Crypto has no inherent value but its high volatility makes it good for business, the CEO of the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund says

Luke Ellis, Man Group Chief Executive Officer, speaks on the 'Where in the World is Alpha?' panel at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference September 19th in New York City. --
Luke Ellis, Man Group CEO. Heidi Gutman via Getty Images

Luke Ellis, the CEO of Man Group, the world’s largest publicly listed hedge fund, said in an interview with Financial Times that cryptocurrencies have no inherent value but make good trading instruments because of their volatility.

“If you look at cryptocurrencies as a whole, it is a pure trading instrument. There is no inherent worth in it whatsoever,” Ellis told the Financial Times. “You can have an infinite number of different cryptocurrencies … Anyone can start another one any day.”

Cryptocurrencies, Ellis added, are just one among the 800 markets and 15,000 individual stocks that his London-based hedge fund trades. Because cryptocurrencies “go up and down a bunch,” trading these could be good for business, Ellis said.

“For some of the strategies we trade, we might do very well,” he told the Financial Times. “But that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.”

The CEO said that just because his hedge fund, which manages $US127 ($AU173) billion, deals with cryptocurrencies does not mean he believes they are “an asset management product” that “deliver value.”

“We like to be long and short depending on what the models say is likely to happen to the market and we will trade it long and short just as happily and in as big a size as market liquidity lets you trade,” he told the Financial Times. “We trade S&P futures all the way to sushi rice futures.”