Michael Saylor
Source: Getty Images

Bitcoin Believer Michael Saylor Loses $1 Billion on Crypto

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May. 12 2022, Published 12:29 p.m. ET

Crypto investor and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor built his wealth with bitcoin. So, the recent crypto crash has done some damage to his pocketbook. Is Saylor a billionaire?

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Not anymore, reports Forbes. Once said to have a net worth of as high as $2.3 billion, Saylor’s wealth dropped below $1 billion when bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tanked on May 11, Forbes estimates.

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Saylor’s faith in bitcoin also appears to have hurt MicroStrategy's balance sheets. He founded the software company in 1989. The company owns over 129,200 bitcoin and touts itself as “the world’s largest publicly-traded corporate owner of bitcoin.”

Michael Saylor still believes in bitcoin despite the crash.

The value of bitcoin fell by almost 30 percent within the last month. Once valued at close to $70,000, bitcoin’s price on May 12 was just over $28,251. But, Saylor is still a bitcoin believer.

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“#Bitcoin is the best hedge against #Inflation. Since $MSTR announced its first BTC purchase on August 11, 2020, bitcoin has appreciated 149 percent, outperforming Silver (-17 percent), Gold (-9 percent) Nasdaq (5 percent), S&P (18 percent), CPI (11.2 percent), M2 (19 percent), US Homes (28 percent), and PPI (33 percent),” Saylor tweeted on May 12.

MicroStrategy used its bitcoin holdings to buy more crypto.

Even as the price of bitcoin was declining, MicroStrategy continued buying the crypto and took a loan out against its current bitcoin holdings to buy more.

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In an interview with Reason.com, Saylor said he believes bitcoin is “an approximation of a perfect monetary system because it is correct. It has no inflation in it. It's not corruptible because it's decentralized."

Saylor may have convinced Elon Musk to buy bitcoin for Tesla.

Saylor also may have convinced Telsa CEO and billionaire Elon Musk to invest $1.5 billion in bitcoin in March 2021. Saylor responded to a Musk tweet and wrote, “If you want to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the Tesla balance sheet from USD to BTC. Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead, and in time, it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor.”

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When asked in an interview with TIME if his comment influenced Musk’s decision, Saylor said “yes,” but didn’t give any details regarding a possible exchange between the two men.

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Michael Saylor has fallen from the billionaire rank before.

This isn’t the first time Saylor has fallen from the billionaire rank. During the late 1990s, his net worth had grown into the billions through his shares in MicroStrategy. That ended in 2000 when the SEC charged Saylor and two other company executives with inaccurately reporting MicroStrategy’s financial results.

According to a Washington Post article on March 21, 2000, after the SEC filed charges, MicroStrategy announced that its 1999 revenue was significantly less than it previously reported and the company actually had a loss.

The announcement caused a mad rush of investors selling their shares, which resulted in a 62 percent drop in MicroStrategy shares and a $6 billion loss to Saylor’s bottom line, the Post reported.

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