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Billionaire David Rubenstein Explains Why Cryptocurrency Isn’t Going Away

David Rubenstein – co-founder of the asset management firm Carlyle – recently told Bloomberg about how his view on crypto has changed over time. 

The billionaire now believes that digital assets are “not going away,” and said he has personally invested in some crypto industry businesses. 

Why Would Someone Want Crypto?

During the interview, Rubenstein began by equating cryptocurrency investing to gambling. “If it gives you pleasure to do the gambling, allocate enough money that you can afford to lose,” he said.

However, he added that he no longer thinks of cryptocurrency as merely a speculative vehicle. “I now think that crypto is not going to go away, as some people have thought,” he continued.

In particular, he noted the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies among libertarians and conservatives as a means of storing wealth outside of the government’s purview. He also highlighted the crypto industry’s “successful” attempts at lobbying congress to keep the technology from being overregulated. 

Due to this anti-government quality, Rubenstein can see why there would be substantial real-world interest in holding digital currencies. 

“If China were going to invade Taiwan, and you’re a Chinese entrepreneur, are you afraid that someone is going to take away your assets?” he asked. Given crypto’s relative privacy, ease of transportation, and resistance to debasement, he said it’s “not the worst thing to put some of your money in.”

I Was Not Surprised': David Rubenstein on Carlyle's Recent Leadership Shake-Up - The New York Times
David Rubenstein. Source: New York Times

Rubenstein clarified that he personally hasn’t invested in any cryptocurrencies, but has put money towards business servicing the industry. “I can’t pick which of the 18,000 cryptocurrencies are gonna work,” he said.

In March, famous investor Bill Miller suggested that Bitcoin may grow popular in Russia as a wealth preservation tool after the nation was cut off from SWIFT.

Follow the Young People

Rubenstein also argued that it’s wise to follow what young people are doing to identify economic trends. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are known to be especially popular with millennials and generation Z

“People who are in their 70’s don’t usually start economic trends,” he said. “People that are involved in the internet, smartphones, computers – “they tended to be initially in their 20s.”

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Finally, the billionaire credited Mike Novogratz as one of the investors who made big gains in cryptocurrency investing. That said, Novogratz also lost hard on Terra – a former top ten cryptocurrency that collapsed to nothing in May after Novogratz got a tattoo in its name. 

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