The Lux List / Finance

Soros Fund Management given the crypto good-to-go

After dismissing it as a “bubble” in January, hedge fund titan George Soros has a change of heart and is ready to take a sho(r)t at cryptocurrencies.

Apr 09, 2018 | By LUXUO

Back in January, financial mogul George Soros called cryptocurrency a “bubble” and that investors were operating on “some kind of misunderstanding”. That “misunderstanding” was short-lived and the Hungarian-American investor has made an impressive turn-around because Soros Fund Management will reportedly be investing in cryptocurrencies. 

Launched in 1969, Soros Fund Management gained notoriety in 1992 for its aggressive bets against the British pound, which made Soros “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England”. He is also the man that many blamed as being responsible for the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997.

Currently operating with approximately US$26 billion in assets, the firm hired Adam Fisher last year as head of macro investing. And he has been given free reign to conduct trades in virtual coins a few months ago. Though he has yet to make a wager, it is speculated that he will be pulling the trigger very soon.

Soros, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, mentioned that digital coins cannot function as actual currencies because of their volatility. Despite his comments, Soros explicitly dabbled in cryptocurrency earlier last year. His investment fund amassed a stake in overstock.com. As a result, he became the third-largest shareholder of the discount e-commerce company. 

Overstock was famously one of the first large companies to accept Bitcoin back in 2014 and started accepting more major cryptocurrencies mid last year. In addition, the company also had plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange and their own tradable token. 

Despite the billionaire’s previous apparent misgivings about digital currencies, he believes that as an innovation, it can be a safe haven for funds during cyclical financial slumps and that it could be utilised as a hedging tool. Unfortunately, he did not reveal additional details and given his propensity for big shorts in a pond that’s already rife with speculation and speculators, it makes for an interesting development with an overarching impact that will have a far-reaching ripple effect.

It seems like Soros is not the first financial mogul to invest in cryptocurrencies either as the Rothschild family too are taking similar steps. It is still too early to speculate how this growing interest in cryptocurrencies could affect the market, but at this point it is still anybody’s guess. Stay tuned.


 
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