Michael Novogratz, investor and former principal at Fortress Investment Group, has said cryptocurrencies could be worth a total $5 trillion USD in five years. However Bitcoin still faced regulatory hurdles and is still perceived as an unregulated, black market money.

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For some perspective, the total cryptocurrency market cap today is around $92 billion. That’s down from around $116 billion in mid-June. That’s a massive drop, which has again prompted criticisms that cryptocurrencies are a risky investment.

Novogratz, a long-term and vocal optimist on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, remains bullish. Although he took some profits recently he still has 10 percent of his net worth in cryptos. According to Bloomberg, he said he’d buy more ether if it fell to between $150 and $200, and more bitcoin if it drops to $2,000 or less.

He made his comments at the CB Insights Future of Fintech conference in New York. He compared cryptocurrencies to the Nasdaq Composite Index, noting that it had hit $5.4 trillion in 1999.

The Nasdaq in 1999 was a huge bubble that burst within a year, and many cryptocurrency fans may not welcome that comparison. But Novogratz added that despite the bubbly atmosphere “there’s so much human capital and real money being poured into the space and we’re at the takeoff point.”

Novogratz: Bitcoin Still ‘A Bunch of Libertarians’

On the downside, Novogratz said companies space need to make cryptocurrencies seem more legitimate and less anarchic. It follows similar opinions from the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) when it rejected the Winklevoss brothers’ proposal to list a Bitcoin ETF in March.

“Pay your taxes, because nobody in that space pays taxes. It’s a bunch of libertarians,” Novogratz said — while also praising Bitcoin developers for their “revolutionary spirit”.

This comes as yet more news of ransomware attacks breaks around the world. Bitcoin is often blamed for facilitating the attacks, by allowing mostly anonymous international payments.

Some may also argue that Bitcoin’s censorship-resistance accounts for most of its appeal. Or to put it another way, its function as an underground or black market currency is the reason it has any value at all.

Novogratz is a former U.S. Army National Guardsman and partner at Goldman Sachs. He is best known as a principal at Fortress Investments, where he worked from 2002 until 2015. Over the past four years the billionaire has made several public statements supporting Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, publicly announcing his investments in them and several ICOs.

Do you agree with Novogratz’s comments? Why or why not? Let us know.

Images via YouTube, Jon Southurst

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