The price of Bitcoin has soared in the past 2 years, rising 1600% in that period, and increasing 600% in the last 12 months alone. At US $4,780 (11th October) a single coin is now worth more than three times an ounce of gold. This rise has prompted analysts to ask themselves – is this sustainable or is bitcoin a bubble that is about to burst spectacularly?
Bitcoin is incredibly volatile – about 18 times more volatile than the U.S. dollar, for example. In part this is because it is new – the first coin was only minted in 2009 – and its possibilities and potential are still being explored. In part, also because it is surrounded by myth and faces a large degree of hostility from some major players in traditional, established financial markets.
Last month JP Morgan boss, Jamie Morgan, for example, called Bitcoin a fraud, and promised to fire any trader at the investment bank who was caught trading the digital currency. Billionaire investor Howard Marks has also made his opposition clear, labelling Bitcoin as nothing but a pyramid scheme.
However, for all the naysayers, Bitcoin also has its passionate advocates, such as Jeremy Liew, the first investor in Snapchat, who predicts Bitcoin will be worth US $500,000 a coin by 20130. Or Chamath Palihapitya, Facebook investor and owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, who told his nearly 70,000 Twitter followers to invest in the cryptocurrency because, Bitcoin is a “defense against value destruction”.
One problem with the valuation of Bitcoin is that it is much harder to determine a fair price for it based on conventional metrics. A stock, for example, is valued by reference to a company’s revenues, profitability, cash flow, assets, state of the order book etc. With Bitcoin, there are no such reference points – it has no obvious intrinsic value but relies on investor sentiment and belief. If people or organisations stopped accepting bitcoins, then the value of the currency would be undermined, and the price would fall.
As such, Bitcoin’s valuation is more susceptible to bad (and good) news and rumour than a traditional currency. For example, the price is depressed by events such as the government crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and the closure of exchanges in China, or news of proposed regulation of digital currencies in Russia or other markets.Media hype can drive the price up – the more stories that appear about the rise in bitcoin’s value, the higher the price goes – or down, when academics or financial journalists predict a crash.
In some ways, Bitcoin is akin to gold, in that there is a finite number of bitcoin – by its very nature, once the last coin has been mined in 2140, there can be no more created – just as the amount of gold held in the world is known and cannot be increased. However, gold has thousands of years’ history behind it as a currency of value, and is a tangible object, familiar to millions in their daily lives. Bitcoin, by comparison, is less than a decade old and, for many, a nebulous, hard-to-grasp concept.
It is difficult to determine if Bitcoin is heading for a crash or set for an inexorable rise in value. On the one hand there is the threat of increasing government regulation, and fears over a speculative bubble. However, opposing that, those very same financial institutions which are against bitcoin are rushing to embrace blockchain, the technology behind the coinage, and are looking to introduce cryptocurrencies of their own.
What can be predicted is that, in the short term at least, investors can continue to expect considerable volatility in the value of their Bitcoin, whilst the long-term future of the digital coinage plays itself out.
Top people and companies who invested in cryptocurrencies
We have taken a time to come up with the list of top Bitcoin/ cryptocurrency investors, please find it below. If you think some of the information is not complete or you have some to add, please do not hesitate to let us know in the comment box.
1. Tim Draper
Well-known venture capitalist Tim Draper emerged as one of the strongest supporters of bitcoin this year, and he certainly put his money where his mouth is. Draper swept the US Marshals’ first auction of Silk Road-confiscated bitcoins in July 2014, winning nearly 30,000 BTC. Draper followed his auction win with a number of investments in bitcoin startups, led Boost VC’s recent Boost Bitcoin Fund 2 and scored another 2,000 BTC in the second US Marshals bitcoin auction earlier this month.
Source: https://www.coindesk.com/10-influential-people-bitcoin-year/ | Img source Wikipedia
2,000 BTC in the second US Marshals bitcoin auction earlier this month.
2. Meyer Malka and Ribbit Capital
Founder of Ribbit Capital, a global venture capital firm who invested directly in bitcoin. IN 2014, Ribbit together with Social + Capital Partnership were reported to control 5% of all the bitcoins. Aside from direct investments in bitcoin, Ribbit has financed at least 5 bitcoin companies.
Text source: Wikipedia | Image source: quora.com
3. Winklevoss Capital (Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss)
The Winklevos twins are American rowers and internet entrepreneurs. They are currently venture capitalists and have led a seed founding round for bitcoin payment processor BitInstant. In April 2013, the brothers claimed they owned nearly 1% of all bitcoin in existence at the time. In 2014, they launched Winkdex, a financial index that tracks the price of bitcoin. The index uses data from seven exhanges , weighted based on the daily trading volume of each exchange. In March 2014, it was announced that the twins had purchased seats on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic shuttle using the profits they had made from bitcoin. In October 2015, Gemini, the twins’ Bitcoin exchange, received approval to launch from the NYSDFS. The exchange is targeted at both first-time users and professional traders.
Cameron Winklevoss Twitter: https://twitter.com/winklevoss
CW Blog: https://angel.co/cameron
CW Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winklevoss/
Tyler Winklevoss Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tylerwinklevoss/
Winklevoss Cap Twitter: https://twitter.com/winklevosscap
Winklevoss Cap Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinklevossCapital
Winklevoss Cap Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinklevossCapital
Source: Wikipedia | Img Source: CNBC.com
Scott and Cyan Bannister
4. American Entrepreneurs and Angel investors.
AngelList crypto investments: https://angel.co/cyantist
Image source: Angel.co
5. Brock Pierce
Pierce is known for his work with Bitcoin and other digital currencies as an advisor, founder, and investor. Pierce has invested in over 30 companies in the blockchain ecosystem, helped raise over $200M for companies he is involved with, is a mentor for startup accelerators and runs a top AngelList syndicate. Piece was elected Director of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2014. His election led several members of the organization to resign, citing allegations that Pierce had been involved in child abuse. Pierce had not been criminally charge and has repeatedly denied the allegations which stem from a 1999 lawsuit. Pierce is a founder, board member and advisor for several Bitcoin companies including GoCoin, Tether, ZenBox, Blade Financial, Expresscoin, Noble Markets, BitGo, Airswap and ChangeTip.
Source: Wikipedia | Img source: LinkedIn
6. Bryan Feinberg – Partner at Large
Bryan Feinberg is a licensed investment banker with a focus on raising capital for both startup and growth stage technology companies. He is currently developing a fully FINRA compliant private placement and research engine for the private security marketplace. The company is currently tracking 250+ Blockchain centric companies along with most of the coveted billion dollar unicorns. With over 15 years of Venture experience in the both the private and public sectors, he brings an extensive network of both institutional and strategic investors to every deal he is involved in. Specialties include: Capital Raising, Secondary Private Equity, Venture Capital, JOBS Act Compliance, Investment Banking, Fintech, Blockchain, Big Data, Analytics, Regulatory Reporting and XBRL.
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/110051870714162456826
Personal website: www.lumatrack.com
Text source http://www.the-blockchain.com/staff/ | Image source http://www.the-blockchain.com/team/bryan-feinberg/
7. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert has been one of the most active angel investors in Bitcoin to date. He is the Founder of Digital Currency Group, a company that focuses on developing Bitcoin infrastructure by investing, starting, and growing companies in the Bitcoin space. He has injected funds into over 40 Bitcoin-related startups through via his Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., with investments in such companies as BitGo, BitPay, BitPagos, BitPesa, Chain, Circle, Coinbase, Gyft, Kraken, Ripple, TradeBlock, Unocoin, Keza, and Bitwala. Silbert is also responsible for launching the Bitcoin Investment Trust, whose shares under the ticker GBTC are the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of bitcoin. BIT gives investors the chance to benefit from bitcoin price movement through a traditional investment vehicle, without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping bitcoins.
Text source: Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/top-10-influential-people-bitcoin/ |Image source: twitter
8. Patrick Byrne
Often referred to as “Bitcoin Messiah” and the “Scourge of Wall Street” in the press, Patrick Byrne is the CEO of e-retailer giant Overstock.com and has always been an unconventional figure in the corporate world. His company was the first major retailer to accept bitcoin as payment long before Microsoft and Dell, and Byrne has been an active proponent of the cryptocurrency since. He is a firm believer that Wall Street will be forced to accept Bitcoin technology faster than most people think. “If you’re working in this world of Bitcoin and Wall Street, there’s going to be a lot of haters. But there’s such incentives for somebody to defect and join us,” he told the crowd at the 2015 blockchain conference in San Diego. “And I think you’re going to see that happen in 2016 en masse. And once it starts happening, it’s going to happen quickly.” The CEO is also responsible for launching T0, a company that aims to revolutionize the financial industry with blockchain technology, “making transactions more equitable, transparent and accessible to all market participants.” Just recently, however, Byrne announced that he will be taking a leave of absence due to a medical condition, causing many experts to wonder if this will slow the adoption of blockchain technology.
Text Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/top-10-influential-people-bitcoin/ | Img source: zurb.com
9. Roger Ver
Roger Ver was the first person in the world to start investing in Bitcoin startups, helping fund the seed rounds for the entire first generation of Bitcoin businesses, almost solely by himself. Also known in the community as “Bitcoin Jesus,” Ver believes that Bitcoin technology is the perfect fit for voluntaryism, the idea that all human interactions should be by mutual consent, or not at all.
In 2011, his company, Memorydealers, became the first mainstream company to start accepting bitcoin as payment. He also launched Bitcoinstore.com, the first website in the world that accepted bitcoin as payment and. Later, Ver created Bitcoinbountyhunter.com, which rewards people for helping catch cyber criminals in the Bitcoin space. He has been a vocal critic of online Bitcoin community censorship on reddit, offering his own censorship-free alternative to discuss cryptocurrency related topics.
Recently, Ver issued a $100,000 USD challenge to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. If he agrees to debate Iraq veteran and anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, Ver will split $100,000 USD between Sanders and Kokesh, donating $50,000 USD each to a charity of their choice.
Text source: Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/top-10-influential-people-bitcoin/ |Image source: rogerver.com