“There is a small chance that these cryptocurrencies could become very, very valuable, and you don’t wanna not be exposed to them,” said Thomas Peterffy, who has been a Bitcoiner since the 2018 bear market.
While the brokerage service provider started offering crypto trading services just now, the firm’s founder has been involved with Bitcoin in a personal capacity for the past three years.
In an interview with CNBC, Thomas Peterffy, the founder of Interactive Brokers, revealed that he has been a Bitcoiner since 2018. This means, Peterffy bought Bitcoin during the bear market, showing his conviction in the leading crypto asset.
“I have had Bitcoin for three years in my portfolio,” said Peterffy on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Interactive Brokers, which manages $360 billion worth of assets, partnered with New York-based crypto broker Paxos — which was also chosen by payment giant PayPal to enable their digital asset services — to start offering its 1.5 million customers the option to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
In the interview, Peterffy also revealed that he wanted to do this for some time now and finally took the step.
“I’ve been itching to do this because many of our customers have been asking for this, especially registered investment advisors whose clients are asking for some crypto exposure so we’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time.”
“Great Compression” Coming
The founder of one of the leading traditional brokers also shared that they are offering crypto trading services at low prices, at 0.12%, which he said is about half as much as the next lowest platform Gemini and one-third of Coinbase.
“So yes we have been itching to do this for a long time and we’re really happy to be able to do it.”
He actually believes that there is “great compression” coming in trading cost, which is going to go down in cryptos just as it has gone down in securities.
As for crypto being used as a payment mechanism, AMC Theaters CEO tweeted this week that they will be accepting Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptos as payment for online tickets and commissions; Peterffy doesn’t really see crypto that way.
“Frankly, it doesn’t make sense to me because what is the advantage of these cryptocurrencies visibly,” said Peterffy, adding stablecoins are stable “just like the dollar” while being “better, easier regulated,” and the mechanism of using it for payment equally as simple.
“So, I don’t see it as but you never know so I think there is a small chance that these cryptocurrencies could become very very valuable and you don’t wanna not be exposed to them.”
Call for Clarity
When it comes to regulation with the SEC Chair working overtime to regulate the crypto industry and saying the space is troubled with fraud, hype, and abuse, Peterffy said these “criticisms are fine” but called for clarity.
“We really need to know what to do, and nobody is telling us,” but at the same time, the regulators come after companies two to four years down the road, and they accuse them of not doing things right, but they didn’t ever clear what to do in the first place, he said.
Commenting on the crypto offering high-yield, Peterffy does not understand how they can be so high yield, especially for a stablecoin. While it can be so long as people want to borrow the crypto and are willing to pay a lot for it, “otherwise I don’t see where the yield is coming from, and then I don’t see where the money comes from, it usually doesn’t come from a good place,” said Peterffy.