Bitcoin is the future despite billionaire haters: Ark Invest's Cathie Wood

In not so many words, uber popular money manager Cathie Wood told Yahoo Finance Live billionaire and money manager John Paulson should put a few books about bitcoin (BTC-USD) on his fall reading list because the leading cryptocurrency is here to stay.

"John Paulson made an incredible call during the mortgage crisis. He has been a gold bug, I would say, for most of his career. And many investors who have spent their careers focused on gold cannot understand the digital concept associated with gold," said Wood, the closely watched founder of Ark Invest and crypto bull.

Paulson did not return an email from Yahoo Finance seeking comment.

Bitcoin 'is much more than just a store of value or digital gold'

Wood has been a long-time proponent of crypto. She has exposure to the ups and downs of crypto through the performance of levered stocks such as Coinbase (COIN) and Square (SQ) in her various innovation focused ETFs.

Suffice to say Paulson has a wildly different take, similar to many other well-known old-timers in the financial services industry. The Paulson & Co. founder — who shot to fame during the financial crisis for raking in billions for his hedge fund by betting against subprime mortgages — recently told Bloomberg crypto will "eventually prove to be worthless."

“I wouldn’t recommend anyone invest in cryptocurrencies," said Paulson, who turned his hedge fund into a family office in 2020 amid a steady drumbeat of outflows, in the interview.

Wood said Paulson and others like him — aka crypto detractors —are missing several important points on the topic.

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"What we think he is missing is that bitcoin is much more than just a store of value or digital gold. Bitcoin in particular is a new global monetary system. It's a rules-based monetary policy, which is completely de-centralized and therefore is not subject to the whims of policymakers. In fact, it's a hedge against the whims of policymakers, especially in emerging markets," Wood explained.

Wood is hopeful that Paulson will convert just like other big names in finance.

She added, "I don't know how closely John Paulson and some of the other naysayers have looked at it [bitcoin], but I think there have been conversions. Ray Dalio has been a conversion, also Stanley Druckenmiller. These are very thoughtful investors who at one point thought bitcoin was a ponzi scheme."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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