Venture capitalist Tim Draper thinks cryptocurrency will grow more than 10x by the end of 2023. He’s not the only crypto mogul who whistles in the dark.
dduring an interview with Forbes in January of this year, venture capitalist Tim Draper made an ambitious prediction: Bitcoin would reach $250,000 within a year. At the time, Bitcoin was worth about $41,000.
“This is the year it’s going to happen,” insisted Draper, who paid $18.7 million at a 2014 US Marshals Service auction for his stash of roughly 30,000 bitcoins (yes, that’s $623 per bitcoin). “By the end of this year or early next year.”
Suffice it to say, Draper’s prediction isn’t coming true. Bitcoin has lost more than half of its value since the beginning of the year, falling from $47,000 on New Year’s Day to around $20,000. He is one of four crypto moguls who are no longer billionaires thanks to the digital currency crash. But Draper doesn’t back down. Reachable by email, Draper reiterated his price target. “I am more convinced than ever that this is happening,” he said. “By the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.”
Since the beginning of March, these eleven people have lost the most money in crypto. Only seven are still billionaires and they have lost a total of $61 billion in the past three months.
Fred Ehrsam, co-founder and former chairman of crypto exchange Coinbase, insists the market collapse is nothing more than growing pains. “One thing most people don’t fully understand is that it takes years, if not decades, to go from a new infrastructure-level technological breakthrough (such as cryptography) to a vibrant ecosystem of consumer apps.” tweeted Ehrsam earlier this week. The 34-year-old computer genius is now worth about $900 million, up from $2.1 billion in March.
One of the reasons why Ehrsam can keep a cool head: His fortune includes about $367 million in after-tax income from the sale of Coinbase stock, which he unloaded last year at an average price of $316 a share (Coinbase is currently trading at about $52 a share). part). † Ehrsam appears to see the market collapse as a buying opportunity: He bought $77 million worth of Coinbase shares in May on behalf of his venture capital and crypto investment firm, Paradigm Capital, for between $60 and $73 a share.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, bitcoin investors, twin brothers and founders of crypto trading company Gemini, have also seen their fortunes plummet from about $4 billion in March to $3.2 billion today. They fired 10% of Gemini’s staff on June 2, citing “crypto winter.” But they didn’t let the market implosion dampen their style. Their retro rock band, crossing of Marsis currently on tour in California and in early June the twins were filmed in a bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey, singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ about a week after announcing Gemini’s layoffs. At the time of writing, tickets to the Mars Junction show in Berkeley tonight cost $15 each.
While the Winklevoss twins play the rock star, Sam Bankman-Fried, the richest person in crypto, chooses another role: industry savior. Earlier this week, the 30-year-old joke-head founder of trading juggernaut FTX made massive loans to struggling crypto firms: $250 million to cryptocurrency lender BlockFi and nearly $500 million (including $300 million in Bitcoin, of course) to brokerage firm Voyager Digital. “We take seriously our duty to protect the digital asset ecosystem and its customers,” he said. tweeted† Bankman-Fried’s estimated fortune has fallen by just a few billion dollars, from $24 billion to $20 billion since March, thanks in large part to FTX’s $32 billion valuation in its latest round of financing in January.
Meanwhile, the former richest person in crypto Changpeng Zhao (or “CZ”), founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is in a sour mood. “I am most optimistic about bear markets ,” he said. tweeted Thursday, which was immediately followed by a second post: “No financial advice.” It may have been a joke, but CZ has good reasons for making such disclosures: The SEC has opened an investigation into Binance’s initial coin offering, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. CZ’s company is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service (neither Binance nor CZ have been charged by US authorities).
Of the crypto billionaires, Zhao has been the biggest loser, both in percentage and dollar terms, as of March 11. Then CZ’s estimated fortune of $65 billion made him the 19th richest person in the world. Today he is worth about $18.7 billion. Not that he cares the least. “I don’t really know what my ability is. It doesn’t bother me that much,” he says. Forbes last summer.
Michael Saylor, a true Bitcoin advocate whose software company Microstrategy has spent approximately $4 billion on Bitcoin investment in recent years, has taken a different approach: going on the attack. The 57-year-old software entrepreneur has bombarded Twitter with bullish messages and recently made TV appearances on CNN† fox shop and Bloomberg, where he shook off worries about his company’s balance sheet. In March, MicroStrategy borrowed $205 million against its own Bitcoin, to buy – you guessed it – more Bitcoin.
Saylor is now another ex-billionaire, Forbes estimates, worth just over $700 million. MicroStrategy stock is down 56% since early March, compared to the 14% drop in the Nasdaq index over the same period. But Saylor didn’t sell any of his precious Bitcoins — “no satoshi,” he said. CNN anchor Julia Chatterley this week, invoking a little-known term for Bitcoin’s smallest unit. (One satoshi is worth 0.00000001 BTC.)
“Bitcoin will outlive us all,” Saylor insisted. “I’m pretty sure.”