Peter Thiel Gets the Bitcoin Bug
We recently described in detail what a venture capitalist might see in Bitcoin and it appears that some of that message got through...
Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Interesting news out today in the Bitcoin world. As you may recall, last week I highlighted how the highly respected venture capital firm Union Square Ventures (Fred Wilson, early investor in Twitter) invested in Coinbase. Today we learn that another very high profile investor has plunged into the Bitcoin pool. In this case it’s Peter Thiel, and his investment is in BTC merchant processor Bitpay, a company I have highlighted previously on several occasions. Back in March I noted that the company was putting up mind-boggling growth rate numbers. Incredibly, the tremendous growth rate continues as they added another 1,900 merchants in April and are currently signing up around 100 additional merchants a day. From Coindesk:
Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund is leading a group of investors into funding the merchant services firm BitPay.
BitPay, which offers corporate Bitcoin services, said it had not been looking for funding but the opportunity was too good to turn down.
BitPay founder and CEO Tony Gallippi said: “We raised seed funding in January and February and still had some left so we weren’t looking for money. They approached us, which was a nice surprise because we’d heard that they’d got as far as due diligence with another company in this space. We were really impressed with their experience and energy.”
Asked about yesterday’s action against Dwolla Gallippi said much of the coverage was wrong and once you looked at the actual warrant it was clear it was a very specific problem of non-compliance – “the shell company was not licensed to do what it was doing.”
BitPay claimed 1,900 new merchants signed up in April and it continues to sign up over 100 new customers every day. It is currently processing around $5m of Bitcoin transactions per month.
Joining Founders Fund is ‘Mad Max’ Keiser’s Heisenberg Capital – a London-based fund focussed on Bitcoin investments.
As if all this isn’t enough, there’s additional interesting news on Bitcoin recently, in this case with regard to the partnership between Bitpay and Gyft. This story is getting some mainstream media traction as CNN Money covered it today. The article notes how you can now spend Bitcoins at 50,000 merchants versus 8,000 before this deal. But yeah, BTC is the same as beanie babies…
Full Thiel Bitcoin article here.