Masa, Mark, and Elon, the Crypto “Influencers”

It is Time to Tell the Truth

For years, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have accumulated $2 trillion in market cap on a “token” that has absolutely no intrinsic substance. It tells us something about our society that these digital objects (I am not sure we can even call them assets) have been “threatening” the established currencies through what is pure marketing. The money that went into these values might have enriched investors, but contrary to a fiat currency, their economic and social impact has been nonexistent.

Masayoshi Son: the Losing Investor

In 2019, Masayoshi Son made a huge personal bet on bitcoin just as prices for the digital currency peaked, losing more than $130 million when he sold out. He sold them before stating last week that “there’s a lot of discussion over if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, what’s the true value or is it in a bubble.” Bitcoin peaked at nearly $20,000 in mid-December 2017, and Mr. Son sold in early 2018 after Bitcoin had plummeted. Earlier this year, SoftBank Group’s telecommunications arm became a member of the Japanese Security Token Association, a group of advocacy and self-regulatory bodies that exist within the Japanese cryptocurrency and blockchain space. The Japanese tech incubator giant SoftBank has had an active May so far, making a series of low-key investments in a number of cryptos, non-fungible token (NFT), and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.

Elon Musk: the Illusionist

How Elon Musk managed to invest $1.5 billion in Bitcoin while announcing it would be possible to pay for Tesla cars in Bitcoins, only to retract it later. It seems to be the act of an illusionist.

Lessons from the Tech Idols…

Are they influencers or manipulators?

CEO at Galileo Global Advisors and Adjunct professor Columbia Law School.