‘Shark Tank’ Investor Kevin O’Leary Touts Alternative Crypto Investments: ‘I Want To Own The Picks And Shovels’

Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary sees investment opportunities in the crypto space other than cryptocurrencies.

In a new interview with Kitco News, O’Leary reveals that he is actively investing in digital opportunities that have been overlooked in the rise of cryptocurrencies.

O’Leary AKA “Mr. Wonderful” invested in Canadian decentralized finance (DeFi) platform WonderFi and Immutable Holdings – a Puerto Rico-based blockchain company focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“I’ve decided that I’d like to own some of the infrastructure of web 2.0, web 3.0 and so I’ve taken equity positions, where regulators allow it and that’s primarily Canada,” O’Leary said.

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“I’ve got 5% weight in those names because I want to own the picks and shovels,” the Shark Tank investor continued. “It’s not just the gold that people made money on [during] the gold rush. It was the picks and shovels, so in my portfolio, I’ve got a lot of picks and shovels, and again it’s all software.”

“They want to be on the chain – that’s where the future is, and they’re the smartest hands and that’s where they make the most money because they’re [doing] cutting-edge advances in financial services. That’s the investment thesis,” O’Leary said, according to the Daily Hodl.

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O’Leary claims that he has enjoyed higher return on investment from crypto infrastructure than bitcoin.

“It’s not just bitcoin. Some of these equities have actually outperformed bitcoin for me because they’ve had dramatic moves as markets start to recognize the merits of owning these companies,” O’Leary stated.

O’Leary suggested that “young people want to be on blockchain.”

“That’s where the future is, and they’re the smartest hands, and that’s where they make the most money,” the Shark Tank investor states. “Because they carry out the latest developments in financial services. That’s the investment thesis.”

The topic of cryptocurrencies being banned was discussed during the interview, to which O’Leary said, “There’s no chance that we’re going to be banning bitcoin or anything else that holds economic promise in terms of developing new technologies for financial services and payment systems. That’s always been the hallmark of American entrepreneurship. We’re not going to ban that.”

O’Leary was joined on the panel by hedge fund manager Roy Niederhoffer – who argued the opposite is true.

“There’s a chance that bitcoin could be banned. The private ownership of gold was banned in many countries, including the United States,” Niederhoffer noted. “However, were that to happen, it would be such an environment of chaos and hyperinflation that bitcoin would be worth even more money at that point. If they’re going to ban it, it’s going to be the time when you absolutely want to load up on bitcoin.”

O’Leary told Kitco’s Editor-in-Chief Michelle Makori, “[Once] we get this regulation in place, the institutions [will be] pouring trillions of dollars. Those that have been speculators will benefit from the fact that these will get indexed and that will be a great upside.”

Niederhoffer countered, “In 20 years, you [could] have bitcoin price 30 times what it is now and in 30 [years] 85 times what it is right now. We are talking about a bitcoin price of $3.8 million.”

“We can go beyond that. If inflation is at 15% for 30 years and the bitcoin market cap rivals that of the euro, we are talking about a bitcoin price of $56 million. And if Bitcoin becomes the world reserve currency and we have 20% inflation, bitcoin price is going to be almost $500 million.”

You can watch the debate between Kevin O’Leary and Roy Niederhoffer below.

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