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Michael Novogratz touts bitcoin, M&A and tech

There's a compelling reason to believe in the bitcoin story, Fortress Investment Group Principal Michael Novogratz said Wednesday from the SALT Conference in Las Vegas.

The cryptocurrency with about $4.5 billion in circulation made headlines after the failure of Mt. Gox, one of its exchanges, and its links to illicit online purchases. It has had its share of supporters and detractors, but for Novogratz, it was "a simple proposition."

"When I look at the amount of human capital working on this project, there are probably 30,000 independent programmers out there, coding and working on bitcoin and bitcoin derivatives in this open-source community," he said, citing well-known venture capitalists as believers.

"But almost every California shop now has got some focus on bitcoin. So I just think rarely has a project had this much human capital coming into it where you can buy it at $4½ billion. So, that's the easy pitch," he added.

Novogratz's Fortress Macro Fund oversees about $4 billion in assets and was named Institutional Investor's 2013 "Macro-Focused Hedge Fund of the Year."

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Novogratz said that the market was difficult to read at the moment.

"Markets are easy for macro when they're trending and difficult when they're not trending," he said. "The idea is to have less chips on the table, to bet less and wait until the game shifts, and it will. It always does."

Novogratz said that he did not see a bubble in credit markets, especially as banks have de-levered.

"They typical credit crisis happens from banks, and we're not going to see it there," he said.

"Most of the credit has been shifted into the mutual fund industry, and mom and dad are not usually panic sellers because they're not leveraged. We do think there's not a lot of value in credit, and so it's kind of a boring environment for our credit business. But I don't see a bubble at any time short being popped," Novogratz added.

As for the bond market, Novogratz said that he saw a sign of something happening.

"I think we're squeezing the last people out of the shorts, and you'll see some reversal," he said.

For areas of continued returns, the mergers and acquisitions space appeared interesting, Novogratz said, adding that he was setting up an event-driven strategy fund in London.

"If you look at the M&A calendar for the first four months of this year, it's up 60, 70 percent vs. last year," he said.

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Novogratz also said that the tech sector continued to hold promise.

"You know, I think the growth value trade happened because momentum had worked and worked for a long time. I don't think that whole trade is over. I think you had a big, big washout, but I think a lot of those same names that worked last year will work again this year," he said.

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.

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