It’s 2021 and you could probably sell an NFT of this article. But how could you sell it – on the blockchain, dominated by cryptocurrency Ethereum. By now, if you’re on the Internet, you will have heard about the term ‘cryptocurrency.’ Cryptocurrency is digital money designed to allow users to send online payments quickly anywhere around the world without having to go through a bank and without oversight by any government. Started and still largely dominated by Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, the surge in people buying online token currency has only increased as the years have passed. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin have all seen huge movement behind them, sometimes from billionaires including the world’s at-present richest man, Elon Musk. But which cryptocurrencies do the world’s richest men own (that we know about).
Tesla CEO and SpaceX Boss, and the world’s richest person is a Dogecoin fan, and Musk has made his love for cryptocurrency and especially the Shiba Inu themed currency very obvious (with tweets that many would argue verges on market manipulation.) Musk in end-October had revealed that the only cryptocurrencies he holds are Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin and none of the spinoffs, including cryptocurrencies named after him. Musk has also made it very clear, “don’t bet the farm on crypto.” In May this year, when Musk had really batted for Dogecoin cryptocurrency, he had mentioned “Don’t invest your life savings into cryptocurrency. That’s unwise.”
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and payment solutions provider Square, is a Bitcoin maxi. Speaking at The B Word conference in July, Dorsey asked, “If the internet gets a chance to get a native currency, what will that be?” He continued, “To me, that’s Bitcoin because of those principles, because of that creation story, because of its resilience.” Bitcoin maximalists or ‘maxis’ in crypto slang are enthusiasts who believe that Bitcoin, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is the only digital asset that will be needed in the future. Maxis believe that all other digital currencies are inferior to Bitcoin. The maximalist ideology holds the view that other cryptocurrencies are not in line with the ideals that were established by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who created Bitcoin in 2009, as evident from a paper called ‘The Bitcoin P2P network’ from the Bitcoin Foundation. Bitcoin maximalists also believe that these other cryptocurrencies—called altcoins—are unnecessary and inferior.
Pichai in a recent Bloomberg interview revealed that he does not own any cryptocurrency. “I wish I did,” he said. “I’ve dabbled in it, you know, in and out.” Pichai in 2018 had once revealed that his (then 11-year-old) son was mining for Ethereum on the family’s home PC. At a New York Times DealBook conference, he revealed that, “Last week I was at dinner with my son and I was talking about something about Bitcoin and my son clarified what I was talking about was Ethereum, which is slightly different,” Pichai explains. “He’s 11 years old. And he told me he’s mining it.” Google’s CEO was asked if he had a server in his home to assist in his son’s mining efforts, to which he explained his family only had a simple computer, but it was one that Pichai built himself.
In May this year, Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg just shared that he too, owns Bitcoin – but there’s a catch. Facebook(Now Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s on Tuesday posted a photo of his bitcoin investment on Facebook – except the post involved an animal: His pet goat Bitcoin. But does Zuckerberg own any actual Bitcoin? The answer is probably yes, even though it is an undisclosed amount. Zuckerberg’s Metaverse has mentioned having a digital payment interference on it, probably based in a cryptocurrency. In 2018, Zuckerberg held a positive stance particularly toward blockchain technology, saying: “The technology powering Bitcoin could help improve Facebook in the future.”
Tim Cook, Apple CEO, at an event clarified he owns crypto, with “it’s reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio.” It’s just another way of putting together the old saying – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. “I’m not giving anyone investment advice by the way,” Cook told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times’ DealBook online conference, once again suggesting that while he has put moeny in crypto, he is not entirely confident about it. He also threw light on why Apple, as a company, won’t invest in crypto.
“I would sort of characterizing it as there are things I wouldn’t do — like our cash balance. I wouldn’t go invest that in crypto — not because I wouldn’t invest my own money in crypto — but because I don’t think people buy an Apple stock to get exposure to crypto. And so, if they want to do that, they can invest directly in crypto through other means,” Cook explained.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and boss of Blue Origin, has over the years been rumoured to own both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bezos confirmed none of them, and Amazon has even gone on to deny any plans to accept Bitcoin or any other crypto on its platform. The only blockchain-positive development associated with Jeff Bezos is amazon’s cloud computing arm 2018 partnership with a blockchain startup called Kaleido, reported Coin Telegraph.
Bill Gates has not declared ownership but has hinted at owning Bitcoin. Gates had had earlier shown enthusiasm for Bitcoin in 2014, where he told Bloomberg in an interview that Bitcoin was better than any currency, he has since retracted his remarks, noting that the anonymity of digital currencies is not good for transactions. “Bitcoin and ICOs, I believe completely [they’re some] of the crazier, speculative things,” Gates said. He added someone once gave him some bitcoin for his birthday, but he sold it a few years afterward,” he’d told CNBC in 2018.
Buffett does not own any crypto, and has been a longtime critic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Before the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, the longtime investor called Bitcoin a “mirage” that is “probably rat poison squared” and “not a currency.” He further clarified his stance: “I don’t have any Bitcoin. I don’t own any cryptocurrency, I never will,” he told CNBC in 2020.