In a twist of financial longing, billionaire investor David Rubenstein recently revealed his lament over not acquiring Bitcoin when it was valued at a mere $100. While Rubenstein's portfolio doesn't currently feature any cryptocurrencies, his retrospective reflection on Bitcoin's astronomical ascent from $100 to nearly $30,000 showcases the allure of immense profits that accompany successful investment decisions.
Rubenstein, an influential figure known for his legal prowess, philanthropic initiatives, and past roles within the White House, voiced his regret during a Bloomberg interview. He expressed his desire to have followed in the footsteps of Mike Novogratz, a prominent crypto enthusiast, who recognized the potential of Bitcoin when its price was a fraction of what it is today.
"If only I had bought it at $100 when Mike Novogratz started buying it. It's now $29,000, so he's made a lot of money, and many people who bought it at $100 or less are feeling pretty good," Rubenstein mused.
Rubenstein's omission of cryptocurrency diversification within his investment strategy is well-documented. However, he and some family members have indirectly supported the industry by funding companies operating within the blockchain and crypto space.
An intriguing exploration of numbers reveals the staggering potential gains that would have accompanied investment in Bitcoin back in 2013 when it first crossed the $100 threshold. Owning just 10 BTC at that time would now translate to a substantial sum of approximately $300,000. This comparison underscores the extraordinary growth of Bitcoin, which has surpassed even the appreciable increases witnessed in traditional assets like gold or popular market indices.
For instance, the price of an ounce of gold experienced a moderate increase from around $1,500 in 2013 to the current value of $1,950, representing a commendable 30% jump. In stark contrast, Bitcoin has demonstrated an astonishing surge of 30,000% over the same timeframe.
Such impressive gains show that most investors would eagerly embrace the opportunity to achieve similar profits. However, one of Bitcoin's most vocal critics, Warren Buffett, remains steadfast in his scepticism. The legendary investor, often called the Oracle of Omaha, had previously derided Bitcoin as "rat poison." In 2022, Buffett doubled down on his stance, asserting that even a price of $25 would not tempt him to invest in the cryptocurrency.
Rubenstein, however, holds a different perspective. He asserts that Bitcoin is here to stay due to its appeal to individuals who seek a currency beyond the control of governmental authorities. The allure of holding a digital asset that can be transacted privately and moved freely holds considerable appeal for a segment of global consumers.
"A lot of people around the world want to trade in a currency that their government can't know what they have, and they want to be able to move it around rightly or wrongly, and so I don't think that bitcoin is going away," Rubenstein explained.
While the current US government is cautious about cryptocurrency, Rubenstein notes that significant interest exists beyond American borders. He points to notable Republicans such as Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, and Francis Suarez, the Mayor of Miami, who express favorable opinions on Bitcoin.
Moreover, Rubenstein highlights a significant development that has changed perceptions about Bitcoin within traditional finance circles. BlackRock, a financial giant led by Larry Fink, intends to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) pending regulatory approval. This move by BlackRock, a stalwart in the mainstream financial industry, has compelled many sceptics to reconsider their dismissive stance toward cryptocurrencies.
"People make fun of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but now the establishment of Larry Fink at BlackRock is now saying they are going to have an ETF (if approved by the government) in bitcoin, so you're saying 'wait a second, if the mighty BlackRock is willing to have an ETF in bitcoin, maybe bitcoin is going to be around for a while,'" Rubenstein observed.
In conclusion, David Rubenstein's rueful admission of missing out on Bitcoin's early days reflects a universal desire to harness the potential of extraordinary financial gains. His retrospective lament underscores the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and its potential to reshape traditional finance paradigms. While sceptics like Warren Buffett remain steadfast, Rubenstein's belief in Bitcoin's enduring presence and the evolving sentiments within institutional finance hint at a future where cryptocurrencies play an increasingly integral role.