Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary thinks 2022 is the year of NFTs

Kevin O’Leary, a Shark Tank investor and cryptocurrency converter, believes that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be bigger than bitcoin (BTC-USD).

Chairman O’Shares Investments told Yahoo Finance Live that NFTs offer value due to their ability to digitally track ownership, authenticity and inventory management of real-world items such as vintage watches (of which O’Leary is a great collector), sports memorabilia, artwork and other assets.

“One of my biggest challenges is managing inventory, managing insurance, and then, of course, authentication,” O’Leary said. “When people offer me vintage watches, I have to go through a very tedious authentication process to find out if they are fake or not, there are a lot of fake watches on the market. NFTs can solve all these problems.”

O’Leary, who called bitcoin “garbage,” now says investing in cryptocurrency and NFT is like investing in the early days of Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG).

“If you invest in Microsoft (MSFT), Google and Amazon, what is the basis for you investing in it? It’s basically software,” O’Leary said. “Well, bitcoin is not a currency, it’s actually software. Blockchain is software, ethereum… HBAR, polygon, is software. So the real decision is whether you want to invest in software, because it is a productivity tool. It provides a service, especially in the payment systems used globally.”

Kevin O’Leary, President of O’Shares ETFs; TV personality, “Shark Tank” speaks during the 22nd Annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, US, April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

O’Leary says that if 2021 is the year crypto becomes more popular, 2022 could see clear regulation in the industry.

“If we make it regulated, if we bring institutions into it and find a way to make it compliant, trillions of dollars are going to come into this space, because it has a practical use.”

O’Leary holds multiple positions in the industry including Non-alterable Holdings (HOLD.NE) that owns, payments platform Circle, and decentralized finance platform WonderFi (WONDF), which recently acquired Canada’s largest crypto exchange. O’Leary is also a paid spokesperson and supporter of the crypto exchange FTX.

The Swiss, the Canadians, the UAE government, some of these places are now a bit more advanced and you have to invest in those geographies, if you want to get exposed. [to crypto and NFTs]O’Leary said.

Cryptocurrency case proof

While acknowledging that cryptocurrencies are more volatile than tech stocks, O’Leary said it’s something investors need to come to terms with. Bitcoin recently fell 40% from its November high as the cryptocurrency faltered in 2022.

Bitcoin has one of its worst beginnings [to a new year] Not at all,” said O’Leary. But you have to get used to it, just like you had to get used to on Amazon, you will get these 30% to 50% corrections, same with Bitcoin. “

O’Leary began adding bitcoin to his wallet in March 2021. At that time, he devoted 3% of his wallet to the world’s largest cryptocurrency after his native Canada, and a few other countries, eased restrictions on institutional purchases of the asset.

When it comes to choosing currencies to own, O’Leary says he applies the same rules of diversification that he does to choosing stocks and bonds. “Not more than 5% in any one position, not more than 20% in the entire sector. So I’m nowhere near 20% in crypto, I’m over 10.7% in our operating company.”

Ether (ETH-USD) is currently its largest crypto center – even bigger than Bitcoin.

He said, “It definitely takes a lot of time in my day, just keeping track of all these things. I would say I spend 40% of my investment day tracking cryptocurrencies now.”

Alexis Christophoros is a broadcaster and reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.

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