According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Facebook’s early backers has been buying millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. Peter Thiel is one of the co-founders of PayPal and was an early bird investor in the social network Facebook before it became the global giant it is today.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Peter Thiel’s investment vehicle, Founders Fund, purchased somewhere in the region of $15 to $20 million of Bitcoin. The venture capital firm told its investors that Bitcoin’s remarkable 2017 performance, which saw record surges in value, had made Founders Fund holdings in the cryptocurrency now worth hundreds of millions.
The WSJ report coincided with the price of Bitcoin rising by 13.5 percent to just over the $15,000 per unit mark, with the trading of Bitcoin futures on the CBOE temporarily halted.
Volatile End To 2017
Although Bitcoin had a shaky end to 2017, losing half its value in the space of a month, the overall gains have been spectacular. The leading cryptocurrency increased in value by 1,375 percent, rocketing from a value of $1000 in January 2017 to $14,292 on the year’s final day of trading, Friday 29th December.
When speaking at an event in October of last year, Thiel had warned that some were “underestimating” the strength and importance of Bitcoin, and joined others in comparing the cryptocurrency to gold. He predicted that if Bitcoin did “end up being the cyber-equivalent of gold” it would have a great deal of potential growth still to come, with its value continuing to multiply for several years.
Bitcoin Live Chart
Founders Fund was also reported by the Journal to have warned investors that historically high valuations of private tech companies had made investing in them as risky and dangerous as ever.
Another venture capitalist who has bet and won big on Bitcoin is Tim Draper, who bought up approximately 30,000 bitcoins at a 2014 U.S. Marshals Service auction, and confirmed to in December that he was still holding all of those coins. According to information compiled by analytics company PitchBook Data, during 2017 venture capital investors ploughed over $1 billion into backing cryptocurrency startups.