Dan Loeb, CEO of New York-based asset management firm Third Point and a well-known figure on Wall Street, has said he is looking into ways to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the crypto space.
In a series of tweets to his followers on Monday, Loeb said he had been "doing a deep dive into crypto," referencing a recent article on nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, from Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Dixon described the ways NFTs could change the economics of content creators — namely that the technology allows them “a new way to take the money.”
Though Loeb called the crypto space “a real test of being intellectually open to new and controversial ideas,” he said he was still maintaining a healthy level of skepticism.
“Culturally I compare bridging the crypto world with the old as akin to finding a portal between two distinct worlds in the multiverse,” said Loeb. “Another conflict to overcome is the idea that being late to the crypto party will inevitably lead to one taking the sucker seat at a high stakes poker table versus this still being early days in what is just now being adopted in the mainstream.”
The Third Point CEO may be late to certain aspects of the "crypto party," as he puts it, but his potential inclusion in the space as a Wall Street figure could be the first domino in a line of other major investors still hesitant about the technology and what it means for traditional finance. Some estimates put the hedge fund’s assets under management between $15 billion and $20 billion, with Loeb’s net worth at more than $3 billion.
In July 2020, Cointelegraph reported that figures like Loeb were akin to “activist investors,” individuals seeking to “effect a significant change” within a company by purchasing large numbers of its shares or getting a seat on its board. The fact that Loeb chose to announce his crypto deep dive on social media may indicate that he already has a certain understanding of the space.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) and other tokens can be exceptionally volatile based on mere rumors of institutional investors. Elon Musk, one of the richest people in the world, has effected changes to the price of Dogecoin (DOGE) with a single tweet. A major Wall Street billionaire just announcing he’s considering the implications of getting into the space could be bullish news for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
"Better late than never, but [Loeb] seems very conflicted," said Joe Kernen, host of CNBC's Squawk Box. "He's thinking a lot about it."