Since its inception, Bitcoin (BTC) has always been touted as the best hedge of wealth akin to gold. Over time, this has gradually been realized as it time and again survived various market crashes even without the benefit of a government bailout. Now, this makes us wonder if the richest man alive in the world shares the same faith in the digital asset as we do.
Who is the World’s Richest Man in 2024
According to the latest tally of Forbes in January, Elon Musk is now the world’s wealthiest person. Besides his strong social media presence on the X platform, he is best known for his role as CEO of Tesla and other X group of companies. His key sources of cash flow come from his 23% stake in Tesla, and it is estimated that around two-thirds of his wealth is anchored to the famous electric vehicle (EV) brand.
The billionaire entrepreneur made waves when he decided to purchase Twitter (rebranded as X in 2023) to the tune of $44 billion to give people a platform to exercise their free speech. His long-term goal is the transformation of X into an “everything app” similar to China’s WeChat, which will integrate digital payments compatible with cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum alongside a slew of other features like TV, dating, job recruitment, and more.
Musk has an estimated net worth of $210.2 billion, which is only around $2 billion ahead of the second person on the list, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton founder, CEO, and Chair Bernard Arnault.
Bitcoin Haul of the Richest Man in the World
Back in 2019, Musk admitted via Twitter that he only owned but a fraction of a BTC. He confessed, “I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from 0.25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago.” During that time, that unit is worth $2,500 and worth nearly five times by now.
Fast-forward to February 2021, Tesla, helmed by Musk, made a staggering purchase of 43,000 BTC for around $1.5 billion. An announcement made by the CEO also said his company will be taking Bitcoin as payment. It wouldn’t be long until they backtracked and sold their holdings, leaving only 9,720 BTC in their coffers.
To date, Musk’s automotive brand still holds those Bitcoin, which should be around $466.56 million at the current $48K per BTC rate. Meanwhile, if they held on to their 43,000 BTC, it would have gained $500 million today. Had they waited until the crypto topped at $68K during that year, it would have almost doubled their investment.
The confirmation that the world’s richest man alive hedges his or his businesses’ wealth on Bitcoin feeds the narrative that the cryptocurrency is indeed a potential safeguard against economic and geopolitical uncertainties. But then again, a closer examination shows that Elon Musk only has a chump change of his riches in the digital asset, which makes us question whether or not he is only using it as a plaything instead of going all-in. This only shows that he still exercises caution with regard to BTC and diversification of assets combined with due diligence is still the best play going forward.