One of the most curious things about the rise of cryptocurrencies is people’s response to well-known investors’ actions. The argument goes: if So-And-So is investing in cryptocurrencies, they must be legit.
Now, I don’t know whether cryptocurrencies are an economic revolution or an example of human hubris. But what I do know is that in the discussion and trolling around the subject, we end up confusing actual risk with the appearance of risk.
An investor is a risk manager. It’s their job to create a portfolio of investment that mitigates downside whilst exposing themselves and their clients to maximum upside. So, investments in or around cryptocurrencies—or any emerging technology, really—aren’t endorsements, but calculated gambles.
Investors put money into emerging technology as part of a portfolio. To them, cryptocurrencies are a low-risk endeavour. If they turn out to be a bubble, they lose a definite amount of money which is non-fatal. If they turn out to be a revolutionary, disruptive tech that remakes the world, they get their share of the inevitable spoils.
We should keep this in mind when we consider the deeds of prominent people with vast resources; not all actions are endorsements. Some are just calculated risks.