Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin says he’s considering exploring the cryptocurrency space

Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel Securities, one of the world’s largest market-making firms, said Monday that he envisions the firm’s entry into the cryptocurrency market as a combination of liquidity providers and exchanges.

“Given the increased institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, I think there is a reason for us to be more involved in the cryptocurrency space to provide liquidity to institutional investors and potential retail investors,” Mr. Griffin said at the Milken Institute Global in Los Angeles. said at the meeting.

While some market makers — firms that stream and ask quotes for others to trade — such as Virtu Financial, Jump Trading and DRW, have embraced the emerging asset class, Citadel Securities has largely stayed on the sidelines.

In October, Mr. Griffin called cryptocurrencies “a mujahideen call that we don’t believe in the dollar.”

But on Monday, he said that while he is skeptical of cryptocurrencies, he must accept the reality that assets are worth as much as think they are.

“I also collect American abstract art,” he said. “Why is a painting worth $10 million? It’s an oil on canvas. So the value is in the eye of the beholder.”

Mr. Griffin said Citadel Securities, valued at nearly $22 billion after a funding round in January, is in no rush to enter the crypto market as it wants to ensure very high standards in areas such as anti-money laundering.

The company’s goal is to provide liquidity to the crypto market, but Mr. Griffin also said that Citadel Securities believes crypto exchange technology is “very important” to help bring buyers and sellers together.

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