The Interactive Brokers' billionaire chairman — who once sounded alarm on bitcoin – now advises putting up to 3% of wealth in the cryptocurrency

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  • Interactive Brokers Chairman Thomas Peterffy said investors should have 2%-3% of their wealth in crypto.
  • He once sounded the alarm on bitcoin, but now owns the cryptocurrency himself, Bloomberg said.
  • His firm allows customers to trade tokens such as bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin.

Thomas Peterffy has changed his stance on bitcoin.

In 2017, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers sounded the alarm on crypto in a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal in which he said bitcoin futures could “destabilize the real economy.”

In a reversal, the Hungarian businessman worth about $25 billion, now told Bloomberg he owns bitcoin himself. On top of that, he advises investors put 2%-3% of their wealth into cryptocurrencies as a hedge against fiat currencies plummeting, Bloomberg reported.

As for the cryptocurrency’s worth, he remains unsure, telling Bloomberg: “I think it can go to zero, and I think it can go to a million dollars. I have no idea.”

A representative from Interactive Brokers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on how much bitcoin Peterffy owns and what his predictions are for the crypto space. 

Starting last September, his Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, which is the world’s largest electronic broker, began offering cryptocurrency trading in response to customers who had been asking for the service. Investors now can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. This month, the firm will add as many as 10 more coins to the platform, Bloomberg said in its story.

Peterffy isn’t the only prominent bitcoin critic to end up investing in crypto. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn once called digital assets “ridiculous,” but revealed in May that he planned on investing more than $1 billion in crypto.

Still, some skepticism remains. In October, Insider covered more than a dozen financial leaders, including Citadel founder Ken Griffin and JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who aren’t buying into the hype.

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