Fortress' Novogratz Pumps Bitcoin

Oct 28 2013 | 12:19pm ET

A top Fortress Investment Group executive is sold on the controversial bitcoin, even if his firm is not.

Michael Novogratz told attendees at a UBS Wealth Management event that he sees a potentially bright future for the digital currency. According to the Fortress macro co-chief investment officer, bitcoin could prove a cheaper way to transfer money in countries with weak banking systems.

"Will more and more merchants allow you to buy stuff with bitcoin?" Novogratz said at the conference, according to the Financial Times. "We'll see. My gut is yes, but you don't need to know to make that bet."

Fortress itself appears to want to know more, however: The firm decided that the currency was too speculative to invest in. Novogratz, however, has the courage of his convictions, having bought up some bitcoins three months ago.

Novogratz would not say how much he had spent on the stash, merely commenting that he bought "enough that I am smiling that it has doubled." The currency's value against the dollar has soared since the U.S. moved against a bitcoin marketplace where people allegedly used the digital currency to buy drugs and commit other crimes, seen as a victory for the bitcoin's legitimacy.

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