Global investor Mark Mobius called cryptocurrencies a religion on Wednesday and joined a chorus of digital coin skeptics at a time when bitcoin and ether are trading near all-time highs.
“It’s not an investment, it’s a religion,” said the founder of Mobius Capital Partners in CNBC’s “Squawk Box”.
“People shouldn’t see these cryptocurrencies as a means of investing. It’s a vehicle for speculating and having fun. But then you have to go back to stocks at the end of the day, ”he added.
Mobius isn’t the only one slamming crypto. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has loudly criticized Bitcoins like Bitcoin, calling it “worthless” and “fool’s gold” in particular.
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, on the other hand, believes crypto has its place, telling CNBC last month that he believes cryptocurrencies are a better bet against inflation than even gold.
Mobius, a global market guru who had a long career at Franklin Templeton before going freelance, believes stocks are your best bet given currency and inflationary factors.
“Stocks are definitely the answer because currency depreciation will not go away, which means inflation will continue at a high rate into the future,” he said. “Don’t forget that the US money supply has increased by over 30%.”
With so much liquidity floating around due to the loose monetary policies of Covid-era central banks, Mobius told CNBC in September that much of that money will end up going back into stocks.
In the Squawk Box interview on Wednesday, Mobius said he had invested primarily in Taiwan. “Our largest holdings now are 20% of our fund in Taiwan, 20% in India, and only about 5 or 6% in China.”
The global investor said it is currently looking for the best software and hardware opportunities in India and Taiwan, suggesting optimism about technology.
Mobius also said he is paying attention to the U.S. market as well, suggesting it has tremendous potential even if stocks trade near record highs. “We believe the US market will continue to thrive and do well,” he said. Many US companies are also making money in emerging markets, he added.
The main concern for the US market is the potential for higher rates, Mobius said, as investors hope to receive a signal of possible rate hikes when the Federal Reserve concludes its two-day November meeting on Wednesday afternoon. However, central bankers are widely expected to announce that they will reduce the amount of bonds they buy each month.
“The big concern is of course the interest, if that [global central] Banks decide to hike rates after buying their bonds then this could be a major concern not just in the US but in emerging markets in general, “Mobius said.