Billionaire Peter Thiel Backs Startup Bringing Big Money to Crypto
Cryptocurrency markets, while growing in popularity, often suffer from a lack of liquidity. This issue alone prohibits a certain class of large investors from moving into the markets, as any meaningful sized buy or sell order could have a significant impact on market prices, making for seriously unadvantageous trades.
Billionaire Peter Thiel, known for his big bets on companies like Facebook, believes he might have found a partial solution to the liquidity problem through a startup named Tagomi, which is building trading tools to aggregate OTC markets and dark pools to provide investors with large block trades. While there is little public information available on Tagomi, it is known that the founder, Greg Tusar, is a former Goldman Sachs executive who ran the firm’s electronic trading division. This follows a growing trend of wall street executives leaving to join or build crypto companies.
Initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, Thiel has invested an unknown amount into the reported $15.5 million round through his venture capital firm, the Founders Fund. While the Thiel’s fund was not explicitly referenced as an investor, a recent SEC filing related to the funding round showed that Napoleon Ta, a Founders Fund partner, is listed as one of the company’s directors.
Thiel is no stranger to crypto, and he has shared publicly in the past that he has a significant investment in Bitcoin. His fund has also made investments in Polychain Capital and Metastable Capital, both hedge funds focused on digital assets.
Tagomi isn’t the only company looking to bring big money into crypto. Just last month, Gemini, the digital asset exchange ran by the Winklevoss Twins, recently announced that they are introducing a service that will allow investors to make big trades outside of the firm’s order books. Additionally, Goldman Sachs-backed Circle recently raised its trade minimum for a Bitcoin ticket to $500,000, in response to increasing institutional demand. Finally, rumors are stirring that big brokerage firms, including Morgan Stanley, are racing to set up dedicated crypto trading desks for their clients.
Whatever the approach, simplifying institutional entry into the crypto markets will be a major facilitator for wide-spread adoption.