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SoftBank's Masayoshi Son got caught up in the bitcoin frenzy and reportedly lost $130 million

Key Points
  • Billionaire Masayoshi Son reportedly made a massive bet on bitcoin near the peak of the digital currency's frenze in 2017.
  • The founder of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank personally lost over $130 million when he sold his position, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
  • Son has a reputation for making big, risky bets but has had a successful track record with many such investments.
Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a joint announcement with Toyota Motor Corp. to make new venture to develop mobility services in Tokyo, Japan, 04 October 2018.
Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, the founder of conglomerate SoftBank, personally lost over $130 million when he sold his position in bitcoin, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Son made the investment in late 2017 the report said, near the digital currency's record high near $20,000 in December of that year. Bitcoin has traded around $5,000 in recent weeks. While it is unknown exactly how much bitcoin Son bought, he sold early last year after the speculative digital currency's value collapsed.

The move reportedly followed Son receiving a recommendation by a "bitcoin evangelist." SoftBank had bought the investment firm of that person earlier in the same year, the report said. Despite his reputation as a keen investor, the bet on bitcoin is not the first such quick, risky bet by Son. He is known widely as someone who will make multi-million dollar investments in companies after only spending a short time with founders and CEOs.

SoftBank is the largest venture capital firm in the world, with a total net asset value estimated as high as $190 billion. Son's focus on long-term investments in tech companies helped him lead the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, with stakes in Uber, Nvidia, Flipkart, WeWork, OneWeb and more.

Read the full report here.