John Paulson, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has repeatedly claimed that cryptocurrencies are worthless and that he is not shorting them. He said they are no more than speculative vehicles like Beanie Babies. He has stated that the only thing that matters is whether you own the right ones. Surprisingly, he has also made several positive comments about Bitcoin – the leading virtual currency.
His latest statement about cryptocurrencies indicates that he will not be shying away from shorting them again. To understands his latest position. We will have to go back in time and look into his history in the cryptocurrency field. The billionaire has been an ardent bull on this market in the past. When they started, he was one of the early investors in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple, and Litecoin at around $5 each.
John Paulson’s interest in cryptocurrency began when he invested $15 million in XRP, a digital currency developed by the San Francisco startup Ripple. Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system in currency exchange and a remittance network. It is also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol or Ripple protocol. The virtual currency has been designed for bank-to-bank transactions; however, this can be expanded to include other institutions such as payment providers.
He has also invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum through his hedge fund, Paulson & Co. The fund is one of the largest institutional owners in BTC, ETH, and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust. It is also bullish on crypto-mining firms as they allow miners to use their surplus computer power to mine digital currencies. It has invested in HIVE Blockchain Technologies, a firm that owns a cryptocurrency mining facility in Iceland.
Paulson may have also taken Ethereum but not at the current price of $300 if he tries to buy it now. Many other individuals are willing to pay more for ETH than what they paid for XRP. He will likely buy Ethereum to hold for the long term. The price of ETH has increased much more than Bitcoin in the last two years. At some point, Paulson might also buy Ripple if he sees its value growing again.
Most in the markets might not take John Paulson’s comments as gospel. He has had many critics. He was one of the most vocal critics of Ripple and Ethereum before both generated high returns for him and other investors in their respective markets. However, Paulson’s comments might take on greater significance if he decides to short Bitcoin again and gets his wish.