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Kevin O’Leary Refuses to Be Termed Crypto Cowboy

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by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Kevin O’Leary Refuses to Be Termed Crypto Cowboy
Photo: Randstad Canada / Flickr

O’Leary holds the position that being tied to the US dollar is the biggest opportunity for stablecoins.

Canadian businessman, Kevin O’Leary, is considering investing in crypto, but he is watchful. He said he would rather take counsel from regulators than be a “crypto cowboy.”

While speaking on CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday, O’Leary said consulting with regulators before investing in crypto is to see what is possible and what isn’t. This is in terms of the regulator’s position in the crypto space.

Kevin O’Leary Learning from Ripple’s XRP Crypto

During the interview with CNBC, the businessman and investor mentioned the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the US SEC. O’Leary noted that he has “zero interest in investing in litigation against the SEC.” He referred to such an act as a “very bad idea.”

The war between the SEC and Ripple began last year when the Commission charged the firm and two of its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, offering unregistered securities. According to the regulator, the executives raised over $1.3 billion through the offering.

O’Leary stated his preference to work with regulators. He said that compliance with regulators is where the real capital is. While speaking, he said that being a crypto cowboy is to get everybody unhappy with him, and he does not have an interest in that. Since he has a lot of assets invested in the real world, he would rather adhere to the Commission’s regulations.

“I have no interest in being a crypto cowboy and getting anybody unhappy with me because… I have so many assets in the real world that I’ve invested in already that I have to be compliant,” said he.

O’Leary Prefers USD Coin to Other Stablecoins

Furthermore, O’Leary talked about investing in stablecoins. Kevin O’Leary expressed a certain disinterest in holding Russia’s ruble or China’s yuan. This is because he does not know enough about the Russian or Chinese blockchain and how they monitor the ownership of the money.

Rather, O’Leary holds the position that being tied to the US dollar is the biggest opportunity for stablecoins.

Considering the decreasing buying power of the dollar and rise in inflation, he acknowledged that it may sound “counterintuitive.”

Having sold a lot of his commercial property investments in recent years, O’Leary said that he’s sitting over a lot of money. This money would, however, lose its buying power owing to inflation. Relatively, O’Leary is of the opinion he could make a potential 6% return if he buys into the USD coin. The USD Coin, the world’s second-largest stablecoin, is pegged to the US dollar and is run by Circle.

Clarifying, O’Leary said he could only invest about 5% of his cash in USDC at the moment. Still, he opined that there was a chance for the US to steer the stablecoin space.

While attending the annual fintech festival in Abu Dhabi’s capital United Arab Emirates, O’Leary said he does not see cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin the way others do. He mentioned seeing crypto as software development.

He also mentioned investing in a few crypto spaces like Solana and Polygon. The investor believes that he does not “know who the winner’s going to be.”

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