies and how they were raised by many of his institutional and sovereign fund clients. However, that didn’t deter him from going long on bitcoin, he said on the podcast.

At CoinDesk’s Consensus conference on Monday, O’Leary said that bitcoin needs to become more sustainable to attract institutional investors, and a more environmentally friendly way of mining the cryptocurrency could see its value rise as high as $200,000.

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Kevin O’Leary says bitcoin is here to stay as an asset class, but the next wave of institutional money won’t come unless miners pivot towards renewable energy

kevin o'leary
  • Kevin O’Leary reiterated his view that bitcoin mining needs to use more renewable energy.
  • The investor said a flood of institutional money will come in once there’s more clarity about bitcoin’s sustainability.
  • Bitcoin miners say they are increasingly moving towards using renewable energy to power rigs.
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Kevin O’Leary reiterated his view that bitcoin mining needs to pivot towards more sustainable practices during a Monday webcast at the Consensus by CoinDesk 2021 convention.

Despite bitcoin’s recent sell-off, the Shark Tank investor said that institutional interest is just in it’s early innings, as less than 1% of institutions globally carry cryptocurrency as an asset class. One reason for the relatively slow pace of adoption is that firms have sustainability committees that screen every investment and filter ones that don’t meet ESG standards, he said.

“The fact that they’re going through this process, I consider a very positive sign,” for crypto, O’Leary added.

Now that institutional investors are interested in being exposed to bitcoin, miners must ensure that bitcoin can meet firms’ ESG standards.

Estimates from the University of Cambridge say the total yearly electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network is 113.74 terawatt-hours. It’s a staggering amount, but miners say they are increasingly moving towards using renewable energy to power the Bitcoin network.

O’Leary said the number one question he asks a mining project before investing in it is how is the project dealing with ESG.

The Shark Tank investor also suggested there should be a way to “tag” a bitcoin and prove that it came from a sustainable energy source. While this isn’t a practice yet, he claimed the technology was “being worked on,” and when it’s available, a flood of institutional money will come into bitcoin.

“It will be the reason it goes to $100,000, $200,000,” O’Leary said, “That’s not going to happen until institutions start to buy it. So everybody’s got to wake up and realize there’s demand, but it has to be done around ESG concerns.”

Bitcoin sold off last week in part due to a tweet from Elon Musk regarding bitcoin’s energy consumption. On Monday afternoon, the cryptocurrency jumped to just under $40,000 after the Tesla CEO tweeted: “Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.”

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