Institutions, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Need Regulation Before Jumping Into Crypto: Kevin O’Leary

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
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Crypto bull and star of Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary says that before crypto markets can enjoy the benefits of huge swaths of institutional money, regulation in the US needs to be sorted out.

Speaking in an interview on Yahoo Finance, O’Leary said the amount of productivity coming out of US lawmakers is nothing to scoff at, but that the world’s largest crypto market still lags behind other jurisdictions.

“The pace and the acceleration of policy proposals coming out of bipartisan senate committees, and the hill, has never been greater,” he said.

“We’ve got the Lumis Bill, we have the Haggerty bill for stablecoins, the Toomey bill for stablecoins. We have POTUS’ executive order all within six weeks of each other all discussing the future of cryptocurrencies.”

But the US “needs to catch up with the rest of the world here,” O'Leary said, adding that countries like Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, England, and Canada where the world’s first licensed crypto exchange launched, are leaps ahead.

“They are far advanced and I think our government understands now, we’ve gotta catch up quickly.”

Image via Shutterstock

O’Leary, whose net worth is estimated at $400 million, said that crypto markets will probably evolve into much more stable markets once the big players are able to get in. While the “institutions triggering a supercycle” narrative has had some steam, O'Leary doesn’t see it happening until regulation is clear. He says he’s basically waiting on the government to make its moves and is making a bet that it will happen soon.

“The reason prices are volatile is that sovereign funds and pension plans, for all the excitement about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, own nothing. And they’re not going to do that until there’s policy in place. You want price stability? You want price appreciation? Allow a sovereign running a $200 billion mandate a 1% position in Bitcoin. That’s how you get there, but they’re not going to do it until there's policy in place.”

While the regulatory climate evolves in the US, O'Leary has been making investments outside the country, including his native Canada. WonderFi Technologies, a venture capital firm backed by O’Leary, just acquired Coinberry, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Canada. The $38 million CAD deal was the second of its kind this year already. In January, WonderFi bought BitBuy, another Canadian crypto exchange.
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