SoftBank Boss Glad to Be out of Bitcoin, But His Firm Is Still in the Game
The CEO of SoftBank – one of Japan’s biggest conglomerates, and a firm with multiple crypto interests – said he took a multi-million USD loss by selling his bitcoin (BTC) holdings in 2018 because he “didn’t understand” the token, and found it was distracting him from running his business.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son appears to have washed his hands of BTC, telling a New York Times interviewer this week that he had “forgotten” how much he had lost when he sold off his own personal stake in BTC, but estimated that it was around USD 50m. However, in April 2019, the CEO said that he lost USD 130m on a personal BTC investment.
Son added that 1% of his total asset holdings had been in bitcoin up until 2018 and that he had bought the token after hearing recommendations about the token from a friend.
However, the CEO claimed that he would often spend up to “five minutes a day” looking at bitcoin prices, and finally decided that he “did not understand” BTC fluctuations, and found the whole process too distracting while he was trying to run his business. He claimed that he feels much better now when he no longer has bitcoin holdings.
Son did not write off tokens completely, however – although he claimed that he was currently focusing his efforts on another industry 4.0 technology, namely artificial intelligence.
“I think digital currency is definitely going to be useful and I think the digital currency will definitely be [used in the future]. But I don't know what digital currency, what structure and so on. I would rather focus [on] something that I feel passionate about, which is AI right now.”
Regardless, SoftBank owns the Fortress Investment Group, which made a bitcoin investment back in 2013 and earlier this year expressed an interest in buying the bankrupt crypto exchange Mt. Gox. SoftBank also owns Z Holdings, which owns the internet giant Yahoo Japan. And the latter, in turn, is the operator of the Japanese TaoTao crypto exchange.
What is more, Yahoo Japan is set to merge with another crypto-keen Asian business giant in February next year – Naver affiliate Line, a chat app operator that operates a number of crypto exchanges, including the Japanese Bitmax.
Line also has its own blockchain network and has issued a cryptoasset of its own.
At pixel time (13:47 UTC), BTC trades at USD 18,213 and is up by almost 2% in a day and 12% in a week. The price rallied by 47% in a month and 129% in a year.
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