Citadel Plans to Start Making Markets in Crypto in Coming Months, CEO Ken Griffin Says
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a bitcoin skeptic, admits he has not been right on his crypto call. He now says: “It’s fair to assume that over the months to come, you will see us engage in making markets in cryptocurrencies.”
Citadel Getting Into Crypto
The CEO and founder of financial services firm Citadel, billionaire Ken Griffin, talked about cryptocurrency and his company’s decision to enter the space in an interview with David Rubenstein on Bloomberg Thursday.
The billionaire executive has long been a bitcoin skeptic. He previously described the rush to embrace cryptocurrencies as a “jihadist call” against the U.S. dollar. In 2017, he told CNBC that bitcoin has “many of the elements of the tulip bulb mania.” He also said: “I get very worried that people that are buying bitcoins don’t really understand what they’re participating in.”
Griffin made headlines in November last year when he bought a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution at a Sotheby’s auction for $43.2 million, beating out ConstitutionDAO.
He was asked whether Citadel has plans to trade or make markets in crypto. “To the extent that we’re trying to help institutions and investors solve their portfolio allocation problems, we have to give serious consideration to being a market maker in crypto,” he replied, elaborating:
It’s fair to assume that over the months to come, you will see us engage in making markets in cryptocurrencies.
Founded in 1990, Citadel operates two primary businesses. The first is Citadel, one of the largest hedge funds with more than $38 billion in assets under management. The other is Citadel Securities, the largest market maker in stocks, options, and interest rate swaps for retail and institutional clients. The firm handles 40% of all stock trades in the U.S.
Griffin also admitted Thursday that he has not been right about his crypto call.
“Crypto has been one of the great stories in finance over the course of the last 15 years. And I’ll be clear, I’ve been in the naysayer camp over that period of time,” the CEO shared, adding:
But the crypto market today has a market capitalization of about $2 trillion in round numbers, which tells you that I haven’t been right on this call.
Nonetheless, the Citadel CEO clarified: “I still have my skepticism, but there are hundreds and millions of people in this world today who disagree with that.”
What do you think about Citadel getting into crypto and the CEO’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below.