Billionares Bet On Blockchains

A trend among large-scale investors suggests a growing faith in virtual currencies.

Of late, billionaires like Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston, former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and investment mogul Tim Draper, have made business decisions involving blockchain-based currencies. The activities of these business tycoons speak to the efficacy of using virtual currencies as a means to store value, diversify assets, and build marketplace-changing platforms.

Livingston has made very public plans to create a development space called the Kin Foundation, which will utilize an Ethereum-based token for disbursement of value, possibly disrupting how advertising disenfranchises smaller developers. In conversation with ETHNews, Livingston expressed his desire to allow individuals to provide value to each other through a shared cryptocurrency.

Draper recently bought 10 percent of all Credo, an ERC20 compliant token built by a company of the same name, meant to combat email spam. He has been generally optimistic regarding the cryptospace, backing the Ethereum-based Bancor project as well as the Tezos platform’s token generation event that raked in approximately $232 million.

Similarly, Cuban dipped his toe into the token offering realm when he announced his intentions to participate in the ERC20 token generation event for UnikoinGold. Cuban, who has invested in products that include a swivel-free, self-balancing scooter and a myriad of other products pitched on the popular television program “Shark Tank,” seems to have a knack for following trends. The moves Cuban makes tend to be backed by a vision of mass adoption for the product or service he decides to put his cash behind. His decision to stake his reputation by endorsing an Ethereum token may be an indication of its worth and mainstream acknowledgment.

It is widely reported that Novogratz, no stranger to investment strategies and market analysis, speculated that the cryptocurrency market could be worth $5 trillion in the next five years. Novogratz carefully poised himself, seeing the advantage of a price spike in both Ether and bitcoin, and took profits before the ensuing dip. Even after this, Novogratz says he still has around 10 percent of his net worth in cryptocurrencies.

While it remains uncertain as to what the market will do in the future, the activities of billionaires, who have made fortunes investing and have put a significant portion of their time and wealth into the emerging ecosystem, suggest an as-yet-unrealized value in virtual currencies.

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine. He is a full time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.
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