The Crown Prince of Liechtenstein, Prince Alois, has expressed an interest in investing in cryptocurrencies. Speaking to CNBC, it was apparent from the prince’s comments that no one has been left untouched by bitcoin’s and others’ rampant growth, not even the royalty of the world.
“Particularly with this whole new digital economy, it is something to look more into in the future,” the prince said during an interview on February 2, 2018.
Royal seal of Approval
While it’s true that the royal was speaking more broadly about blockchain technology being a great aid to the state’s administrative capacity, Crown Prince Alois’ words seem the first positive appraisal of cryptocurrency to ever originate from a royal house. Liechtenstein is a postage stamp-sized nation-state in Europe, with a predominantly German-speaking population.
Chatting about the affairs of state and the royal roadmap going forward, the prince said that his family is “looking to invest in other asset classes.”
Not known for their reckless showmanship, the prince did express his understanding of the fact that trading cryptocurrencies was currently “very risky.”
The current ruler of the tiny state of fewer than 40,000 people, Hans-Adam II, is famous for once saying “I work as a businessman in the morning to pay to be prince in the afternoon.”
Although still head of state, in 2004 he essentially handed the daily running of the principality to his son Alois. Liechtenstein’s royals made much of their wealth providing a tax haven for the rich and famous. Not to be confused with the German town Liechtenstein in the federal state of Saxony, Liechtenstein is a landlocked nation-state, bordered by Switzerland and Austria.
Having lost much of their former wealth, particularly an extensive and valuable art collection, following the Second World War, the family has since been repositioning the state as a financial hub in its own right. Alois told CNBC that he felt blockchain technology could be astutely applied to the state’s affairs, while virtual currencies such as bitcoin could provide a route towards his family regaining and enhancing their former estate.
Showing a rather modern approach, he touted cryptocurrencies as an “asset class” that the Royals might invest in to enable a return to former glory days. The Royals’ art collection has been almost fully restored, and the state’s books are in the black; a good time to look around at other investment opportunities, and bitcoin is hard to ignore.
Open to new technology
“Blockchain will change a lot of things, it could even help make our state more efficient [in] the way it is administered,” Crown Prince Alois said. Noting that they were not at a stage where they had enough expertise to enable cryptocurrency investments, with offshore platforms aplenty, that could grow organically over time.
The price of bitcoin has nosedived recently, sitting at almost a third of its heyday value. China, India and other nations are also making ominous statements about regulation or outright bans of cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency is still many, many times more valuable than its now-unimaginable former price of $0.06 from early 2011, and innumerable people all over the world have made small fortunes since 2011 on the back of the coin’s meteoric heights and volatility. That said, it is currently undergoing a rather sharp correction. Investors are watching and keenly anticipating optimistic predictions for undreamed-of heights in 2018.