‘Institutions are just beginning to go there’

    Orlando Bravo, Thoma Bravo Co-Founder and Managing Partner.


    Orlando Bravo, co-founder and managing partner of private equity firm Thoma Bravo, says he’s an investor in bitcoin and believes the cryptocurrency will surge in value over the years with more institutional adoption.

    “How could you not love crypto?” Bravo said Wednesday at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference. “Crypto is just a great system. It’s frictionless. It’s decentralized. And young people want their own financial system. So it is here to stay.”

    “The underlying technology of blockchain, regardless of what protocol or what system you are building upon, can be very powerful and sometimes provides better use cases than data-based software,” Bravo said.

    His private equity firm recently participated in a Series B fundraise for cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading, which is valued at $18 billion. Bravo revealed that he also personally invested in bitcoin.

    “For me, it’s pretty simple. More people are going to use in the future than today, and it’s going to be more established. Institutions are just beginning to go there, and once that happens, I think it will increase significantly over the years. I’m very bullish,” Bravo said.

    The price of bitcoin hit record highs earlier this year as more institutions embrace the digital token. Large financial companies like PayPal and Fidelity have made moves into the cryptocurrency while the likes of Square and MicroStrategy have used their own balance sheets to buy bitcoin. Morgan Stanley was first among banks to offer bitcoin funds to its clients, and Goldman Sachs quickly followed with an announcement of its own.

    Still, it’s been a roller-coaster ride this year for bitcoin amid crackdown in China, as well as pressure from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The People’s Bank of China said last week that all crypto-related activities are illegal. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has vowed to create a set of rules to oversee the volatile cryptocurrency markets.

    Bitcoin last traded around $41,684 on Wednesday after reaching an all-time high above $63,000 in April.

    Elsewhere, Bravo said he sees a “huge opportunity” in cybersecurity companies, adding the valuation in software sector is “reasonable.”

    “It’s not only the threat of being hacked. In many cases, cybersecurity is what’s stopping enterprise customers from moving faster to digital transformation,” Bravo said.

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