While bitcoin started 2018 on a slope, the cryptocurrency has bounced back by over 10 percent from the $13,000 range and is currently trading at above $15,000, partly due to the positive reports coming from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.
Founders Fund is a venture capital firm that was founded in 2005 and has invested $15 to $20 million into bitcoin, which is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a report to investors. The cryptoasset is estimated to be the most valuable element of the fund.
Thiel isn’t new to risk-taking and investing in disruptive technologies, with more than $3 billion under management with stakes in more than 100 companies like Facebook, Airbnb Inc., SpaceX, and Lyft just to name a few.
Thiel also co-founded PayPal Holdings Inc. and made headlines due to being a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, as he currently serves on the President’s technology advisory council. Previously, Thiel ran a multibillion-dollar hedge that focused on global macroeconomic trends which yielded some returns during the Global Financial Crisis but started to rack up losses by investing in havens and failed to participate in the rebound after that.
Hopefully, the gains made thanks to bitcoin’s price surge should more than make up for the losses, and attract further investors to the fund. Speaking of cryptocurrencies at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia during October 2017, Thiel said:
“While I’m skeptical of most of them, I do think people are a little bit underestimating bitcoin, specifically, because it is like a reserve form of money. If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold, it has great potential.”
Founders Fund also has positions in other crypto-oriented investments like Metastable Capital and Polychain Capital, which invests in blockchain companies.
Most of the gain is thanks to bitcoin’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2017, where the cryptocurrency rose to a new all-time high that teased with $20,000, and settled down to around $14,000 for the end of the year, giving bitcoin a performance of approximately 1,400 percent for 2017.
There is no word on when the fund will liquidate their holding, or if they will at all. With other cryptocurrencies having similar surges in value like ether, litecoin, and others, it is uncertain if the fund will diversify into such cryptocurrencies or double down on their position in bitcoin for 2018.