It’s a bit less than two weeks since the inception of Crypto Bahamas but we are still bringing content from the conference because seriously there was so much good alpha we couldn’t not share it.
During the conference, I sat down with Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank”, who was dressed in a pink blazer and slippersto discuss, among other things, the current regulatory situation surrounding the crypto ecosystem, institutional companies entering the space and the kind of crypto-focused company he would create if he decided to do so.
Read on for the full interview.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
MovieUpdates† What is your opinion on the policy in crypto at the moment. What will we see in the coming months in terms of regulation?
O’Leary: There is a lot of excitement about the bipartisan bills going through the Hill now.
Let’s take inventory – we’ve got the [Senator] Cynthia Lummis account, that is the grandfather account, it is over 600 pages and considers all aspects of crypto.
Then we have [Senator Pat] toomey and [Senator Bill] Haggerty’s account focused only on stablecoins, and so it’s much shorter accounts that are more likely to succeed. That’s why there is so much excitement at this conference, because stablecoins represent a payment system that could make the US dollar the digital currency worldwide.
People would probably do that before adopting another currency; the problem is that there is no policy, and while so many institutions appear here, none of them own any bitcoin. None of them own stablecoins. They do not own any crypto at all, as it is not yet a regulated security.
So think about this: eventually, if the policy comes through, there will be a huge number of index products within institutions, and that [could] get bitcoin moving again. That would ensure that many different aspects of the blockchain are incorporated into sovereign pension schemes. That’s the buzz of this conference right now.
Fidelity recently said it would allow Bitcoin in retirement plans. How do you think that plays into the growth of what we’re going to see with digital assets in this space?
I was extremely skeptical about crypto but became a strong believer when I started to see policy change in the Canadian market.
Well, there is no doubt that the “grandpa” asset is Bitcoin. I mean, that’s, you know, 40% of the market cap of all tokens. So they choose that first, for obvious reasons.
However, [Fidelity] in addition to Blackrock, also invested $200 million in Circle, the company that issues USDC – that was unprecedented. So a $400 million [total investment]at a valuation of $9 billion from the world’s most conservative money managers.
I think that gives you an indication of where we are going with crypto. So Fidelity offers it at the consumer level and investing in the issuer is a big deal. More of that buzz, you know, it’s just a matter of when one of these laws becomes law. We are close, but we are not there yet.
Do you talk about this with people who make laws, whether it’s in Congress or the White House or wherever? What are their views?
They realize that 80 million Americans have started investing in crypto. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, so what’s missing is policy. And yet, the reason I think you’re starting to see some motivation to get something done in Congress is that they see countries like Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Germany, France, England that are way ahead of policy. The United States
So do they want to get their hands on this or not? Because if you think about what Bitcoin really is, it’s not a currency; it’s software. It’s software development and the developers aren’t in the US because the regulator doesn’t want them here yet. It seems that’s the feeling they have.
if they make [a nationwide] policy, they will get this talent back in the country. So I think, you know, Toomey, Lummis, all these senators and congressmen and women realize that we have to be a part of this industry. I actually think that in 10 years crypto will be the 12th sector of the S&P, so we need to prepare for that. We want to own it and make policy for it. And we’re nowhere, so we have to catch up, and that’s really why there’s kind of an urgency now.