Li Ka Shing ramps up Bitcoin Investment despite China: SCMP
Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing has boosted his investment in bitcoin, in a vote of confidence for the beleaguered digital currency, amid a crackdown on its widespread popularity in China.
Despite the price of a bitcoin tumbling from political pressure, the billionaire tycoon has poured an undisclosed amount of money, believed to be worth millions of dollars, into Bitpay, the bitcoin equivalent to PayPal, through his venture capital investment company Horizons Ventures.
Bitpay has raised US$30 million (HK$233 million) in Series A funding (convertible into common shares when an IPO is launched) from eight investors including Li’s money-spinning vehicle, Horizons. Fellow investors include Virgin’s Richard Branson, and top technology men including billionaires, the founder of Yahoo, Jerry Yang, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
Buoyed by the investment, set to be the single largest fundraiser by a bitcoin company, BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi said in a statement: “Bitcoin is a borderless and frictionless payment system, which is nearing a tipping-point moment in terms of merchant adoption.
The global price of bitcoin has lost three-quarters of its value in just six months, tumbling from a peak of US$1,242 per coin. The latest price fall comes on repeated warnings from China’s central bank asking mainland financial institutions to stop doing business with bitcoin companies and individual customers to protect the value of the renminbi.