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Fund manager Mark Yusko blasts Jordan Belfort and the crypto skeptics

Dion Rabouin
Financial Markets Reporter

Fund manager Mark Yusko on Wednesday fired back at crypto critics who have called bitcoin and other digital currencies “scams” or worse.

Yusko, the chief executive and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital Partners who manages around $1.5 billion in assets, minced no words in his strong defense of digital assets. He said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that he expects the networks of crypto currencies, many of which have yet to be built, to become “the biggest assets in the world over the next decade.”

Yusko is hardly an unbiased observer. He announced his firm’s partnership with Bitwise, a manager that offers cryptocurrency indexes and index funds, to launch the Digital Asset Index Fund just this week. He has long advocated for the space and on Wednesday told Yahoo Finance that it was time for traditional and institutional investors to move their allocation to bitcoin above zero, which is what most large funds currently hold.

“Every investor should be considering an allocation to digital assets right now,” Yusko said.

He added that he saw cryptocurrencies in much the same way that savvy investors saw tech giants like Google in the early 1990s.

“It’s like 1993, 1994 [in regard to] the internet, when Google was just being thought of and no one thought it was very important,” Yusko said.

Hedge fund manager Mark Yusko isn’t backing down from his prediction that the bitcoin price will reach a new all-time high in 2018.

His enthusiasm has largely been met with scorn from most people in the financial space. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett argued that investing in bitcoin is essentially betting on the ‘greater fool theory’ that most who hold the digital currency are “just hoping the next guy pays more,” Buffett said in an interview earlier this year with Yahoo Finance.

Former penny stock trader Jordan Belfort, who is better known as the “Wolf of Wall Street” after spending 22 months in prison for his pump-and-dump stock scam, had much harsher words for cryptocurrencies.

I was a scammer. I had it down to science, and it’s exactly what’s happening with bitcoin,” Belfort said in a previous interview. “The whole thing is so stupid, these kids have gotten themselves so brainwashed. We don’t even know how bad it really is.”

Nouriel Roubini, the influential American economist who also worked as a senior adviser to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and is known as “Dr Doom,” said quite simply of bitcoin, “It’s just bulls–t.”

Responding to Belfort, Yusko said he was unsure why some were giving the motivational speaker and former stockbroker’s statement such gravity.

“The fact that people look at him sand say, ‘He’s a bad guy and he did bad things, so I should trust him,’ is nonsensical,” Yusko said. “Absolutely nonsensical.”

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Dion Rabouin is a global markets reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @DionRabouin.

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