SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son would rather focus on artificial intelligence than Bitcoin

Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder and CEO of SoftBank, invested in bitcoin at peak prices in 2017 and sold in 2018 at a loss of more than $130 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, and now he's focused on artificial intelligence (AI).

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son would rather focus on artificial intelligence than Bitcoin

Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder and CEO of SoftBank, says he doesn't understand bitcoin and it's too volatile. Son invested in bitcoin at peak prices in 2017 and sold in 2018 at a loss of more than $130 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. "I don't have to put my mind in something I don't understand," he said. Instead, Son will hoard about $80 billion in cash for worst-case scenario in markets where assets get oversold. "I think digital currency is definitely going to be useful with the security and so on, but I don't know [about] digital currencies... I would rather focus my 300 years for something that I feel passionate [about], which is the AI (artificial intelligence) focus right now," he said. Son, 63 years old, has an estimated personal net worth of $30 billion as of August 2020 after a very public breakup with WeWork's former CEO, Adam Neumann. In November 2019, WeWork laid off 2,400 employees and SoftBank Vision Fund eventually posted a painful loss of 1.9 trillion yen ($17.7 billion) on both WeWork and Uber. SoftBank now values WeWork at only $2.9 billion, down from $47 billion. But Son doesn't seem to take fault in the WeWork's failure, saying "I think this is a lesson that Adam Neumann himself is telling himself he made a mistake. He’s a smart guy. I think he admits he made a few mistakes. I think that he’s a smart guy, he’s an aggressive guy, he has lots of capability, he can convince people, he’s a great leader. But he made some mistakes. Any human makes some mistakes.” In response to the coronavirus pandemic, SoftBank launched and currently operates the largest private testing facility in Japan, a country seeing roughly 1,300 new cases each day, and processes over 10,000 tests per day for Tokyo citizens. Softbank's total assets for Q2 of 2020 were $93.73 billion, down 72% from a year ago. Track SoftBank's investments here.