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Interactive Brokers founder on why he owns crypto: People may 'lose faith in paper money'

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2-min read

Online trading pioneer Thomas Peterffy has become a believer in cryptocurrency. 

"I have for some time [owned cryptocurrencies]. I do own some cryptos, and I do own some gold. I must say that the cryptos have done much, much better than the gold," the Interactive Brokers founder said on Yahoo Finance Live. "I mean you have to prepare for the small percentage or probability that things can fall apart — especially with all this crazy issuance of more and more money [by the government]. This deficit spending, I don't know, people sooner or later could — I am not saying they will — but they could lose faith in paper money."

Bitcoin prices rallied to $47,500 Friday afternoon.

The founder is also pushing Interactive Brokers into the surging crypto trading market, which is currently dominated by Coinbase and Robinhood. 

This week, Interactive Brokers launched cryptocurrency trading in partnership with regulated blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos. The platform allows Interactive Brokers' clients to trade and custody bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash. 

"It [crypto trading] could be maybe 20% of our business if you are lucky," Peterffy said of the outlook for the new crypto trading platform.

Peterffy has some company in the camp of being a prominent name in financial services personally dabbling in the crypto market.

"Quite frankly, I am glad I do [own crypto]. This has helped me learn about the evolution of what I think will be a blockchain technology that will continue to grow. So it's something I am glad I got involved with," Rick Rieder, BlackRock chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live. Rieder revealed he owns "small pieces" of crypto in several of his bigger portfolios, and compares the positions to owning stakes in venture capital firms.

Rieder added, "I think it could have some real upside. My sense is there are more buyers than sellers. It's an asset class that I think is durable."

Ark Invest's Cathie Wood is also staying bullish on crypto. She has exposure to the ups and downs of crypto through the performance of levered stocks such as Coinbase and Square in her various innovation focused ETFs.

"Bitcoin in particular is a new global monetary system. It's a rules-based monetary policy, which is completely de-centralized and therefore is not subject to the whims of policymakers. In fact, it's a hedge against the whims of policymakers, especially in emerging markets," Wood said on Yahoo Finance Live

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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