Michael Novogratz, CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm Galaxy Digital Capital Management, believes cryptocurrencies are five or six years away from mainstream adoption.
Addressing the Beyond Blocks conference in South Korea, the billionaire also stressed the importance of a solid regulatory framework for the growth of the cryptocurrency industry.
He believes regulations should be focused on the retail investors instead of large professional institutions, considering that the industry is mostly based on the former.
Novogratz has long been bullish on bitcoin and blockchain, managing the Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm, which quickly grew into a hedge fund. Novogratz joined Fortress in 2002 after spending 11 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was elected partner in 1998.
"Bitcoin Bull" Novogratz once predicted the largest and most popular cryptocurrency to hit $40,000.
"Bitcoin could be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. It easily could," Michael Novogratz said on CNBC's "Fast Money."
At the time he claimed that roughly 20-30 percent of his net worth was in cryptocurrencies. He added that he's split roughly in half between Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Meanwhile, he didn’t recommend retail investors to put more than 1 to 3 percent of their net worth into cryptocurrencies, and 5 to 10 percent for the wealthier investors.
The billionaire and crypto investor believes the total cryptocurrency market capitalization will hit $800 billion in the next 12 months. He made the prediction in an interview with CNBC Crypto Trader.
Novogratz doesn’t see bitcoin pulling back any time soon, taking to Twitter earlier this month to reassure his followers to “stay long.”
I don’t see $btc dominance pulling back any time soon. Lots of cool institutional projects coming and most will start with bitcoin. Stay long.— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) July 31, 2018
Novogratz on the Forbes list
Former army helicopter pilot Novogratz was ranked 407th in the March 2007 Forbes list of world billionaires with a net worth of $2.3 billion, including his $66.6 million shares of Fortress Investments. According to Forbes, he became a billionaire with partners Peter Briger, Robert Kauffman, Randal Nardone and Wesley Edens with the public offering of Fortress Investment Group in February 2007.
In September 2007, Novogratz was listed at #317 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
He was ranked 962 on the March 2008 Forbes list of world billionaires with a net worth of $1.2 billion.
Galaxy Digital Capital Management
Michael Novogratz founded the Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused merchant bank, in November 2017, a month before Bitcoin hit its all-time high of near $20,000. The firm manages capital on behalf of external clients in three distinct business lines: Index Fund Management, Blockchain Ecosystem Funds, and Opportunistic Funds.
Novogratz envisions Galaxy as the Goldman Sachs of crypto.
In May this year, Galaxy Digital partnered with Bloomberg to launch the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) designed to track the performance of the largest, most liquid portion of the cryptocurrency market.
“The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index brings unprecedented transparency to the crypto markets. We are excited to help drive the decentralized revolution forward through the creation of BGCI,” Novogratz then stated.
The BGCI is market capitalization-weighted and measures the performance of ten USD-traded cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, Monero, Ripple, and Zcash.
This is what an inspired employee looks like. pic.twitter.com/B4srAGzqxb— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) August 2, 2018
On August 2 Novogratz’s crypto bank debuted on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange - the largest stock exchange in Canada and the third largest in North America in terms of market capitalization.
Digital Galaxy’s shares opened at a price of approximately $2.11 per share, dropping 20% by mid-afternoon.
Last month Galaxy Digital led a $52.5 million fundraising round for the crypto-lending startup BlockFi, a New York-based firm that offers corporate and retail clients loans on their crypto holdings, as reported by Business Insider.
The firm has raised money in two rounds this year. In February, it raised $1.55 million from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi, and Kenetic Capital.
Galaxy Digital LP posted a $134 million loss in its first quarter of 2018 as a result of a plunge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Galaxy Digital’s trading business had $13.5 million in losses and an additional $85.5 million in unrealized losses on digital assets, plus a $1.1 million paper loss on investments, the New York-based firm said on July 25 in its first quarterly disclosure.
Novogratz and wrestling
Once a wrestler, Mr. Novogratz is the Honorary Chairman of the USA Wrestling Foundation. He also the founder and Chairman of the Board for Beat the Streets, a non-profit organization which builds wrestling programs in New York City’s public schools.
When at school, Novogratz was the state of Virginia’s high school wrestling runner-up. Later he captained Princeton’s wrestling team, then piloted army scout helicopters.
At the 1987 NCAA wrestling championships, he made it to the 16th round in the winner’s bracket and was eliminated from the consolation bracket in round 12.
His father, Robert Sr., wrestled and played football at West Point and won the Knute Rockne Award for the nation’s outstanding lineman in 1958.