KEY POINTS

  • 'Shark Tank' judge Kevin O'Leary said Bitcoin's volatility is scaring away people like him
  • The investor is concerned about putting his wealth in something that is outside the regulator's purview
  • He said he would like to see a Bitcoin ETF

Investor and "Shark Tank" judge Kevin O'Leary thinks Bitcoin is "too volatile" but is willing to invest more in it if the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In a recent episode of "The Pomp Podcast," Mr. Wonderful, as he is known in "Shark Tank," said he is more interested in preserving wealth, and the volatility and regulatory uncertainty of Bitcoin are keeping him from investing more in it. The investor said he is not against Bitcoin and agreed with the host, Anthony Pompliano, that Bitcoin has been very successful this year. 

"But last week it went down $3,000 and now it's up again. Bitcoin is very successful this year but what will happen next year?" he said. This kind of volatility is scaring people like me in the traditional market, O'Leary said. 

When Pompliano suggested many institutions are now investing in Bitcoin, the "Shark Tank" judge said those firms are putting only a very minute percentage into it.

O'Leary said his biggest concern is that Bitcoin is not having the backing of regulators. It bothers him that doing something with Bitcoin is outside the regulators' purview. Bitcoin ETFs or exchange-traded funds are not getting the approval of the government, he said, adding that when the likes of the Winklevoss twins approached the regulator for a Bitcoin ETF, they were denied permission. 

ETFs are of particular interest to O'Leary because most of his wealth is in ETFs like the ones he himself created. If a Bitcoin ETF gets approved, the investor said more institutions will be investing in it.

"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 added, the Business Insider reported.

The Shark Tank judge seemed more accepting of cryptocurrency now than last year when he labeled Bitcoin as a "crypto crap" and a rogue currency.

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