After falling from a $19,700 all-time high achieved in mid-December, bitcoin hit a 30-day low of $12,500. The flagship cryptocurrency recovered to $16,000 but the market then corrected again. It is now seemingly recovering, as bitcoin is up 11.16% in the last 24 hours. It is currently trading at $15,078.
Notably, bitcoin’s market share in the cryptocurrency ecosystem recently hit an all-time low of 35.5%. This, despite the market being at an all-time high of $660 billion at the time, before bitcoin recovered. At press time, bitcoin’s stake if of 37.2% of the markets $680 billion.
Behind the cryptocurrency’s rise are various factors. SegWit adoption, believed to help reduce transaction fees and backlog, has recently increased as peer-to-peer marketplace LocalBitcoins recently added compatibility. Bitcoin wallet provider BTC.com also announced the technology’s implementation.
— LocalBitcoins.com (@LocalBitcoins) January 2, 2018
According to the Wall Street Journal, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected capital firms has “hundreds of millions” of dollars in bitcoin. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report says billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founder Fund bought $15 to $20 million of the cryptocurrency.
Given bitcoins’ 2017 rally, the venture capital firm recently told investors this investment was now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Whether the Founders Fund sold any of the funds or continues to hold all of its bitcoins is unclear.
Justifying the move, the firm told investors it decided to bet on the cryptocurrency given the overstretched valuations in the tech sector. WSJ’s report reads:
“The representatives have told firm backers that a cascade of cash into technology companies has stretched their valuations to historic highs, making stakes in startups as dangerous a risk as ever. Bitcoin, on the other hand, could multiply several times over in the coming years.”
Run by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the Founders Fund has made a few profitable bets in the past. It reportedly has over $3 billion under management, as some of its bets include Facebook, Airbnb, and Lyft.
Thiel, a well-known libertarian, didn’t initially see bitcoin succeed. As he saw the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem grow, he then saw it serving as a “reserve form of money,” and presumably invested shortly after. In late October, the billionaire said people are “underestimating” bitcoin, while comparing it to gold.
Given Peter Thiel’s credibility, the market quickly responded to WSJ’s report, and turned bullish. As reported by Core Media, some haven’t lost their bullish stance, even during bitcoin’s recent setback. Wall Street strategist Tom Lee, late last month, saw the cryptocurrency hit $20,000 by mid-2018.