Count Marcus Lemonis among the bitcoin naysayers.
The entrepreneur and self-made millionaire is too wary of digital currencies to test the volatile bitcoin market. "I don't really care, so I don't know much about bitcoin or cryptocurrency," Lemonis tells CNBC Make It.
Rather than experimenting with digital currencies, like bitcoin, Lemonis says he prefers a currency that is more relatively stable — like the U.S. dollar. "I like good old American cash," Lemonis says in an interview that took place on June 6. "I like it in my pocket and I like it in the bank. And what I would encourage people to do is, if they're interested in something like [bitcoin], explore it — but nothing replaces good old-fashioned cash."
Bitcoin has been something of a trendy investment at certain points over the past year, attracting investors intrigued by the digital currency's meteoric rise before it seemingly peaked in December 2017. Certainly, the high-profile cryptocurrency has also been prone to wild swings in its valuation, which is currently less than half what it was at the start of 2018.
But, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still drawing the interest of major companies and institutions, with Starbucks announcing on Saturday that it is partnering with Microsoft and Intercontinental Exchange (owner of the New York Stock Exchange) on a platform, called Bakkt, that will let people trade digital currencies like bitcoin and convert them into U.S. dollars.
Lemonis feels that anyone interested in bitcoin should study the cryptocurrency markets before delving in as an investor, he says, and he also explains that "diversification into different investments" is always a smart way of making sure you're not taking an unnecessary risk by putting too much of your money in one place.
Lemonis, who tries to help struggling small business owners turn around their fortunes as the host of CNBC's "The Profit, " also worries that there are not many "small business opportunities in crypto" or other digital currencies, due to the risks associated with investing in a volatile market.
At the end of the day, Lemonis is wary of the volatility of the bitcoin market, and he also believes that there are still too many investors putting money into cryptocurrency who don't fully understand the markets. "I don't think most people even understand [bitcoin]," he tells CNBC Make It. "I know I don't want to"
Lemonis' stance sounds similar to that of a fellow entrepreneur and TV host: Kevin O'Leary. One of the hosts of ABC's "Shark Tank," O'Leary told CNBC Make It in December that he's "quite sure that 99 percent of the people that own bitcoin do not understand how it works. That always is a cocktail for disaster."
Lemonis is just one of many prominent people in the business world who have bashed bitcoin. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has called bitcoin a "mirage" while saying that the digital currency lacks intrinsic value. J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has also warned against investing in cryptocurrencies and he even called bitcoin a "fraud."
Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."
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