Nikhil Kamath explains why he steers clear of cryptos

Nikhil Kamath, Co-founder & CIO, Zerodha, said he has never owned, neither directly nor indirectly, cryptos because he does not want to work in any grey area.

In an interview with ET NOW, Kamath said he has not understood the concept of owning an asset with no bottomline or earnings. Also, he does not intend to own any assets without a definite reason or purpose.

People who have invested a few years ago probably are still sitting on really large gains, Kamath said while still questioning the crypto market cap of $3 trillion (at the end of 2021). He said any asset class should have some kind of a correlation with either the underlying earnings from it or the prospect of future earnings.

“The prospects of future earnings in DeFi and decentralisation, I am not able to comprehend as to how much it will be. Hence, I believe that $3 trillion overall market cap was not justified,” he said.

If the world changes and it becomes increasingly relevant for something to be decentralised because people lose faith in the existing systems, maybe there is a use case for crypto, he added.

Kamath also questioned the valuations of crypto assets and called them very complex to review. He said that cryptos leave investors in ambiguity and bewildered, in comparison to the clarity of business of a company and its metrics.

Commenting on the stock market, Kamath said Indian markets have been unusually resilient compared with Nasdaq. The Indian equity markets are not accounting for currency depreciation, which is down 17-18 per cent which relatively seems nothing.

“If you look at earnings at some point at this higher inflation, higher cost of raw material will bring down corporate margins,” he said. “If you were to assume we are trading at 17-18 times 23-24 PE, we are not cheap,” he added.

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