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Alternative Market Briefing

Delivering Alpha roundup - managers hate bitcoin, love store brands

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Investment managers really hate bitcoin. At least that was the overwhelming takeaway from the panels yesterday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. When asked, nearly every manager at the event suggested that bitcoin was overhyped and potentially dangerous. JP Morgan's Jaime Dimon went so far as to call it a "fraud".

"Let's talk about a bubble I have no interest in - bitcoin," Saba Capital Management's Boaz Weinstein said from the stage during a panel that was supposed to be about debt. "People watch it go from zero to four thousand and they get FOMO. That's all it is," he added.

That hatred also extends to bitcoin's underlying ledger technology blockchain as well as the rampant growth of initial coin offerings which allow entities to create their own virtual currencies. ICOs have been in the news lately, following an announcement from Chinese regulators that they were cracking down on the offerings, citing concerns about the rigor of all of these new virtual tokens.

Only one manager - Social Capital's Chamath Palihapitiya was willing to come out in support of bitcoin and blockchain. "We've been massively long [bitcoin] since the beginning," he said during a separate panel. "When it comes to this technology the genie is out of the bottle." Notabl......................

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