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Cryptos: Bitcoin is ‘a con,’ declarers media luminary Barry Diller


It is pretty clear where IAC chairman Barry Diller stands on bitcoin: he hates it and views it as a potential danger to would-be investors.

On Friday, asked to offer his thoughts on the crypto phenomenon that has swept across the world, billionaire Diller had this to say. “I think it’s a con.”

“Yeah, absolutely,” he added.

“I’ve watched some of the people that you’ve had on [CNBC] to talk about it: $40,000, $12,000, whatever, and I think this is nutso talk,” he said.

Diller, a media mogul, is worth some $4.3 billion, according to Forbes. He and his famed fashion designer wife Diane von Furstenberg recently have been in the news after donating more than $260 million to build the newly completed “Little Island” park in New York City, designed by Thomas Heatherwick. The park, which the couple has worked on since at least 2014, currently floats on the Hudson River.

Diller told CNBC that it may cost nearly a half-billion dollars to maintain the 2.4-acre facility over the next two decades, which he has promised to do for the city.

Diller is a Hollywood power broker who also knows the merits of good tech, with his enterprise including Vimeo and the Daily Beast. He’s also chairman of Expedia Group

But Diller showed little affection for distributed-ledger technology or more specifically, the bitcoin

that is the most representative of the emerging crypto market.

Back in September, Diller said the market was being driven by speculation and by the looks of things, not much has changed in his opinion.

See: Why China crypto crackdown sparked a bitcoin crash — and could feed a backlash

The IAC chairman’s comments come as bitcoin at its ilk were facing heavy selling pressure.

At last check, bitcoin was changing hands at $38,333.16 on CoinDesk, and is down over 40% from its recent peak. The No. 2 largest crypto in the world by market value, Ether on the Ethereum blockchain, was down 13% at $2,548.69. Ether is also down by about 40% since its peak.

Bitcoin was being buffeted by a fresh report underlining China’s plan to crack down on crypto sector.

By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 0.4% on Friday, the S&P 500 index

was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index

was down 0.2% on the session, FactSet data show. The Dow and S&P 500 are off less than 2% from their record closes on May 7, while the Nasdaq is off more than 4% from its April 26 peak, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Check out: Why is crypto crashing? Will bitcoin prices ever recover? Here’s what traders and investors say

StockWatch: Amazon is a cheap stock for long-term investors. These numbers tell you why.

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