Billionaire crypto investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban says the current market downturn reminds him of a well-known adage uttered by Warren Buffett.
Cuban sees a parallel between the rise and fall of cryptocurrency markets and projects, and the 91-year-old Oracle of Omaha’s aphorism states that, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.”
Cuban’s observation was revealed during a Thursday interview with Fortune in which he discussed what he sees as flawed business models of some crypto projects that have fallen on hard times over the past two months.
“In stocks and crypto, you will see companies that were sustained by cheap, easy money — but didn’t have valid business prospects — will disappear,” the Shark Tank investor said:
“Like [Warren] Buffett says, ‘When the tide goes out, you get to see who is swimming naked.’”
Some of the companies that appear to have been swimming naked included Terra, Celsius and Three Arrows Capital.
The Terra ecosystem, now known as Terra Classic, completely collapsed by the middle of May. The fallout from that collapse has seen tens of billions in losses to investors, while a manhunt has ensued for the founder and CEO Do Kwon by several regulatory bodies.
Celsius, the staking and lending platform, is fighting to stay solvent if its recent pausing of withdrawals is any indicator. Investment firm Three Arrows Capital is reported to have faced a liquidation to the tune of $400 million and has been unable to meet margin calls.
Despite the gloomy short-term outlook for crypto, Cuban said that these downturns tend to have a cleansing effect on a market and that it would likely be the same for crypto this time around. But, he said you should always back innovation:
“Disruptive applications and technology released during a bear market, whether stocks or crypto or any business, will always find a market and succeed.”
CEO of Avenue Capital Group Marc Lasry has an even more gloomy assessment of the financial markets. He predicted on Bloomberg TV that the pain across the economy, in general, would continue through the end of 2022 as equity indexes could fall up to another 10%. However, Lasry believes that the United States economy is strong enough to keep the current downturn relatively abbreviated.
Lasry has been a crypto bull since 2018. In 2021, Cointelegraph reported that he lamented that he hadn’t bought enough Bitcoin (BTC). But, he told Bloomberg TV that BTC and Ether (ETH) have already dipped more than expected and that “Nobody knows what the bottom is for that.”
He added that even for professional investors it is hard to time a bottom, “so you want to get invested when you can.”