PayPal co-founder and noted venture capitalist Peter Thiel has backed a $2.1 million seed round for crypto investment startup Layer1, the firm announced Wednesday.
Other investors in the round include Digital Currency Group, institutional investor Jeffrey Tarrant and more.
Layer1 is a crypto investment and engineering infrastructure platform. However, it also acts as a kind of tech-focused fund in that it backs “promising” blockchain protocols and then builds technology to support their growth. The firm takes a particular focus on “programmable money and store-of-value applications,” which it sees as having the most potential for value creation.
Layer1’s co-founder Alexander Liegl said:
“Cryptocurrencies, as open-source protocols, offer the unprecedented opportunity for companies … to meaningfully add value. This is fundamentally different from the possibilities available in traditional asset classes.”
Currently, the firm said it’s “deeply involved” with a privacy-focused cryptocurrency called grin, which is scheduled to launch on Jan. 15, 2019. According to an active job post, Layer1 may also be planning to mine grin and other cryptos.
This is not the first time Thiel has taken a bet on a crypto startup. Back in May, he invested in Tagomi Systems Inc., a startup with a mission to serve as a broker-dealer to optimize bulk bitcoin trading orders for high-value clients. Tagomi launched its platform earlier this week.