Bill Miller, Josh Brown are the latest Wall Street pros to test the bitcoin waters

Key Points
  • Bill Miller owns Bitcoin, according to a Forbes report Tuesday.
  • Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, said Tuesday he's bought bitcoin as well.
  • Brown said if bitcoin survives a potential split this summer, the digital currency will likely gain more traction among financial professionals.
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Some well-known names in the financial industry are buying bitcoin, and more could come.

First, investing legend Bill Miller put 1 percent of his net worth into bitcoin in 2014, according to a Forbes report Tuesday. The digital currency is one of the top holdings in Miller's $120 million hedge fund, the article said.

Reflecting its volatility, bitcoin in 2014 fell from a high of $1,023 in Jan. 2014 to a low near $287 in October of that year, according to CoinDesk.

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That puts Miller's bitcoin return anywhere from 126 percent to 707 percent, based on 's $2,315 price Wednesday.

Miller left Legg Mason in August 2016 after 35 years and has since founded Miller Value Partners. The legendary investor's Opportunity Trust Fund Class C shares are up 23 percent this year, more than twice the return of the S&P 500.

Bill Miller
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Second, Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and a CNBC contributor, said in a blog post Tuesday he used Coinbase to buy bitcoin with a "small amount of money."

"I think it's been through enough seasoning at this point. If it doesn't crash this year based on the fork" developer dispute that could split bitcoin, he said, "it's going to go mainstream among financial professionals."

More will "be less afraid to admit they're experimenting," Brown said. "My main thing is, this won't go away."

If a majority of developers don't agree on an upgrade system for bitcoin, the digital currency could split on Aug. 1. However, several of the largest bitcoin miners have started showing their support.

Josh Brown
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

This week's announcements follow Standpoint Research's Ronnie Moas, who said on July 5 he also bought a small amount of bitcoin and thinks it can reach $5,000 within a year.

Two days later on July 7, Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee became the first major Wall Street strategist to formally lay out his views on bitcoin in a report. As digital currencies like bitcoin are "cannibalizing demand for gold," Lee said he sees bitcoin reaching $20,000 to $55,000 by 2022.

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