The adoption of cryptocurrencies in the world is growing, but with rare exceptions, it has not yet reached the financial elites – recognized business and investment leaders, whose only phrase can set a trend for the entire market.
Over the past year, there have been an increasing number of such exceptions. Moreover, some skeptics who buried cryptocurrencies yesterday have now recognized their right to exist.
- Condition: $ 173 billion.
- Key assets: Tesla and SpaceX.
The founder of the most famous startups of our time, SpaceX and Tesla, at the beginning of this year, Elon Musk became the richest man in the world.
The unspoken title of the chief visionary does not prevent Musk from speaking out about cryptocurrency from time to time. Although the entrepreneur often sneers about cryptocurrencies on his Twitter, he has repeatedly paid tribute to cryptocurrencies seriously – more precisely, bitcoin.
Musk himself called the Dogecoin meme coin his “favorite” cryptocurrency. Perhaps because the businessman loves to joke about her most of all. But this does not prevent some of his readers from raising DOGE to new heights after each such tweet. Last July, the price of the coin soared 17% after this tweet from Musk. This year, users pumped Dogecoin again for no reason, and Musk was unable to ignore the event.
In a 2019 interview with ARK Invest, Musk named Ethereum among the “noteworthy” cryptocurrencies. And a year before that, he said that he wants to get ETH, “even if it’s a scam.” But the first in the list of worthy cryptocurrencies, according to the billionaire, is, of course, bitcoin:
“Bitcoin’s structure is impressive. They cryptocurrencies bypass currency controls. Paper money is a thing of the past. Cryptocurrencies are undoubtedly better suited for transferring value than scraps of paper, ”he said.
On Twitter, Musk dedicates humorous tweets to Bitcoin. Their content is so frivolous that outside observers sometimes suspect that the account has been hacked. This happened, for example, in 2018, when Musk sent an anime picture with the Bitcoin logo to one of the users.
Not a single suspicion was confirmed: Musk wrote all such tweets himself. However, in general, such thoughts are justified, because his account often becomes the object of crypto scammers.
Musk’s statements about Bitcoin affect the price in the same way as Dogecoin. Just one word #bitcoin, added by Musk to his profile header, contributed to the growth of quotes.
In addition, Elon Musk recently supported the writer and author of the book “Bitcoin Billionaires” Ben Mezrich, who wrote that he did not mind receiving a salary in bitcoins.
But Musk did the real coming out in an interview at the end of January:
“I am a bitcoin supporter. I believe the financial world is close to being widely accepted. I have no opinion on other cryptocurrencies. ”
He admitted that many of his friends urged him to buy bitcoin, but apparently he never did, as he added that he was “late to appear at the party.” Either way, now the world’s richest billionaire is officially a bitcoin supporter.
- Condition: $ 6.7 billion
- Key asset: Palantir.
Co-founder of PayPal (along with, by the way, Elon Musk) and famous entrepreneur Peter Thiel can be called one of the first “open” crypto enthusiasts among the American business elite.
In 2017, Thiel practically predicted the future: he expressed the main thesis about bitcoin as a digital gold, which, closer to the present day, will become prevalent among large investors:
“I am skeptical about most cryptocurrencies, but I think people underestimate bitcoin a little. It can be compared to reserve money such as gold. Bitcoin is a means of storing capital, it is not needed for transactions, ”said the businessman.
In the investment industry, Thiel is known as an investor – in 2005, together with partners, he founded the Founders Fund, which later became one of the most famous US venture capital funds. A few years after the founding of the Founders Fund, Peter Thiel took part in the creation of other investment funds – Valar Ventures and Mithril Capital.
And Thiel’s venture capital firms are actively investing in the crypto industry. Among the objects of their investments: the mining company Layer1, the Tagomi crypto broker, the stablecoin Reserve, the BlockFi crypto-lending platform, the Lolli bitcoin cashback service.
According to media reports, Thiel’s funds do not forget about direct purchases of the first cryptocurrency. In early 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Founders Fund was actively buying bitcoins.
It is symbolic that the PayPal payment system, once founded by Thiel, also turned to cryptocurrencies and launched a service for investing in cryptocurrencies in 2020.
- Condition: $ 17 billion
- Key asset: Bridgewater Associates.
Today, Ray Dalio is a well-known publicist and one of the most reputable investors in the world, but he initially had a difficult relationship with cryptocurrencies. Back in 2017, he called the first cryptocurrency a bubble, although he recognized its performance “at the conceptual level.”
After that, Dalio remained silent for over two years. He again spoke about bitcoin only at the beginning of 2020. And, apparently, he finally could not remain indifferent, watching the rally at the end of the year.
At first, the financier said that bitcoin would not be able to replace gold, since the latter would not be abandoned by states and central banks, and the authorities would ban bitcoin if it became “too important.” However, he soon admitted that he might be “missing something about bitcoin,” and asked his Twitter followers to help him figure out what it was.
Apparently, the answers had their effect, because during the session of answers to questions from users of Reddit this year, Dalio suddenly announced that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can still be an alternative to gold.
At the same time, he stressed the importance of diversifying the investment portfolio:
“The main thing is to have various assets in your portfolio, including stocks, and diversify them.”
In addition to these words, the Bridgewater Associates website published a long article by Dalio entitled “What I Think About Bitcoin.” In it, the author presented his conceptual and financial approach to the first cryptocurrency, in fact, recognizing it as a full-fledged investment asset. As the famous investor wrote, cryptocurrencies have become an incredible invention:
“To invent a new type of money through a programmable computer system that has been working without interruption for about 10 years and is rapidly gaining popularity both as a means of payment and as a store of wealth is a remarkable achievement.”
Bitcoin has the potential to make investors “very rich” and “disrupt the existing monetary system,” the article says. But there are risks as well. According to Dalio, cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to hacking. They also risk becoming the object of new restrictions on the part of states that seek to maintain control over the monetary system.
Other crypto enthusiasts among billionaires
There are several more examples when large investors either change their public position on cryptoassets or openly talk about their investments in cryptocurrencies.
One of them is Paul Tudor Jones, another popular investor and manager of his own investment company, Tudor Investment Corporation. Forbes estimates his fortune at $ 5.8 billion.
In May 2020, Jones informally led a camp of whales deciding to buy bitcoin due to the rising risks of dollar inflation, stating that for this reason he transferred 1-2% of his assets to digital gold.
Although at first glance this looks like an insignificant figure, in fact, John’s bitcoin assets at that time were already about $ 100 million. It is possible that their volume increased, because at the end of October the financier honestly admitted that he “likes bitcoin even more than then”.
Co-founder of the investment company Oaktree Capital Group Howard Marks, whose fortune is estimated at $ 2.1 billion, also acknowledged the mistake of skeptical assessment of cryptocurrencies. In a memorandum for his clients, Marks said that his family owns a “significant volume” of bitcoins, and honestly wrote:
“My skeptical views have not been confirmed.”
Part of the capital under management was also invested in Bitcoin by billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller. He spoke about this in November in an interview with CNBC. At the same time, the investor noted that bitcoin may be a better instrument for preserving value than gold. Druckenmiller’s fortune is about $ 4.4 billion.
Another billionaire who has become more friendly to cryptocurrencies is Mark Cuban (fortune – about $ 4.2 billion). In 2019, he compared bitcoin holders to collectors of comics and baseball cards. But in January of this year, I already said that Bitcoin is able to go through the “market bubble” just like Amazon, which overcame the “dot-com bubble” and became the main Internet company in the world. Later, Cuban even demonstrated his DeFi expertise.
As the industry further matures, the number of those who are positive about digital currencies will inevitably increase. And although there are very few supporters of bitcoin among the representatives of the financial elite, even this small group of billionaires is attracting the attention of their colleagues in the shop.