An Uber-Bull Portfolio Manager Stakes it All (Like “90 Percent of His Money”) on Cryptocurrencies
The founder of BK Capital Management, Brian Kelly, is such a bitcoin bull that he has nearly all of his money invested in the cryptocurrency. Joining the ranks of those in the formal financial sector who have weighed in on bitcoin and other digital coins in 2018, it is clear where Kelly’s confidence lied.
In an interview with CNBC on February 12, 2018, the upbeat asset manager estimated that “like 90 percent” of his money was invested in cryptocurrencies. It would be easy to write Kelly off as another HODLer with stars in their eyes, were it not for the fact that he has a very respectable history in American financial circles as an author and fund manager.
A Take on Bitcoin From Someone who Lives and Breathes it
Kelly admitted that in his virtually wholesale investment he was “Making a big bet,” and “that’s not for everybody.” His allure is not only derived from his movement within US financial circles, and his book “The Bitcoin Big Bang – How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World.” He also manages the BKCM Digital Asset Fund, so there are few closer to the coalface than Kelly.
Since the giddy highs of December 2017, bitcoin has slumped around 70 percent from record levels, only to rise again around 40 percent going into February 2018. Clearly not an asset for the risk-averse, when asked about his bullish concentration on bitcoin, Kelly said that “I run a fund. I have my money in that. I’ve got investments elsewhere.”
With such wild swings in value, especially when compared to the recent hysteria when a few percent was knocked off the Dow Jones, virtual currencies require that investors have a strong stomach for grisly bits. When quizzed about whether he remained complacent while his most favored asset bucked 10 or 20 percent in a week, Kelly said, “I am comfortable with that.”
What is clear from Kelly’s interview is that he has an eye on bitcoin’s potential core value. Saying that “This is broader than just a currency. I’m making a bet that this is a new asset class in general.” Kelly looks at virtual currency with a mid-term vision. He has assessed the new kid on the block and is betting that a slow, genuine acceptance and appreciation will happen over time.
Associations of Criminal Intent are Slowly Subsiding
Acknowledging the previous feting of privacy and employment of cryptocurrencies on the Dark Net, Kelly also said that “You’re not talking about [criminal activity] as much as you used to.” While acknowledging that as unfortunate, bad press for digital coins, he remained insistent that those associations were diminishing and that new respectability would emerge.
Kelly bullishly appraised bitcoin investment divorced of seeing it as a transactional currency previously associated with difficulties in transacting or crime or both. That might be his asset management stance, but the enthusiast has also been involved in cryptocurrency vendor initiatives for some time. Saying that a “global digital currency” was inevitable, he acknowledged that “I’m not convinced it will be bitcoin. It could be something else” Most likely referring to the dot-com bust when thousands of dot-coms dropped like flies, he concluded rather ambiguously by saying that the “History of tech tells us tech disrupts itself.”
Kelly is an authoritative gambler if he is any kind of gambler at all, but some wonder whether he is backing the wrong horse. Many of the incumbents in the financial media are gunning for Ethereum’s ether over bitcoin.