- Citadel’s Ken Griffin said bitcoin will be replaced by a superior cryptocurrency like ethereum.
- Griffin told DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that there’s only one way to value cryptocurrencies.
- Griffin also dismissed his involvement in the GameStop saga and said it read like a bad SNL joke.
Citadel’s Ken Griffin thinks bitcoin will be disrupted by a superior cryptocurrency based on ethereum’s blockchain in the future, according to a Wednesday interview with DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.
The comments came after Griffin said the only way one can value cryptocurrencies is by hoping that someone will buy them at a higher price in the future. Griffin remains skeptical of crypto, and to this day sees no commercial use cases for bitcoin due to its large energy footprint, low transaction speeds, and vulnerability to fraud.
On the underlying blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies, Griffin said it’s “really interesting technology, a powerful way to maintain a decentralized ledger around the world, but for most problems, it’s really not the solution that we need,” Griffin said.
As for bitcoin, Griffin believes a next generation cryptocurrency based on the ethereum blockchain will likely displace it due to its faster transactions per second, smaller energy footprint, and lower transaction costs.
But ultimately, a digital dollar could disrupt the entire cryptocurrency space, Griffin said, pointing to China’s work towards a digital yuan as a potential example.
“I think we are all still trying to understand if we want to hit this world of decentralized finance and want a payment system that is low cost and effective, is it going to be solved by the crypto community? Or is it going to be solved by a digital dollar?” Griffin asked, adding that developments are still in the very early innings.
With regards to Citadel’s payment for order flow business with Robinhood, Griffin said everyone benefits and that “most of the 20-year olds I know are really grateful for the current market structure in America.” Payment for order flow enables online brokerage firms the ability to offer $0 commission trading and fractional share investing.
But some retail investors have attacked Griffin as a key member of a conspiracy between Citadel, Robinhood, and meme-stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment. Much of the conspiracy often talked about on Reddit’s WallStreetBets involves the idea that Citadel forced online brokerages to limit investors’ ability to buy shares of GameStop and other meme-stocks amid its epic short-squeeze earlier this year.
The conspiracy theory has not been substantiated, with even a recent SEC report finding no evidence to support the conspiracy.
In response, Griffin called the conspiracy he’s a figure of as “a bad comedy joke saga, like a ‘Saturday Night Live’ joke in real time.”
The executive also said he and fellow billionaire Elon Musk “live in a whole different world” in response to a question about the Tesla chief’s poll of Twitter users asking if he should sell 10% of his stake.
“I have known Elon for a long time, I never thought we would let our ownership stakes be dictated by a poll on Twitter,” Griffin said. Last weekend, a poll posted by Musk determined he should sell a stake in his company worth about $20 billion.
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