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15 Feb, 2018 12:03

Soros brands bitcoin 'nest egg for dictators,' but still invests in it

Soros brands bitcoin 'nest egg for dictators,' but still invests in it

Billionaire investor George Soros has recently criticized bitcoin, but it seems he’s not against investing in it himself. The tycoon’s fund has bought shares in cryptocurrency company Overstock.

Soros Fund Management held 2,472,188 shares in Overstock at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, making the businessman the third-largest shareholder, CNBC reports, quoting regulatory filings. The shares were worth $157.97 million at the time of investment, but had lost more than $10 million as of Wednesday.

Overstock used to be a traditional online retailer competing with Amazon and other firms. However, the company decided to reshape radically and started accepting bitcoin. It held an initial coin offering (ICO) through its exchange, tZero, on December 18.

Owner Patrick Byrne told CNN in December he wanted to sell off the retail business and focus on Overstock's ownership of 10 blockchain companies.

Soros spoke publicly against bitcoin in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The billionaire called it a “nest egg for dictators” and compared it to a “typical bubble.”

He added, however, that blockchain technology could be put to "positive use," like sending cash to illegal migrants arriving in Europe.

The company he has invested in has a completely different stance on bitcoin. Overstock’s Byrne told Fox that bitcoin could surge to $1 million, and called it “the most important change in 6,000 civilizations of technology.”

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