Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary discussed cryptocurrency, his investment portfolio, diversification, market bubbles, meme coins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a recent interview with Forbes, published Friday.
He explained that he views “the entire crypto industry as software development teams,” adding that he is betting on “really strong creative software engineers.” While talking about his cryptocurrency holdings, he revealed:
Ether is my largest position, bigger than bitcoin.
“It’s because so many of the financial services and transactions are occurring on it,” the Shark Tank star described. “Even new software is being developed like Polygon that consolidates transactions and reduces the overall cost in terms of gas fees on Ethereum.”
O’Leary then mentioned some of the cryptocurrencies he owns, stating:
I own hedera, polygon, bitcoin, ethereum, solana, serum — these are bets on software development teams and there are many, many use cases for them.
Moreover, Mr. Wonderful added that he holds “a significant and material position in USDC,” noting that he is “starting to pay for assets and get paid in the stablecoin.”
He said the same about XRP in November. XRP is the subject of an SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen. “I have zero interest in investing in litigation against the SEC. That is a very bad idea,” he stressed.
“At the end of the day, what determines the platform’s success and value is the speed and level of adoption. That occurs when the team has developed a platform that solves an economic problem,” he opined.
O’Leary proceeded to offer his opinion about meme cryptocurrencies. Noting that “long term coins that have no economic value are that because they don’t solve anything or create any value,” he cautioned:
I’m very skeptical of meme coins long term.
The Shark Tank star was also asked whether he thinks bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are in a bubble. He replied: “The thing to realize is, the market is the market. No one person can manipulate it, even though people claim they can … It’s millions of decisions being made every second in terms of what something is worth. And it applies to every market, whether it’s tulips, watches, bitcoin, real estate or gold.”
Noting that “Over the long run, it’s a fool’s game and you can’t win,” he stressed:
You can’t know when it’s a bubble, you simply can’t. And if you think you do, you’re absolutely wrong.
O’Leary believes in portfolio diversification. The cryptocurrency portion of his portfolio has been growing. He detailed that at some point cryptocurrency “might get to 20% of my operating company — but right now, it’s about 10.5%.” He clarified:
Within that portfolio, there’s no one token coin or chain that’s more than 5% of that portfolio. So yes, I am actively adding and trimming based on volatility.
In addition, he said that he is doing a lot of staking. “Most of my positions are now being staked,” he confirmed, noting that he’s using the crypto exchange FTX for staking. Mr. Wonderful announced in October that he is taking an equity stake in the crypto exchange and will be “paid in crypto to serve as an ambassador and spokesperson for FTX.”
When asked whether there is a chance that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could determine some of the cryptocurrencies he owns to be securities and what he will do if that happens, O’Leary promptly replied:
The minute that information gets out, I will want nothing to do with them. If I had a position I would sell it. I have no interest in going into conflict with regulators over my crypto portfolio. I want to be 100% compliant.
O’Leary also discussed non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “They offer so much value around authentication, inventory management, and all kinds of use cases in different asset classes,” he described, adding:
I think non-fungible tokens are going to be bigger than bitcoin.
He proceeded to draw attention to his NFT project. “I prefer NFTs tied to hard assets, physical assets; the one that I’m working on developing a white paper for is the watch industry,” he said. “I made a material investment in Jordan Fried’s company, Immutable Holdings, which owns nft.com, which he’s launching in January, as well as Wonderfi.”