Billionaire CEO of Starwood Capital Group Explains Why He Holds Bitcoin and Ethereum

In a recent interview, American billionaire Barry Sternlicht revealed that his crypto portfolio consists of Bitcoin and Ethereum, saying both assets offer their own significant advantages over the competition. 

According to his bio, Sternlicht is “Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group, the private alternative investment firm he formed in 1991 that is focused on global real estate, hotel management, oil and gas, and energy infrastructure.” He also serves as “Chairman of Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), a leading diversified finance company, as well as Senior Advisor of Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH), the largest publicly traded investor, owner and operator of single-family homes in the U.S.” His firm “currently manages over $95B of assets on behalf of its high net worth and institutional partners.”

During an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on October 13, Sternlicht said that he had invested in cryptoassets as a safeguard against the money-printing tactics of governments around the world. 

As reported by The Daily Hodl, Sternlicht said:

The reason I own BTC is because the US government and every government in the Western hemisphere is printing money now until the end of time, And this is a finite amount of something, and it can be traded globally and people have fiat currencies whether it’s in Nigeria or… Bolivia or wherever, you can move into something that the world has accepted as a substitute for gold. 

Sternlicht also pushed back on the notion that Bitcoin was “worthless” as a store of value asset, particularly referencing comments made by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. The Starwood Capital CEO argued that applying the same logic to precious metals would find gold and silver worthless as well:

What Jamie Dimon talked about, I mean gold is kind of worthless too, silver [as well], they have some industrial uses, but they’re minor. 

Sternlicht called Bitcoin “a dumb coin” since it has “no real purpose other than a store of value, and it’s a little crazily volatile.”

He then explained why he also owns Ethereum ($ETH):

So Ether, which is right below it, I own some of that. That’s a programmable Bitcoin, and then there are tons of other coins that are built off of that system… I’ve become very interested in blockchain technology as a whole, the digital ledger is going to change everything…


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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