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Billionaire Investor Peter Thiel Is Doubling Down On Bitcoin – Here’s Why

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors have been struggling this year to both justify past crypto investments and make new ones.

The bitcoin price, under pressure from the likes of Facebook’s libra project and the ever-present threat of a regulatory crackdown, soared in the first six months of the year only to fall back again.

Some investors have not been put off by bitcoin’s roller-coaster year, however, with billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel among new backers of Layer1, a renewable energy-focused bitcoin mining operation based in San Francisco.

This week, Layer1 revealed it has raised $50 million at a $200 million valuation from Thiel, Shasta Ventures and other undisclosed bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors, adding to a previous $2.1 million seed round that included Thiel, as well as venture capital company Digital Currency Group.

Layer1 is aiming to challenge the perceived wisdom that bitcoin mining the in the U.S. will not be able to compete with regions such as China, where some 60% of bitcoin mining operations are currently located, with some research suggesting that number could be even higher.

Layer1, which has pivoted to renewable energy bitcoin mining from a previous focus on the development of programmable money and store-of-value applications, wants to bring wind-powered bitcoin mining rigs to West Texas by early next year.

“According to industry research, over 60% of bitcoin’s hash rate and 100% of bitcoin hardware production are located in China,” Layer1’s cofounder and chief executive Alexander Liegl wrote in a blog post announcing the fresh funding.

“Less than 5% of bitcoin’s hashrate and 0% of hardware production are located in the United States.”

China dominates not only bitcoin mining but also the manufacture of computer chips and other equipment needed for the process.

Bitcoin mining uses huge amounts of electricity to both fuel the powerful computers required and keep them cool, making hotter climates in developed nations less appealing.

“The future of bitcoin mining lies in the heart of the United States: Texas,” Liegl wrote.

“This is where world-class electricity prices, friendly regulation, and an abundance of renewable energy sources meet. It is here that we are rapidly scaling our mining operations to bring as much hash rate as possible back to the United States.”

Layer1 has been buying up land in Texas to build its own electricity substations and is creating its own processing chips with a Beijing-based semiconductor company as it puts together its mining machine infrastructure.

Renewable energy bitcoin mining is being used by others around the world, with Germany-listed Northern Bitcoin mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies deep within a Norwegian former metal mine using hydroelectric power and natural cooling.

However, there have been previous failed attempts to bring large-scale bitcoin mining to North America.

Earlier this month, Virginia-based bitcoin mining firm BCause Mining filed for bankruptcy after pledging to invest $65 million in to its U.S. business in 2018.

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

 

Source: Billionaire Investor Peter Thiel Is Doubling Down On Bitcoin—Here’s Why

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Recorded on September 5, 2019. Peter Robinson opens the show by asking Thiel’s views on his own essay “The Straussian Moment.” (Essay link: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s542/c… responds by saying that people today believe in the power of the will but no longer trust the power of the intellect, the mind, and rationality. The question of human nature has been abandoned. We no longer trust people’s ability to think through issues. Thiel notes that this shift began to take place in 1969, when the United States put a man on the moon; three weeks later Woodstock took place, moving the culture in the direction of yoga and psychological retreat. Thiel further adds that there was still hope that things would open up for the world in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, but that the leaders of China and other East Asian countries did not accept that openness would solve their problems. Instead they learned the opposite lessons from those events: that if you open things up too much, then things fall apart. Thiel ends the interview by noting that there is nothing automatic or deterministic about how history happens, and he expresses his views that economic growth plays a vital role in a country’s future. For further information: https://www.hoover.org/publications/u… Interested in exclusive Uncommon Knowledge content? Check out Uncommon Knowledge on social media! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UncKnowledge/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/UncKnowledge/ Instagram: https://instagram.com/uncommon_knowle…

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Borderless Investing: Eduardo Saverin And Raj Ganguly Grow B Capital

Eduardo Saverin and Rajarshi “Raj” Ganguly are two of the three cofounders of B Capital Group, a venture capital firm with close to $800 million, split between a first and a second fund (still being raised). The third cofounder is legendary investor Howard Morgan. Brazilian Saverin, 37, is based in Singapore and best known for being the cofounder of Facebook – whose shares in it give him a net worth estimated at about $10 billion.

Americans Ganguly, 43, and Morgan, 73, come from diverse backgrounds. Ganguly, based in Los Angeles, spent his early career at Bain Capital, overseeing a number of investments. Morgan, based in New York, helped start ARPAnet, the internet’s precursor, in the 1970s, and later was president of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.

B Capital has dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Singapore, as well as offices in New York and San Francisco, with a total of 40 full-time staff. B Capital focuses on companies already in series B or C rounds, generally over $10 million in revenue, and looks to invest roughly $20 million. The trio would like to keep the total number of companies in each fund to about 20.

The firm has the slogan “innovation without borders,” reflecting the founders’ belief that innovation can originate anywhere, not just in Silicon Valley. B Capital also uses global consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help it grow startups and match them with larger firms. Saverin and Ganguly sat down with Forbes Asia in an exclusive interview in September at Singapore’s Shangri-La hotel to discuss their goals for B Capital.

Today In: Asia

Forbes Asia: How are you deploying your capital into startups?

Eduardo Saverin: Primarily we focus on companies that have an existing level of traction. There are a lot of places where you could invest in technology, but you need to have an edge and focus. For us, together with our relationship with BCG, it’s about accelerating growth. Most companies we invest in have a B2B angle. When the company is still an idea on a napkin, it’s hard for us to introduce them to some of the largest companies in the world. So we tend to invest where there’s a particular amount of value that we can bring through those corporate introductions and value acceleration, which means they tend to translate to series B and beyond. But frankly the staging is fungible. It’s about traction.

Raj Ganguly: As we build the firm we want to be really conscious of being able to invest into some companies really early, probably smaller amounts of capital, and as some of those companies scale and grow, we want to bring larger amounts of capital to those companies. Then finally for some of the companies that really continue to go into highly accelerated growth mode, we would actually not just double-down, but we would take outsized ownership stakes. As we’re growing the capital, we’re increasing our ability to invest across multiple stages. The best use of our capital, rather than finding a new investment, is finding a company in our portfolio where we can see the trajectory of the company before an outsider can see it.

What is the value-add you want to bring to your entrepreneurs?

Ganguly: We focus on doing three things really well ourselves and then partnering with BCG and others for everything else. We focus on helping make introductions and really helping get that growth flywheel going. The second part is we are focused on hiring key C-level talents into companies once we invest into them. We find that every single time we make an investment, if we can help them with one or two better hires on the margin, it fundamentally changes the direction of the company. And third, we help them raise strategic capital. We think, while it’s great to have other venture capital firms and folks like that, there are so many large enterprises sitting on over $1 trillion of capital and many of them want to invest and partner with startups. They could be much more strategic in the capital and the value that they bring.

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Juliana Tan for Forbes Asia

Can you give an example of this value-add to a portfolio company?Saverin: One of our early investments was in a company in the clinical trials space called Evidation Health. It’s a perfect example of a business where they can develop all the technologies that they would like. The truth is, success will come from adoption of virtual clinical trials from the largest pharma companies in the world. When we first met the business, it was working with a lot of smaller biotech firms, which are the traditional early adopters of such technologies. But leveraging our partnerships, including BCG, we had a chance to meet with some of the largest pharma companies in the world.

Through those discussions we understood that, unlike traditional tech innovation cycles where things over time get a little bit cheaper and faster, in the pharma world, you were seeing kind of a reverse innovation cycle where it was getting more expensive and taking longer to get to market.

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Juliana Tan for Forbes Asia

And one of the largest pharma companies in the world took one of their existing trials that they had already done, and then just replicated it through a virtual standpoint, and saw both the speed, the cost effectiveness, and the depth of the data. That gave us conviction to invest, because we knew there was a real appetite for experimentation. Today, that business has most of the largest pharma companies in the world as customers. Some of them have become investors.

Ganguly: It just announced, a few weeks ago, a landmark partnership in dementia with Apple and Eli Lilly. We’ve been a part of helping make some of those connections.

What’s unique about B Capital’s approach to investments?

Ganguly: There are four key parts of our model. It’s about global thematic investing, one single team leveraging global data. It’s about deep local expertise in each market that we invest in. It’s about being the single highest value-add investor in every company and having the capital through partnerships with our investors and through our own capital to fund the growth of these companies as they scale. Our risk model is a lower risk model than early stage, which is about investing in ideas on a napkin, and having one of 20 companies that you know will drive your whole returns. Our model is about backing companies that have customer traction, that have a founding team that has high potential. We are looking for large potential customers and large potential partnerships that further mitigate risks. We believe our approach has upside because we’re investing in companies that are growing at 100% plus a year.

Saverin: The VC game is an information edge game. You need to leverage it not just in the first investment, but across the lifecycle of the company. Our model is about rolling up our sleeves and getting deeply involved, where entrepreneurs want us to, and where we can tremendously add value.

You believe in innovation without borders, can you expand on that idea?

Saverin: Companies are becoming global increasingly by design. There’s no border to where innovation can be received and used. Whether you start a company in Silicon Valley or in Africa or any part of the world, there really is the increasing impetus to go beyond your existing borders. When you start thinking about the evolution of innovation, some of it is the enablers, including the engineering talent. When you go to Silicon Valley, that’s actually one of the hardest places in the world to get engineering talent because of the massive competition. In other parts of the world you can ask is there enough raw talent, even though it’s not as competitive? So we’ll see a broader equalization. It would be hard for me to believe that as tech enablement becomes a big part of much larger industries, that all that innovation will come from one place. If that were to happen, I’d do anything I can to change it because the truth is the whole world is consuming technology.

What opportunities do you see in Southeast Asia?

Ganguly: We understood early that e-commerce was being inhibited in the region because e-commerce companies had to do their own delivery. That’s what really convinced us that we wanted to invest in all the picks and shovels around e-commerce, but no longer invest in e-commerce, or at least not focus on e-commerce. So today we’re investors in Ninja Van, BlackBuck, Mswipe and Bizongo, all companies that enable e-commerce.

Given WeWork’s pulled IPO, have valuations gotten overdone?

Ganguly: Where we are in the cycle and when it changes, that’s not our business. We don’t time the market, but we fundamentally take a long-term perspective. There are times when you’re in a cycle and you have to pay a little bit more for that. But if you have the right time horizon, we think it’s still far better to do that than to be looking for value plays where you’re looking at the second- or third- or fourth-best company. We always say that you might sleep better if you have a value play, but you won’t sleep very well when you exit because the valuation differential is even more stark when you exit a lower-tier player. It used to be that you were forced to go public because you had to pay out early investors. That’s no longer the case. You can now continue to stay private, and have access to very large amounts of private capital. Your early investors can cash out because later stage investors are willing to buy them out. There’s a very active secondary market. What’s changed is I think there’s no longer this belief that going public is something that you have to do. There are a lot of questions about whether going public drives long-term value. While it’s worked for some companies, it hasn’t worked for others.

What would be the process if a portfolio company might fit with Facebook?

Saverin: We are trying to facilitate introductions with any enabler, hopefully a win-win on both sides. So Facebook of course would be part of that equation, and parts of its strategy that converge with some of our focus areas, especially in financial services. Many companies will already have some type of relationship with Facebook, given where Facebook is today, through WhatsApp or otherwise. The innovation ecosystem touches Facebook all the time, so it’s just a question of extent.

Where is B Capital going to be in 10 years?

Saverin: That’s an important question. I usually think about it in two ways. We are incredibly ambitious, and we want to have an institution that will outlive us, so we are always thinking of the very long term. One thing I say every single day, whether in our partner meetings, or when we speak to our entrepreneurs, is to always push focus. Focus on what you’re doing today, that’s how you’re going to get to a bigger vision ten years from now, and even a vision well past our lifetimes. But at a really top level what I want us to do is to enable technology to get into the hands of consumers faster by leveraging the existing distribution networks of the largest companies in the world. Push intrapreneurship, it doesn’t necessarily need that push, but enable them to not only think of disruption but a positive win-win transformation. It’s not about the top ten tech companies that will take over a market by themselves, but the enablement of every company in the world with technology in collaborative innovation.

What do you mean by collaborative innovation?

Saverin: This is a really high-level idea, that can be seen in the platform technologies, such as Facebook, WeChat and others. They have created massive innovation acceleration by enabling other businesses to come on top of their platforms to gain distribution and engagement. What we are looking for is a win-win using the distribution assets of the largest companies in the world to ultimately get API-ed to the innovation ecosystem. If we get even 0.5% of the way in driving that, we will be doing the right thing for ten years from now. I think it’s not always a success when a startup out-innovates and massively disrupts a big company, when it could have leveraged a big company’s distribution, the licenses, the regulatory know-how, and so on, so that consumers could get the advantages of technology much faster.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: Borderless Investing: Eduardo Saverin And Raj Ganguly Grow B Capital

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Eduardo Saverin, Co-Founder, Facebook & Co-Founder at B Capital Group alongside Raj Ganguly, Co-Founder at B Capital Group discuss how global trends in innovation and venture capital can be leveraged to benefit entrepreneurs beyond Silicon Valley. Fore more news and insights visit SuperReturn365: https://goo.gl/9nEbXA

 

The U.S. Government Tried To Shut Down Bitcoin

Bitcoin conspiracy theorists have long suspected the U.S. government, among others, would like to shut down bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s first decade has seen its price explode, making early adopters overnight millionaires, and prompting some of the world’s biggest technology companies to create their own versions of bitcoin.

Now, it’s been revealed federal prosecutor-turned bitcoin and cryptocurrency expert Katie Haun was asked to look into “shutting down” bitcoin by her boss at the U.S. attorney’s office in 2012.

“They said ‘we have this perfect assignment for you’–there’s this thing called bitcoin and we need to investigate it,” Haun told CNBC in a wide-ranging interview, adding a colleague asked her to take down bitcoin.

“That was the first time I’d ever heard of bitcoin.”

Over the next few years Haun would go on to sit on the board of U.S. bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and teach a class on cryptocurrency at Stanford Law School.

Today In: Money

Any serious attempt made by the U.S. Department of Justice to shut down bitcoin inevitably came to naught, with Haun saying, “it would have been akin to saying ‘let’s go prosecute cash.'”

Haun, who is now the first female general partner at U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and co-heads its $350 million cryptocurrency fund, has worked closely with social media giant Facebook in development of its troubled libra cryptocurrency project.

U.S. government opposition to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has become far more transparent since Donald Trump entered the White House.

Earlier this year, U.S. president Trump sent shockwaves throughout the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry when he tweeted a vicious attack on Facebook’s bitcoin rival plans, branding it and bitcoin “unregulated crypto assets.”

Others in the U.S. government were quick to tow the line, with U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin adding his voice to the assault on bitcoin, Facebook’s planned Libra crypto project, and other cryptocurrencies, warning they pose a “national security” risk to the country.

Elsewhere, Apple chief executive Tim Cook has warned companies against creating their own cryptocurrencies.

“What we heard with libra were the same criticisms [I’d first heard about bitcoin]” Haun said.

“They were just heightened and they got more attention because of the high-profile nature of the project and the fact that Facebook was involved. I think it would be a really dangerous thing, and frankly a dangerous precedent to start shutting down technology before it’s built.”

Facebook’s libra has been under fire over the last week, with internet payments company PayPal, one of the Libra Association’s founding members, suddenly pulling out of the group on Friday.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive, had hoped to work with global regulators to clear libra’s path to launch in June 2020 but appears to have underestimated the level of opposition to the scheme.

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: The U.S. Government Tried To Shut Down Bitcoin

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Something Very Strange Is Going On With Bitcoin And BTC Google Searches

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices are well known to be closely tied to media and general public interest–-though that could be changing.

The bitcoin price has been climbing so far this year, rising some 200% since January, though has recently plateaued at around $10,000 per bitcoin after peaking at more than $12,000 in June.

Now, it appears Google searches for bitcoin and BTC, the name used by traders for the bitcoin digital token, could be being manipulated–-possibly in order to move the bitcoin price.

Source: Something Very Strange Is Going On With Bitcoin And BTC Google Searches

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‘Extreme’ Bitcoin Warning Spooks Crypto Market

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency traders and investors are nervously watching prices after market sentiment appeared to take a turn for a worse, dropping to its lowest level since December 2018.

The bitcoin price has been hovering around $10,000 per bitcoin for a few weeks, with many hoping bitcoin was becoming a safe haven from turbulent markets.

Bitcoin and crypto investors are worried, however, with the Crypto Fear and Greed Index showing “extreme fear,” and earlier this week dropping to a 244-day low last seen when bitcoin crashed to around $3,000.

The fear index hit an all-time high in late June as excitement around Facebook’s plans for its bitcoin rival reached fever pitch but has since dived as regulators signal their dissatisfaction with the social media giant.

“The current regulatory roadblock on Facebook’s plans for its digital token has dimmed down investor sentiment for cryptocurrencies,” said Christel Quek, chief commercial officer at Bolt Global, a cryptocurrency wallet provider and entertainment company.

The fear index is currently showing a reading of 20, but earlier this week dropped as low as 11 after falling sharply throughout August.

Since the index hit its year-to-date lows, the bitcoin price has fallen a further 2%, while the overall cryptocurrency market has seen more than $30 billion wiped from it over the last week.

Meanwhile, the bitcoin price dropped below the psychological $10,000 per bitcoin mark this week, further worrying traders and investors.

Some in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry pointed out the wider cryptocurrency market has declined along with the bitcoin price.

“Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies including litecoin, ethereum and Ripple’s XRP have declined [this week], weighed down by concerns of a slowing economy,” Quek added.

The fear index, created by website and software comparison company Alternative.me, calculates the index’s value daily on a scale of 0 to 100 using volatility, market volume, social media, survey, dominance, and trends. Zero means “extreme fear,” while 100 means “extreme greed.”

Follow me on Twitter.

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: ‘Extreme’ Bitcoin Warning Spooks Crypto Market

Bitcoin (BTC) Poised to Dump on Crypto Suckers, Says Veteran Stockbroker – Plus Ripple and XRP, Ethereum, Tron, EOS, Litecoin, Augur

 

Image result for Bitcoin (BTC) Poised to Dump on Crypto Suckers

From gold bulls dissing Bitcoin to the new Captain America pledging his allegiance to Litecoin, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of crypto.

Bitcoin

Veteran stockbroker and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, says he expects Bitcoin’s 132% rally in 2019 to reverse. In a new debate with Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, Schiff called Bitcoin an elaborate pump-and-dump scheme for suckers.

“The air is already coming out of this bubble, right? The peak of market was at $20,000. And so that was a blow-off speculative mania when they launched the Bitcoin futures and everything rose. So now, we’re in a bear market. And in a bear market, you always have rallies. That’s what bear markets do. They try to sucker in the bulls. You have these false rallies. We’re having one now.

But initially, a lot of people got suckered into this pump-and-dump scheme because they heard all the stories about the young kids who took their bar mitzvah money and now they bought a Lambo. And everybody thinks they’re going to get rich because they think these kids were geniuses when all they did is get lucky because they bought Bitcoin and then the price went up.

So there’s a lot of stories about people who got rich because they got in. Well, pretty soon it’s mostly going to be stories about people who lost their life savings because they put real money instead of play money into Bitcoin. And when you have the horror stories outnumber those positive stories, the brand is going to be tarnished. I don’t think you’re going to have a bunch of young kids rushing to buy Bitcoin because they’re going to know how much money their friends lost because they bought it.”

In response, Silbert points to financial giants like Fidelity that are now joining the industry to sell Bitcoin to institutional investors. Silbert says he believes Bitcoin – and the growth of the cryptocurrency industry at large – is very real, and will push the price of BTC higher in the long run.  

“I think investors are hearing the gold argument and they’re hearing about the scenario where it performs well when things are going not so well in the world. And I would argue, given that Bitcoin has all the same characteristics as gold – scarce, finite, portable, highly divisible – I think it has a lot more utility. Arguably Bitcoin would perform well in that environment that Peter’s describing.

But Bitcoin, and more importantly, the community and the industry that is being built, the thousands of companies that have been launched over the past five year, the tens of thousands of jobs that have been created – the real innovation that’s happening – I assure you, is going to propel the Bitcoin price higher. Because it will generate real innovation in a world of economic growth, where gold will only perform well if the shit hits the fan…

What I think gold bugs don’t appreciate, is there is a generational shift in investor mindset that’s happening. Over the next 25 years, $68 trillion of wealth is going to be handed down from Boomers, Gen X, Gen Ys and Millennials. And I can assure you that the younger generation of investors, many of you here apparently agree with this, don’t view gold the same way that our parents and grandparents did.

We did not grow up under the gold standard. We did not grow up during a time of war, so as that $68 trillion gets handed down, it is not going to stay in gold. Now, is whatever is in gold right now all going to go to Bitcoin? No, of course not. But gold is an $8 trillion market cap asset class. Bitcoin’s $100 billion. So a lot has to go right or frankly, in Peter’s view, a lot has to go wrong for an $8 trillion asset class to jump in price. And $100 billion for Bitcoin, it really does not take a lot for Bitcoin to outperform gold over the next 10 years.”

Ethereum, EOS, Tron

Decentralized apps (DApps) on the EOS network continue to outpace those on Ethereum and Tron. According to DappReview, $25.2 million worth of EOS flowed through DApps on the network in the last 24 hours, with 125,600 active users.

Meanwhile, 48,600 users spent $14.6 million worth of TRX on Tron-based DApps, while 18,700 users spent $9 million ETH on Ethereum-based DApps.

Ripple and XRP 

Ripple continues to hire new employees around the globe. The company is now looking for an operations associate for Xpring, Ripple’s XRP development and fundraising arm. The position is in San Francisco. At time of writing, the start-up has a total of 62 open positions, including eight with Xpring.

Litecoin

In an interview with Vanity Fair, actor Anthony Mackie, who will assume the role of Captain America in future Marvel movies, says he checks his Litecoin app every day.

“I don’t trust Bitcoin. Litecoin forever.”

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community

DoorDash Is Now Worth $12.6 Billion After New $600 Million Investment

The investor feeding frenzy around food-delivery startups hasn’t stopped. Just three months after raising $400 million, DoorDash confirmed it has closed another $600 million with New York City hedge fund Darsana Capital Partners leading the round. That’s an extra billion in its war chest so far this year, and half of the total of $2 billion raised for the San Francisco startup since its founding in 2013. The new funding round increases DoorDash’s post-money valuation from $7 billion to $12.6 billion, according to cofounder and CEO Tony Xu.

“This allows us to pull forward the future sooner,” Xu tells Forbes. “It’s helpful to raise capital, especially when the macroclimate seems to be a bit choppy.”

That external turbulence has shaken some of DoorDash’s competitors in what’s already a cutthroat market. Tensions around U.S. and China trade talks have put the markets in a precarious state, affecting stock in publicly traded Grubhub (2018 revenue: $1 billion). Postmates, which announced that it had confidentially filed to go public in February, still has not made its filings public or started an IPO roadshow. Uber’s public debut in early May was disappointing. Shares are trading below its initial pricing. But Xu isn’t shaken, even after seeing Uber or other consumer tech IPOs falter in the public markets. “The short answer is that it hasn’t had an impact on how we thought about our business or how we’ve thought about our future,” Xu says.

Investors clearly haven’t been spooked, either. Last week, Amazon announced it was leading a $575 million in London-based Deliveroo, bringing its total funding to $1.5 billion.

“Capital accrues to the winners in markets that people think are growing,” says Sequoia’s Alfred Lin, a board member whose firm has invested in every round since the Series A. “You don’t just get money because lots of money is in the system.”

Three years ago, it didn’t look like DoorDash would become the delivery darling. In 2016, DoorDash raised a down funding round, after investors lowered the share price. and a slew of other delivery startups failed in the months following. That’s changed, and now DoorDash’s market share has surpassed Postmates and Uber Eats in the U.S. (Uber Eats operates internationally and did $1.48 billion in revenue in 2018 globally.)

“There’s no doubt that this a competitive environment,” Lin says. “They’ve shown that they can come from behind and win.”

DoorDash now has an extra $600 million in firepower to continue gaining market share in the U.S. and Canada, the only two markets in which it operates. Xu won’t disclose revenues (and his company still isn’t profitable), but he says the company’s gross bookings run rate in March was on pace for $7.5 billion, which indicates gross bookings in March were around $625 million. The Information previously reported the company planned to raise capital. In addition to Darsana, new investor Sands Capital and existing investors Coatue Management, Dragoneer, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Softbank Vision Fund and Temasek Capital Management also participated.

Xu says the money won’t be going into fueling a price war with its rivals. He’d rather focus on market expansion and what he calls DoorDash’s next billion-dollar business, DoorDash Drive, which delivers for businesses like Walmart.

“Our growth has not come on the back of any discounts,” he said. “I think that’s why investors have continued to approach us in an excessive fashion since the beginning of 2018.”

Click here for details on how to send Biz information anonymously. Follow her on Twitter at @bizcarson or email her at bcarson[at]forbes.com.

I’m a San Francisco-based staff writer for Forbes with a focus on Uber, the sharing economy, and startups.

Source: DoorDash Is Now Worth $12.6 Billion After New $600 Million Investment

Tim Draper Believes Bitcoin Will Grab 5% of the Earth’s Market Share

While Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are focused on Mars, billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper has his feet firmly planted on the ground. Draper might appear to have his head stuck in the clouds with a lofty $250,000 bitcoin price prediction. But from what he tells Fox Business, the early bitcoin investor isn’t stargazing:

“I’m a believer that in four years, something like that, bitcoin will be about a 5% market share of the earth.”

Draper’s Bitcoin War Chest is a Cool $189 Million

He pointed to bitcoin’s best features such as decentralization, transparency, and simply being a better currency than fiat. Draper was an early bitcoin investor, having purchased 30,000 BTC when the price was hovering at $632 per coin. He points out that the investment is worth 10x that amount today, and he’s got no doubt that it’s going much higher.

Draper envisions a future in which bitcoin further disrupts the venture capital business model.

“I eventually want to have a fund where I take in bitcoin and I fund everybody in bitcoin and they pay their employees and suppliers in bitcoin. And then I pay my investors in bitcoin. Because I would then require no acounting, no legal, no bookeeeping, no custody. It would all be done.”

Considering that transactions would be recorded on the blockchain, all relevant participants would be able to see everything. Tim is a big fan of bitcoin but he keeps an open mind about other cryptocurrencies, too. Though he does expect that the number of coins will be whittled down to only the best projects.

Tim Draper has a $250,000 price target on bitcoin. | Source: CoinMarketCap

Tim Draper on Facebook

Everyone knows Facebook is pursuing a $1 billion fund for its new stablecoin, and Draper has been linked to discussions with the company about the initiative. Incidentally, the gloves came off on one of Facebook’s founding members earlier this week, with Chris Hughes calling for the breakup of Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Draper isn’t buying into it.

“If the shareholders will benefit somehow by a breakup, then sure go ahead and do it. But the idea that he has all this centralized power…I think he’s just building a business and it’s a great business. And there are plenty of competitors to him out there. And I’m very pleased that he’s done so well.”

If his tone is any indication, perhaps we will be hearing about a VC investment into Zuckerberg’s new blockchain project.

Meanwhile, the bitcoin price is currently hovering at $6,379. It’s a far cry from Tim Draper’s $250,000 target but if he’s right and it captures 5% of the earth’s market share, the moon will seem a lot closer than it does today.

Source: Tim Draper Believes Bitcoin Will Grab 5% of the Earth’s Market Share

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