Bitcoin is a long-term hedge, warns Jordan Belfort

Former Wall Steet trader turned novelist Jordan Belfort
Former Wall Steet trader turned novelist Jordan Belfort, author of The Wolf of Wall Street which was adapted into a film by Martin Scorsese in 2013. Photo: Jono Searle/Newspix/Getty Images

Jordan Belfort, the former stockbroker whose story inspired the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street, has warned against taking a "12-month or 24-month horizon" when investing in bitcoin (BTC-USD).

Speaking on Yahoo Finance's new show The Crypto Mile, the man whose memoir inspired the 2013 Martin Scorsese film advised investors to see bitcoin as a long-term hedge against inflation.

He said that when investing in bitcoin, "with reasonable luck, I think if you take a 24-month horizon you'll almost certainly make money".

"If you take a three or maybe five-year horizon, I would be shocked if you didn't make money because the underlying fundamentals of bitcoin are really strong," he said.

"It has a limited supply, and as inflation keeps rising there will come a time when bitcoin will start to trade more like a store of value and less like a growth stock."

Watch: The Crypto Mile – Jordan Belfort talks about bitcoin and crypto crash

Currently, bitcoin has fallen below the psychological $20,000 level into values not seen since 2017.

Bitcoin now stands at $19,110, down over 10% in the last seven days.

Ethereum (ETH-USD), the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, has fallen to $1,050, down 1% in the last 24 hours.

These days, Belfort is a public speaker, author and sales coach and he describes two types of investments for the crypto space, one of which is to bet on protocols with long-term fundamentals.

The other is to put a small amount into ultra-low market cap crypto projects that have the potential to make massive profits if you get in early.

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The former Wall Street stockbroker said that for ultra low cap cryptos it is best to get in before they are publicly traded on exchanges, and investors should buy in when the project "is offered on a launch pad, or a series A or a seed round".

Crypto launchpads, often referred to as IDO platforms, are decentralised exchange platforms for launching new coins, crypto projects, and raising liquidity.

One major crypto launch pad is BSCPad, the first decentralised IDO platform on major cryptocurrency blockchain, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

But on these ventures, Belfort advised "that most of the time you will lose and be prepared to lose it all".

At present bitcoin is behaving like a tech stock and correlating with the Nasdaq (^IXIC).

This correlation makes sense to Belfort: "It doesn't surprise me one bit that it is doing that and it would be more of a surprise if bitcoin was already trading as an inflation hedge because it is still very nascent".

He added: "There is no real institutional ownership in bitcoin, for instance, you don't have a teachers pension fund owning bitcoin for a ten-year hedge, it's not like that yet".

Read more: How the EU plans to regulate the crypto market

He said that it will take regulation for institutional money to flow into the sector, describing the fraudulent activity in traditional markets as being piecemeal when compared to the murky actions in crypto markets, "where people are getting slaughtered".

"In crypto, you can go out and raise money, but there is no disclosure, and every time there is no disclosure, it always ends badly."

His advice for investors is to pay close attention to the management team behind crypto protocols, adding that "if you don't know who the owners are of a protocol, then that is a big concern for me".

His second piece of advice is to look at the utility of the crypto project, saying that the best test for a blockchain project is "if the idea works better from a centralised server, I would probably not get involved".

Watch: The Crypto Mile: The power and potential of cryptocurrencies