Billionaire investor Carl Icahn: Bitcoin 'seems like a bubble'

  • Billionaire investor Carl Icahn says bitcoin "seems like a bubble," and compared the volatile cryptocurrency to past manias such as the 18th-century Mississippi land bubble.
  • "I got to tell you honestly, I don't understand it. I'm the last guy — I just don't get it," said Icahn. "I just stay out of something if I don't understand it."
  • From Wednesday's high of more than $11,000, bitcoin had fallen to a low of $9,021.85 on Thursday, a roughly 20 percent drop.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told CNBC that bitcoin "seems like a bubble."

Though Icahn stressed that he "just doesn't get" the mania surrounding the novel cryptocurrency, he did compare the dramatic appreciation of bitcoin to a famous land bubble in the 18th century.

"It's sort of amazing to me," Icahn said Thursday on "Halftime Report." "If you read history books about all these bubbles, like in Mississippi — where John Law went around selling all this land in Mississippi that was sort of worthless and the French were going crazy giving him all this money. And then one night it all blew up ... to me, this is what this is."

One of the major grievances leveled at bitcoin has been regular swings in value, a trend unbecoming of a global means of monetary exchange. Bitcoin's more than 1,000 percent appreciation over the past year has also drawn bubble concerns.

From Wednesday's high of more than $11,000, bitcoin had fallen to a low of $9,021.85 on Thursday, a roughly 20 percent drop. The crypotocurrency is in a period of extreme volatility after a strong showing over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when it set multiple all-time records. Bitcoin was last seen trading at $9,585.42.

"I got to tell you honestly, I don't understand it. I'm the last guy — I just don't get it," added Icahn. "I just stay out of something if I don't understand it."

A longtime Wall Street investor, Icahn has made his fortune in activist investing, often taking stakes in companies that need improvement. He is currently embroiled in a dispute with SandRidge Energy and its plan to acquire Bonanza Creek Energy.

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