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Man Group CEO questions rationale of holding Bitcoin on balance sheets

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Almost every company that has invested in Bitcoin thinks the crypto-asset is an emerging store of value. One to offer a fresh perspective on the asset class, however, is CEO of Man Group Luke Ellis who made an interesting counterargument recently. Speaking to CNBC, Ellis said, 

“I see it [Bitcoin] as a trading instrument, not a thing that you think of as a long-term asset allocation play. I see it as a trading instrument, so we trade around it and try to provide some liquidity into the market.”

Additionally, Ellis went on to say that he did not see any reason why companies should hold Bitcoin on their balance sheets. Finding it “confusing,” he asserted, 

“It’s confusing what the business is relative to speculation. I don’t think companies are supposed to speculate with cash balances.”

Here, it’s worth noting that corporate giants such as Tesla and MicroStrategy have made significant Bitcoin investments over the past few months, with some experts predicting that more companies will soon follow suit. 

Alas, that would appear to be only one side of the story. According to a Gartner Inc. survey which was conducted in February, most financial executives don’t intend to invest in the asset this year. The survey included the likes of CFOs and finance executives, out of which 84% of respondents said they will not purchase Bitcoin as an asset citing financial risks due to volatility. 

Some of the asset’s critics think of Bitcoin as a highly speculative asset. These include Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen who recently said that Bitcoin is also “extremely inefficient for conducting transactions.”

And yet, market bulls continue to make their case for the asset, especially in terms of Bitcoin being digital gold. MicroStrategy CEO Micheal Saylor even predicted that 7-8 billion people will eventually have “a bar of digital gold” on their phone which they will use to store their “life savings.” Meanwhile, Anthony Scaramucci, who is singularly focused on Bitcoin, plans to convert people from crypto- naysayers to hodlers.

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Alisha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Her interests lie in blockchain technology, crypto-crimes, and market developments in Africa and the United States

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