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April 9, 2018

Bitcoin price is down 60% on $19,000 peak, but big name investors are just now buying in

By Luke Christou

Leading cryptocurrency bitcoin has had a difficult month, with its value falling more than $3,000 between mid-March and early April.

With the bitcoin price currently sitting at around $7,100, the virtual coin has lost 63% of its value since peaking at $19,300 in December 2017.

However, while the instability of bitcoin may put some off, two of the financial world’s leading investors have seen it as an opportunity to capitalise on the craze.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum earlier this year, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros told crowds:

Cryptocurrency is a misnomer and is a typical bubble, which is always based on some kind of misunderstanding.

Bitcoin is not a currency because a currency is supposed to be a stable store of value and the currency that can fluctuate 25% in a day can’t be used for instance to pay wages because wages drop by 25% in a day.

It’s a speculation, based on a misunderstanding.

However, according to Bloomberg, Soros has changed his tune.

Adam Fisher, the head of macro investing at Soros Fund Management, has been given approval to start trading virtual coins through the $26 billion firm.

Soros movement into cryptocurrency has had a knock-on effect. Following the report, the Rockefeller Foundation announced that it would be partnering with cryptocurrency investment fund Coinfund.

Venrock, the Rockefeller Foundation’s venture capital arm, will partner with Coinfund to help build and develop new blockchain projects.

David Pakman, a Venrock partner, told Fortune:

We wanted to partner with this team that has been making investment and actually helping to architect a number of different crypto economies and crypto token-based projects.

According to the company’s 2016 report, Rockefeller Foundation has over $4 billion in assets. Venrock currently lists tech companies like Apple and Intel in its investment portfolio.

There has been no word from the world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett.

The $84 billion investor told CNBC in January that, “in terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” insisting that his investment company Berkshire Hathaway will “never have a position in them”.

However, Soros’ U-turn shows that opinions can change.

Why it matters:

Judging by their past comments, these investors don’t tend to view bitcoin as a long-term investment. However, their entry into cryptocurrency bodes well for its short-term future at least.

Despite some suggestion that the bubble is about to burst, this seems to suggest that, despite the bitcoin price declining in 2018, they expect the digital currency to climb again.

Names like Soros and Rockefeller have plenty of influence in the financial sphere. This could persuade other investors and funds to wager their money on cryptocurrency too.

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