Some partners with venture firms argue that directly buying bitcoin would have been a smarter move than investing in the startups, though it seems not to be a traditional venture deal, pointing to the surge in bitcoin value and the fact that it can be traded immediately.
The venture capital firm bought about $15 million to $20 million in bitcoin, and told investors that after bitcoin's surge in the a year ago, those holdings are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the newspaper said. The Journal says the company claims its investment is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Wall Street Journal has earlier reported the firm's bitcoin purchases.
But, bitcoin's future, as its price levels, looks very fragile and volatile.
Bitcoin's price has been a subject of much debate throughout 2017 as it continued its erratic rise and fall, ending the year at $14,000. Bitcoin continues to make global headlines on an nearly daily basis, and Thiel seems to be effectively leveraging that furor.More news: Turkish Banker Convicted of Conspiring to Violate US Sanctions Against Iran
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(Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook.) "Peter has a pretty darn good track record on catching trends", Michael Manuel, president of Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, an organization researching investment activities of government-backed funds, commented on the news on LinkedIn.
When discussing all types of cryptocurrencies, Thiel pointed out: "While I'm skeptical of majority, I do think people are a little underestimating Bitcoin specifically".
"It is like a reserve form of money", Thiel said.
"If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold it has a great potential left", he told reporters at the time.