Veteran investor and IAC chairman Barry Diller said Friday that he does not trust cryptocurrencies and that the digital assets are “a scam”.
“I watch some of the people you have and they talk about it – $ 40,000, $ 12,000, whatever – I think that’s crazy,” Diller told CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” after he originally stated he was didn’t want to talk about the crypto room.
Diller’s comments came after a volatile week in the cryptocurrency world, with a major sell-off on Tuesday and Wednesday pushing the price of Bitcoin down more than 30% to $ 30,000 at one point before hitting near $ 40,000 stabilized. Other crypto assets, including Ether and Dogecoin, also fell.
The dramatic sell-off came amid mounting concerns over US and China regulation, as well as environmental issues related to Bitcoin, highlighted by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.
Cryptocurrencies had seen their price rise in the past year when well-known investors and institutes began to use the new asset class, particularly Bitcoin and Ether. However, the rise of less reputable versions like Dogecoin, as well as volatile moves in stocks like GameStop, which have gained prominence on social media, have raised concerns about speculation in the financial markets.
This week’s volatility is not uncommon for the crypto room. Bitcoin peaked at over $ 19,000 in late 2017 before pulling back sharply and eventually losing about 80% of its value over a 12-month period.
Many crypto bulls argue that Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and limited circulation, along with its new-found institutional support, can help develop a role as a store of value. Hedge fund veteran Stanley Printmiller said earlier this month that a potentially dominant cryptocurrency for everyday trading is likely not yet invented.
By early afternoon on Friday, Bitcoin was trading at just over $ 37,000, according to Coin Metrics.
Become a smarter investor with CNBC Pro.
Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to CNBC TV.
Sign in to start a free trial today.