Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies poised to become $80t business: Tim Draper

Tim Draper
Tim Draper. Photo: DFJ website

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will momentarily subside but then grow rapidly to become an $80 trillion business in the next 15 years, according to billionaire investor Tim Draper.

The motion which bitcoin is currently moving in resembles that of the internet technology a few years back before it eventually came to sweep the world by storm, Draper observes.

“The internet started in the same way, it came in big waves and then it kind of came crashing down, and then the next wave comes concentrated but much bigger, and I suspect the same thing will go on here (with bitcoin)”, he said on Wednesday at the DEALSTREETASIA PE-VC Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Cryptocurrencies has seen a boom over the last few years, reportedly culminating in a value of nearly $300 billion as of early December last year. However, since then it has slowed in the backdrop of the ongoing debate of whether cryptocurrency should be considered a legitimate financial asset.

Speaking through a video call at the event, Draper said, the current slowdown related to cryptocurrency was because people were not yet accustomed to it, despite clearly seeing its potential. Once people become more familiar with it, the technology is bound to transform many huge industries around the world, he added.

“I think it’s going to have such a transformative effect on industries that we never even imagined would be transformable. The internet went after industries that were $10-100 billion dollar markets, cryptocurrency will go after trillion dollar markets – these are finance, healthcare and insurance, banking and investment banking, and governments,” he said.

Draper, who made his name as a successful investor following his investments in companies like Baidu Inc, Tesla Inc and Skype, said last year he sees good opportunities for bitcoin and blockchain ventures in Indonesia, given the country’s lack of modern banking infrastructure.

While Draper is not known to have made investments in any Indonesian blockchain company as yet, he has backed peer-to-peer lending company UangTeman through his VC firm Draper Associates last year, and is expected to participate in the startup’s Series B round this year.

Among Draper’s other Southeast Asian portfolio companies is Singapore-headquartered fashion marketplace Zilingo, which last raised a $54-million Series C round in April and is said to be in talks with existing investors to raise about $80 million for its Series C round.

Apart from direct investments, Draper also make investments in Southeast Asia startups through early stage venture capital firm Wavemaker, which focuses on investments in B2B and deeptech companies. Among Wavemaker’s portfolio companies include enterprise fraud management solution provider CashShield, 3D printing startup Structo, and artificial intelligence, AML solutions provider SilentEight.

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