Bitcoin has one of its wealthiest backers yet.
Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Mexico’s third-richest person, said in a Twitter post Tuesday he’s invested a chunk of his liquid assets in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
“Many people ask me if I have bitcoins,” said Salinas, who has a $11.8 billion fortune through his stakes in retail, banking and broadcast businesses, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “YES. I have 10% of my liquid portfolio invested it.”
Bitcoin is nearing record highs after more than doubling this year, partly driven by fears that major central bank easing and fiscal stimulus will debase currencies. The digital asset advanced for a third session Wednesday, outperforming most of its rivals to break above $18,000. Its performance has attracted some big Wall Street money managers including Fidelity Investments, which launched a Bitcoin fund over the summer, and macro investor Paul Tudor Jones.
In a series of tweets Tuesday, hedge fund founder Ray Dalio questioned the cryptocurrency’s utility as a storehold of wealth, but added: “I might be missing something about Bitcoin, so I’d love to be corrected.”
Other wealthy Bitcoin backers include Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins who are now worth about $1 billion each from the cryptocurrency’s surge, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index.
Bitcoin’s gains have helped make up for Salinas’s business interests. Shares in his biggest listed asset — conglomerate Grupo Elektra SAB — have slumped more than 10% this year, while those in the local television network he and his family control have dropped almost 60%.
A spokesman for Salinas didn’t immediately reply to an email and phone call seeking comment.
Salinas, 65, who contracted Covid-19 last month, said in a later tweet he first invested in Bitcoin four years ago, adding he holds the balance of his liquid portfolio in precious metals miners. Salinas and his family have earned more than $500 million through dividends from their listed holdings in the past two decades, according to the Bloomberg’s wealth index.
Salinas has also used Twitter to comment on the pandemic. He previously called for Mexico’s health officials to stop imposing “authoritarian” policies to contain the spread of virus and took to the site again to reveal his own diagnosis.
“Take care of yourselves and do not be afraid,” he said last month. “We’ll all have to get it, and we will be fine.”
(Adds other Bitcoin investors in sixth paragraph, additional Salinas tweets starting in penultimate.)