Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles on May 2, Ken Griffin of Citadel Securities compared cryptocurrency to abstract art, adding that given the institutional interest in cryptocurrency Citadel Securities it is “reasonable” to see the firm have greater involvement in the crypto space.
Citadel founder Ken Griffin famously called crypto a “jihadist call against the dollar”, outlining in October last year why Citadel was not involved with crypto. Despite Griffin’s personal views, he has never ruled out his firm's involvement in cryptocurrency - once there is greater regulation.
Griffin’s recent comments compared cryptocurrency to his collection of “abstract art”, and while he is still wary of cryptocurrency, in particular Bitcoin, he noted that his younger colleagues within the firm are pushing for Citadel to get involved in cryptocurrency.
On Monday, Griffin spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference, comparing the value of cryptocurrency to art:
“Why is a painting worth $10 million? It’s oil on canvas. So value is in the eyes of the beholder [..] Given the institutional increase in interest in cryptocurrency, I think it’s reasonable to expect to see us be more involved in the crypto space providing liquidity to institutional and potentially retail investors.”
The Chicago based electronic market-maker has thus far sat on the fence with regards to cryptocurrency, awaiting, perhaps, greater regulation within the industry despite other market makers such as Virtu Financial and Jump Trading entering the industry and making their position clear.
Despite Giffin’s reservations, he noted that he can see the company entering the cryptocurrency market potentially as both a liquidity provider and an exchange, adding that his younger colleagues are keen to see Citadel enter the space.
“All my colleagues who are younger than I am, probably think I’m a dinosaur on this issue. They’re big believers. They believe that cryptocurrency has an important role in the global economy to facilitate payment in a web3 world.”
With Griffin recently accepting that cryptocurrency does hold value, and his acknowledgement that his younger colleagues are “big believers”, we may soon see Citadel Securities making a move into the cryptocurrency market sooner, rather than later.
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