One of the UAE’s biggest sovereign wealth funds aims to invest in crypto ecosystem
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A prospect keen crypto observers and investors have been licking their lips over for some time might be set to play out in 2022, judging by at least one UAE wealth fund CEO’s comments.
Mubadala Investment Company, one of United Arab Emirates’ sovereign wealth funds, is keen to invest in the “crypto ecosystem”, indicated CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak in an interview with CNBC, aired today.
While not going into specific details about what that might entail, the CEO indicated the Abu Dhabi-headquartered fund could be looking to invest in areas around blockchain and how it pertains to energy usage.
Mubadala’s CEO tells CNBC he’s not a crypto skeptic pic.twitter.com/rfT5nLjqur
— CNBC Middle East (@CNBCMiddleEast) December 13, 2021
“I think its [crypto] is real, this is a business that had $200 billion worth of value two years ago, and has $2.5 trillion value today and growing. So while many people are sceptics, I do not fall in that category,” Al Mubarak said.
He also emphasised that the regulatory environment will need to be clear before this can take place, but he expects that to happen soon enough and “help transition this asset class into something new”.
As one of the world’s largest wealth funds, Mubadala has about US$243 billion in assets under management.
US investor Kevin O’Leary, famed for his Shark Tank TV appearances, has said that wealthy Middle Eastern investors could take Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto market to incredible new heights when they decide to allocate a small portion of their funds to the industry.
O’Leary was speaking in an October interview with former Morgan Creek Digital hedge fund manager, turned YouTuber and entrepreneur Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, and indicated the opportunity for crypto that stems from Middle Eastern capital inflow will be “unbelievable”.
“The real opportunity is not with the family offices or hedge funds that operate out of the Middle East,” said O’Leary. “The real money is in the actual sovereign funds in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It’s billions and billions and billions of dollars.
“They have not allocated to crypto yet. When that happens, you’ll see it reflected in the price of Bitcoin. There’s no question about it. They have such long-term views in those funds, and the funds are so large.”
Considering the size and number of the funds, even a one per cent allocation would have a huge impact on crypto markets, said the Shark Tank star.
“I speak to those guys almost every day. They would immediately go to one to three per cent on Bitcoin alone. Just Bitcoin, let alone Ethereum or any level 1 or level 2s… They haven’t even thought about that.
“They’re just thinking about Bitcoin and owning that as an asset. The amount of capital that will come into this market when the regulator approves Bitcoin as an asset or currency or a security, or whatever they’re going to regulate it as, is going to be unbelievable.”