(Bloomberg) – Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen was a bit skeptical about cryptocurrencies until recently.
Then his son – a “cryptomaniac” – helped change his mind.
“He really convinced me that this is something I have to do,” said Cohen, founder of Point72 Asset Management and owner of the New York Mets, at the Skybridge Alternatives Conference Tuesday, one person adding to his remarks knows. That was part of a trip where he has met with as many people as possible over the past six months to find out about the possibilities.
“When I decided there were opportunities and I thought this could be a space like the internet – it could be incredibly transformative – I wouldn’t miss it,” Cohen said in a discussion titled Generating Alpha in Markets and Baseball ”and moderated by Skybridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci.
65-year-old Cohen, who has a net worth of $ 11.1 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has since plunged into the world of cryptocurrencies both personally and at his company.
This week he announced that he was investing in Radkl, a quantitative digital asset trading company. That was after Recur, a tech company developing experiences that allow fans to buy and sell non-fungible tokens or NFTs, said Cohen’s family office invested in its $ 50 million Series A funding round. Cohen, meanwhile, told Scaramucci that Point72 is building crypto trading skills at the company.
His interest in the virtual world goes beyond crypto: Cohen expressed a fascination for the metaverse or a vision of a virtual world in which people interact through avatars.
“There are some very weird ideas about how people are going to spend their time,” he said. “Your thoughts can run wild,” he added, as the people in the metaverse interact and potentially buy virtual real estate and virtual outfits for their avatars.
A Mets fan since childhood who bought the team for about $ 2.5 billion in December, Cohen also spoke about the club’s performance and why he loves to own it.
“It took me to another realm,” said Cohen. “When you own a hedge fund, you have a certain level of notoriety, but it’s nothing like a sports team in New York.”
It’s been a rocky year for the Mets, who squandered their National League East lead by losing 19 out of 28 games in August.
Read more: Cohen’s Mets Dream continues to erode with DUI bust for the reigning GM
In January, Cohen fired general manager Jared Porter on charges of sexual harassment. Acting general manager Zack Scott was arrested last month for drunk driving after leaving a charity event at Cohen’s home. He was taken on administrative leave after pleading not guilty.
Speaking on the social media world, which has gotten louder since he acquired the Mets, the billionaire said it helped people see him as human, not just as a wealthy hedge fund owner.
“Twitter is a difficult place,” said Cohen. “But it’s a great way to interact with the fans and have your own voice.”
See also: Steve Cohen Closes Twitter Account After Receiving Threats
(Adds background information on investing in the sixth paragraph.)
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