Wall Street Journal: Softbank founder Sun Zheng lost $130 million in investing in Bitcoin

According to the Wall Street Journal, informed sources revealed that the founder of SoftBank Group Corp., the founder of Alibaba Group, and the billionaire Masayoshi Son, on the occasion of the peak of bitcoin prices, A huge personal bet was made, and he had lost more than $130 million when he sold.


Sun Zhengyi founded the world's largest venture capital fund with the keen sense of long-term investment. Informed sources said that Sun Zhengyi invested in the recommendation of well-known Bitcoin supporters, and Softbank acquired the company in 2017.

The investment was made at the peak of the bitcoin boom in late 2017, when Bitcoin had risen more than 10 times. The person familiar with the matter said that the specific bet amount could not be determined, but Bitcoin reached a peak of nearly 20,000 US dollars in mid-December 2017. After the bitcoin plunged, Sun Zhengyi sold Bitcoin in early 2018.

As of press time, bitcoin prices are around $5,500.

Sun Zhengyi is known for his quick investment decisions and high-risk gambling, and most of these gambles have paid off. It is said that after talking to Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma for five minutes, Sun Zheng decided to invest in the group. It took him only half an hour to give a green light to a $200 million investment in a startup that grows vegetables indoors.

This undisclosed investment loss shows that even some of the world's most savvy and wealthy investors have fallen into this encryption frenzy. According to Bloomberg estimates, Sun Justice’s net worth is $19 billion, and he may hardly care about the loss of this money, even though it undermines his reputation as a patient and prophetic investor.

A Softbank spokesperson declined to comment on Sun Zhengyi.

According to people familiar with the matter, Sun Zhengyi made the above investment with the encouragement of Peter Briger, co-chairman of the asset management company Fortress investment Group. Softbank acquired Fortress in February 2017, inherited the asset management company's bitcoin reserves and more traditional investment funds.

Fortress led by Briger bought Bitcoin for the first time in 2013, when Bitcoin was still an edge technology, mainly used in the dark corners of online commerce. When the Softbank acquisition transaction was completed, the value of Bitcoin held by it was more than $150 million.

Briger declined to comment through the spokesperson.

Sun Zhengyi's foundation for the establishment of Softbank is mainly long-term technology investment, and launched a $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund. The fund is supported by a government investment fund in Saudi Arabia and holds a large stake in Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos. He is also believed to have pushed up the valuations of some of the largest private technology companies.

With Uber's upcoming initial public offering (IPO), the Softbank Vision Fund is facing a test of success. Uber's goal is to value up to $100 billion, lower than previously expected, but still above the fund's investment level.

Just as Softbank looked to future technology, its most immediate problem was its stake in US mobile company Sprint Corp. The 2013 deal brought a heavy debt burden to the corporate group and limited its investment choices.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile was questioned by US Department of Justice lawyers who feared that the all-stock deal would threaten market competition.

Sprint, which hopes to get approval for the deal, said in a document submitted to regulators last week: "Sprint is in a very difficult situation and will only get worse. Sprint is not on the road to sustainable competition."