By Landon Manning
Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Mexico’s second-wealthiest man with a combined fortune estimated at $13.2 billion, has revealed to the public that a tenth of his entire portfolio of liquid assets is being held as bitcoin.
Salinas, who inherited an electrical appliance company from his father in the 1980s, has massively expanded and refocused its operations as well as spearheading the charge to form a conglomerate between it and several other firms, such as television and radio networks as well as internet providers. His stewardship over these existing companies allowed him to perform several impressive feats, notably including breaking a monopoly that one TV network had over the Mexican airwaves. Although his portfolio is several billion dollars behind Carlos Slim, the Mexican phone magnate who beat out Bill Gates to be the richest man in the world from 2009 to 2013, Salinas’ empire is still an immense force throughout Latin America.
Although he has long endorsed viewpoints common to the average Bitcoiner’s philosophy, such as calling himself an “entrepreneur passionate about innovation and liberty,” Salinas’ direct connection to Bitcoin was dropped onto the internet crypto community in a completely abrupt manner. On November 19, 2020 he posted a video to Twitter depicting bales of Venezuelan bolívars being thrown into the trash, cautioning that “paper money is worth nothing” and endorsing the world’s premier cryptocurrency. By itself, this pro-Bitcoin statement made little impact, probably leading to his later announcement that same day.
Approximately three hours later, Salinas posted a second tweet, recommending Saifedean Ammous’ famous 2018 book, “The Bitcoin Standard.” However, he did more than claim that this book would be the best way for a total novice to understand the ins and outs of the world of cryptocurrency, he also finished his message by stating: “Many people have asked me if I hold Bitcoin, and the answer is yes. I have 10 percent of my liquid portfolio invested in it.”
This does not necessarily mean that Salinas has invested more than $1 billion into bitcoin, as his liquid asset portfolio is very different from his total holdings. This portfolio specifically refers either to fiat currencies or various holdings that could be rapidly and easily converted into them. Still, this announcement caused a significantly larger splash.
Salinas stayed active on Twitter on November 19, to continue engaging with crypto enthusiasts on his new support, clarifying the difference and claiming that he has been interested in crypto since 2016.
Although many prominent public figures have recently jumped onto the Bitcoin train — including “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams, for instance — Salinas’ professed love for the crypto asset seems a better indicator for significant acceptance among financial circles. Barely missing the cutoff for the 100 richest people in the world, Salinas controls a significant media and electronics empire with a wide reach. His love of Bitcoin has been noted by mainstream financial news sources, and marks another significant notch on the road to widespread normalization and adaptation of the cryptocurrency.
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