Bitcoin Up, Alts Down; BTC Pumps on Report of Founders Fund Investment

Bitcoin Up, Alts Down; BTC Pumps on Report of Founders Fund Investment

PayPal co-founder and a Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel has made his latest investment - Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was treading above the $15,000 (£11,059) mark on Wednesday, spurred by a press report stating that USA venture capital firm Founders Fund had placed a major bet on the volatile cryptocurrency.

According to research site CoinDesk, bitcoin is trading at US$15,112, after ending 2017 at about US$14,000.

Though the investment amounts to a rounding error for Thiel's Founders Fund firm, which has more than $3 billion under management, it represents a departure from the way most venture investors have approached the bitcoin space. In the hours following the release of the Journal report, the cryptocurrency surged upward in price by almost $1,000 after early trading that had already been on a more modest upward trend.

But despite the volatility, Thiel's fund seems to find Bitcoin a more promising bet than its stated goal of investing that money in startups.

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A spokeswoman from Thiel's Founders Fund has confirmed that the venture firm invested in bitcoin infrastructure companies BitPay, BitGo, Polychain and MetaStable, but declined to comment on the firm's ownership of bitcoin.

As reported by CoinDesk, Thiel was quoted in October of previous year saying he believes the critics of bitcoin are "underestimating" the cryptocurrency and that bitcoin is like gold - meaning it has more potential as a long-term store of value than as an everyday payment method. Bullish outlooks for Bitcoin continued into Wednesday, with prices breaking $15,000 by mid-morning.

NEO, which was breaking its own records today, closing in on $100, also dropped sharply following Bitcoin's rise.

Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler became "bitcoin billionaires" in 2017 when the price of the cryptocurrency surpassed US$11,500. "It's like a reserve form of money, it's like gold-it's just a store of value", he said.

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