Billionaire Venture Capitalist Tim Draper Invests $1.25 Million in BTC Payment Startup OpenNode

Legendary billionaire venture capitalist, Tim Draper, has reportedly invested $1.25 million in OpenNode, a bitcoin (BTC) payment processing service provider.

Million Dollar Investment To Be Used For Expanding Operations

The seed round for OpenNode was announced on Tuesday (December 18th) and the BTC-only payment processor told Coindesk that the funds raised would be used to recruit more staff to help the company expand its business operations. Additionally, OpenNode’s management team will ensure that the company’s operations comply with regulatory guidelines.

According to OpenNode’s official website, the company’s payment processing services allow customers to “automatically convert” bitcoin to their “local currency at the time of transaction and avoid all price volatility.” These crypto-to-fiat conversions are also “risk-free” as OpenNode provides a “cryptographically secure platform”, two-factor (2FA) authentication, and 24-hour customer support.

In order to settle transactions more quickly, OpenNode’s software uses the Lightning Network (LN), a second-layer payment channel designed to reduce transaction processing times and fees. In exchange for its currency conversion services, OpenNode charges a 1% commission on each transaction.

Lightning Network (LN) Grows By 15,000%

Commenting on the steady growth of the LN, OpenNode’s management confirmed that the layer-2 payment network had grown by over 15,000% to a 456 BTC capacity. An OpenNode representative also said: 

We’ll continue to tackle new emerging markets where the Lightning Network can cut costs, promote creative payment models, and refine the current user experience with payments.

Notably, Draper’s million dollar investment into supporting OpenNode’s operations has come after the founding partner at Draper Associates made many other investments in various crypto projects. In 2016, Draper led a $4.2 million series A funding round to support Factom, a company focused on the development of blockchain-based document authentication platforms.

Earlier in 2015, Draper also took part in a $760,000 investment round for Bitwage, a bitcoin (BTC) payroll startup. In the same year, the founder of Draper University participated in a $8.8 million series A round involving Mirror, a firm focused on developing a smart contract trading platform.

Tim Draper Stands By $250,000 BTC Price Prediction

As CryptoGlobe reported in November, Draper said he was sticking to his $250,000 bitcoin price prediction (by 2022). During a panel discussion, the venture capital investor remarked: 

Believe it, it’s going to happen – they’re going to think you’re crazy but believe it, it’s happening, it’s going to be awesome!.

As an early cryptocurrency adopter, Draper notably bought 30,000 bitcoins at the US Marshals Service auction, after they had been seized from the Silk Road black marketplace. When questioned about whether he still owns the large amount of cryptocurrency, Draper revealed at a Web Summit conference last month that he is not only “hodling” those bitcoins but he has also invested a lot more in the digital currency ecosystem.

Winklevoss Twins: Wall Street Has Been “Asleep at the Wheel” Regarding Bitcoin

Michael LaVere
  • Winklevoss Twins say Wall Street has been "asleep at the wheel" in acting on bitcoin.
  • Retail investors hold an advantage over institutions in the crypto marketplace. 

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who founded the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said that Wall Street has been “asleep at the wheel,” in regards to bitcoin in their most recent interview. 

Sleeping on Bitcoin

Speaking with CNN Business on Aug. 22, the Winklevoss Twins explained the value of bitcoin as an investment, while giving their opinion on the risks of the cryptocurrency industry in comparison to the traditional financial sector. 

They were also critical of the established market’s slow acceptance of bitcoin and cryptoassets, claiming that Wall Street has fallen behind in that regard. Tyler Winklevoss argued that retail investors have had the edge of institutions in the market of crypto through their willingness to explore the new asset class. 

He continued, 

“Unlike the internet, which you couldn’t buy a piece of, you can actually buy a piece of this new internet of money. It’s still a retail-driven market, from day one [...] and a lot of people have done really well. Wall Street has been asleep at the wheel.”

In addition, the twins claimed not to be deterred by the high price volatility of bitcoin, and said the risk of missing out was much more compelling, 

“We had to invest because we were afraid of missing out, we couldn't miss out on this future.”

The twins also compared bitcoin to gold, which is becoming a more common financial analogy as investors and analysts view BTC as a digital store of value.