The price of bitcoin is already rising to start 2018, and a notorious Silicon Valley mega-investor is likely behind. Peter Thiel reportedly decided that bitcoin was at least as intriguing an investment as harvesting the blood of young people, resurrecting woolly mammoths, and supporting Donald Trump.
A the Wall Street newspaper A story published Tuesday reports that the Thiel Founders Fund-backed venture capital firm holds hundreds of millions of dollars in blockchain-based cryptocurrency. Thiel’s controversial record – which also includes funding for the destruction of onlooker and ethically dubious herpes research – has made him the most polarizing figure in Silicon Valley, but his investment track record is strong enough that news of his bitcoin bet was enough to drive his value up. sharply.
Founders Firm is the most traditional investor to yet reveal their bitcoin bet. It comes after weeks in which bitcoin’s meteoric rise saw significant reversals, with the cryptocurrency approaching highs of $ 20,000 before losing nearly half of its value. This volatility – along with South Korea’s announcement at the end of December that it would start to more strictly regulate cryptocurrency transactions – is part of the reason why Wall Street has kept the asset soaring at arm’s length. Thiel’s move may be enough of a spark to change the math for other potential investors.
As of this writing, bitcoin has gained around $ 1,000 in value since the the Wall Street newspaper the story was uploaded at 1:23 a.m. Eastern Time. The cryptocurrency already seemed to be edging up in the last few hours, having gained around $ 500 in the morning, but the incremental gains turned into an increase as Founders Firm’s activities went public.
The report states that Founders Firm initially bought between $ 15 million and $ 20 million in cryptocurrency. For the investment to now be valued at hundreds of millions, Thiel’s company would likely have acquired bitcoin in late 2016 or early 2017, before its meteoric rise in the second half of last year.
The company’s bet puts bitcoin in the same wallet as Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, and Lyft, which is one hell of a good company to keep as technology investments grow. The the Wall Street newspaper The report says Thiel was personally involved in the decision to buy bitcoin, a move the company hopes to help pay to fund a sufficiently large number of high-risk startups.
This investment does not make Founders Firm the largest holder of bitcoin. This honor would belong to Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The twin tech entrepreneurs made a smaller initial investment of $ 11 million, but the fact that they did so four years ago when bitcoin was only worth $ 120 means they are being considered like the world’s first bitcoin billionaires.
Yet the stature of Founders Firm necessarily casts a huge shadow over the cryptocurrency and its future. If 2017 was the year that bitcoin’s value exploded, 2018 should be the year that investors and governments are forced to grapple with this unprecedented asset. The public revelation of Thiel’s big bet has likely just shortened the countdown to when that public account with bitcoin will arrive, and his support may help the odds for the cryptocurrency as it moves further into the world. main stream.