KEY POINTS

  • Kevin O’Leary is concerned about Bitcoin’s volatility
  • The lack of regulatory clarity also gave him pause
  • He said he will invest once clarity is there

“Shark Tank” judge and businessman Kevin O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful,” said Bitcoin’s volatility and lack of regulatory clarity are the main reasons why he won’t invest in what he calls a “giant-nothing burger” when comparing it to the totality of other forms of assets.

O’Leary recently invited Morgan Creek CEO and Bitcoin advocate Anthony Pompliano to appear in his YouTube series, and one of the things they discussed at great length is the argument for and against Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is a nothing-burger,” O’Leary said. “A giant nothing-burger….Not every institution is willing to play ball with it.”

The famed investor pointed out what he claimed is the multitude of problems arising in Bitcoin transactions, such as regulatory consistency.

“I can’t get consistency with any single regulator in endorsing Bitcoin for me to do a significant transaction,” he said while noting that the regulation is indeed getting better compared to what it was before.

Another is the significant roadblocks when purchasing something with Bitcoin, especially for high net worth individuals like him.

“If I want to buy a million dollars worth of Bitcoin right now, I’ve got to do a fair amount of work to pull that off,” he remarked.

 

While O’Leary was a Bitcoin advocate in the early years of the cryptocurrency, his stance and criticisms of it have not changed in recent years, from how one cannot pay taxes with Bitcoin to the extreme fluctuations in its price.

During O’Leary’s interview with Pompliano on the latter’s own YouTube series in December, the "Shark Tank" host said he is more interested in wealth preservation so Bitcoin’s regulatory uncertainty is keeping him from investing more in it. But he did say that once there is clarity, he would jump at the opportunity. 

"If tomorrow morning we woke up and the SEC said you can create an ETF with bitcoin and we think bitcoin is legitimate payment system and storage of wealth, not only would it go up, you'd have a lot of people like me investing in it because I'd say ok, I'll give it a 5% weighting," he told Pompliano.

Kevin O'Leary Shark Tank "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary is pictured at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference on April 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images