If you were going to guess which head of an investment giant couldn’t wrap his filthy rich arms around Bitcoin, you would probably go with the one who lost billions of dollars by investing in a co-working startup whose initial public offering died.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son shared at The New York Times DealBook conference that he invested “about $200 million” into Bitcoin and monitored it for five minutes per day before he got tired of doing so because it was distracting him from his other businesses. He said he lost $50 million by selling his stake, but the Wall Street Journal called it a $130 million loss in 2018.
“I think digital currency will be useful,” Son said at DealBook. “But I don’t know what digital currency, what structure, and so on.”
At the same conference, Son shared some affection and some blame for ousted WeWork CEO Adam Neumann. Son invested at least $18.5 billion into the co-working company and lost billions for its failed IPO.
“I’m part of the responsibility of his mistake,” Son said. “So, I still love him. I still respect him. I’m sure he would come back and do some great stuff in his rest of the world and his life. So I’m a big believer that someday he will be very successful. And he would say he has learned a lot from his prior life.”
There is no need to take up an offering for Son and SoftBank. A year ago, SoftBank invested $1.35 billion into KE Holdings, China’s leading online platform for housing transactions. That investment has nearly quadrupled.