Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a vocal anti-crypto business mogul renowned for his cautious approach to investing in a nascent market like fintech, now seems to have softened his stance on digital assets investments. The billionaire recently dumped a portion of Visa and Mastercard holding and in turn, quietly decided to test exposure to crypto investment.
In a February 14 securities filing, Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate holding company owned by the billionaire, revealed that it had acquired $1 billion worth of Nubank Class A stocks in Q4 2021. In the same context, the industrial conglomerate disclosed selling $1.8 billion and $1.3 billion worth of Visa and MasterCard stocks, respectively.
Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is renowned for his cautious approach to investing in emerging sectors such as the crypto sector. The business mogul had also repeatedly downplayed emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions like Bitcoin (BTC), describing it as an asset that “does not create anything.”
But interestingly, Berkshire’s recent staking in Nubank, the largest fintech bank in Brazil, confirmed that Buffett has indeed softened his stance on fintech lately. His industrial conglomerate seeded another $500 million in July 2021, making returns of $150 million in December 2021 after Nubank’s stock debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Moreover, Buffett’s additional investment confirmed his acknowledgment of the fintech sector and willingness to associate himself with companies offering direct crypto investments. Easynvest, a trading platform that Nubank acquired in September 2020, has been actively offering Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) dubbed QBTC11 since June 2021.
Warren Buffett Seems Willing To Test Fintech And Crypto Sectors
Nubank could use the additional revenue injection to benefit Warren Buffett, despite his past awful views that Bitcoin is “a rat poison squared.”
It is worth noting that crypto-related investments grew more than twofold in 2021. Data acquired from Bloomberg Intelligence confirms that these figures rose from 35 to 80, while their total valuation reached $63 billion from $24 billion at the start of 2021.
Emily Portney, chief financial officer at Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BNY Mellon), anticipates that crypto investment growth trends will continue this year. She further noted that digital assets could become a “meaningful source of revenue” for investment banking firms as Bitcoin investment vehicles become more mainstream.Buy Crypto Now
In the same context, Leah Wald, chief executive crypto-asset manager at Valkyrie Investments, also foresees an increase in capital inflows into crypto-related investment vehicles this year, adding:
“If you look at inflows from a volume perspective, not only has it been steady even with the price corrections that Bitcoin is notoriously famous for, but you’re seeing a lot of institutions jump in.”
Buffett’s Portfolio Now Pales Crypto Green
Although the business mogul is still not convinced to invest in digital assets directly, he has already gained indirect exposure as many companies in his portfolio have already invested in the crypto sector.
In October 2021, U.S. Bancorp, the fifth-largest U.S bank and another stock in the Warren Buffett investment portfolio, launched crypto custody services for its institutional investments managers, citing increased demand from their “fund services clients” over the past five years. Similarly, Bank of America launched a cryptocurrency research initiative, citing growing institutional interests in October 2021.
While commenting about the new filling, Greg Waisman, co-founder, and chief operating officer of crypto wallet service Mercuryo, asserted:
“The Nubank investment can be tagged as Buffett’s way of supporting the fintech/crypto world without taking back his criticisms of the past. Even an indirect exposure is bound to increase the positive sentiment that may push more investors into the space.”