Investor Carl Icahn Says He May Put $1Bn in Crypto After Calling It 'Ridiculous'

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is considering making a large investment in cryptocurrency.

The 85-year-old businessman had previously made comments critical of cryptocurrency as a whole, in 2018 calling the technology "ridiculous."

However, in an interview with Bloomberg published Thursday morning, Icahn suggested his stance has changed.

Speaking to Bloomberg hosts Taylor Riggs and Caroline Hyde, Icahn discussed the use of cryptocurrency as a "store of value" as a natural response to inflation.

Regarding cryptocurrency's use case, Icahn stated: "'What's the value of a cryptocurrency?' Well, what's the value of a dollar? The only value of a dollar, really, is because you can use it to pay taxes."

Asked whether he was going to make an investment in any particular cryptocurrency token such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, Icahn said: "I'm just looking at the whole business and how I might get involved in it with Icahn Enterprises in a relatively big way, because I do think it's here to stay in one form or another."

He clarified that a "relatively big" investment for Icahn Enterprises could be "a billion dollars, a billion and a half dollars, something like that," but declined to say exactly how much he might put into cryptocurrency.

At the same time, the investor cast some doubt on aspects of the cryptocurrency market and suggested not all tokens would survive long into the future. He said: "I don't think there will be a lot of its survivors that are out there trading today. I think there's gotta be some form of… safety of value there."

Icahn claimed he did not have any money in cryptocurrency at the time of the interview.

In 2018 Icahn had a taken a more critical stance on the technology, voicing concern about how digital currencies could be regulated.

He told CNBC at the time they were "ridiculous" and added: "Maybe I'm too old for them, but I wouldn't touch that stuff."

Icahn is a well-known Wall Street figure and has been described as a shareholder activist—a person who uses their investment in a company as leverage to facilitate changes in how that company operates.

Cryptocurrency has made headlines this year owing to large gains made by many tokens such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. However, Bitcoin was hit with a large dip last week while trillions of dollars were wiped off of the value of the wider cryptocurrency market as a whole, CoinMarketCap data shows.

Experts have previously warned Newsweek about the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading, including price volatility.

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn speaking at the New York Times 2015 DealBook Conference in New York, November 2015. Icahn is a well-known Wall Street figure. Neilson Barnard/Getty