By CCN: Block.one is returning jaw-dropping profits to its earliest investors like Peter Thiel. It’s a stock buyback of epic speed and proportions.
In only three years the blockchain startup is buying back shares sold in a seed round of funding in 2017. The ROI for anyone who cashes out will be as much as 6,567%.
Where did Block.one come up with all that money in so little time? It executed the biggest ICO in cryptocurrency history. The company raised $4 billion over a year-long token sale of EOS coins to power Block.one’s EOS.IO blockchain.
The year-long crowd-funded token sale of EOS concluded in June 2018. That month Block.one launched the open source software to run EOS.IO.
Ever since the brutal crypto winter of 2018, other blockchain startups are struggling.
Last month Coinbase cut 30 engineers from its payroll and closed its Chicago office. In January and February a Cleveland-based voting blockchain company named Votem Corp laid off over 60 workers. Last December Ethereum Classic’s dev team had to ask for donations to continue working after running out of funds.
The last year has been rough for the blockchain space. That makes the success of Block.one’s blockchain-powered Enterprise Operating System even more remarkable.
It’s a big payday for the blockchain company’s biggest backers. Today investors can sell back $100,000 worth of shares bought in 2017 for a whopping $6.6 million.
Hedge fund managers Alan Howard and Louis Bacon declined to talk to Bloomberg about their investment’s big boon.
Peter Thiel didn’t respond to multiple messages for comment.
Fintech investor Christian Angermayer, another early Block.one backer told Bloomberg in an email that he will be holding on to his seed round shares:
“Block.one is one of the most promising and best positioned companies in the blockchain industry, and its success story is just beginning.”
For clues as to whether Peter Thiel will cash out or hold, one might consult his 2014 book about high tech capitalism: Zero to One.
In the book, Thiel talks about his 2006 meeting with 22-year-old Mark Zuckerberg. They were considering whether to sell Facebook to Yahoo for $1 billion.
Facebook’s market cap in 2019 is in excess of $500 billion. The two other companies that turned down billion dollar offers from Yahoo are Google and eBay.
Thiel argues that new tech ventures are usually wildly overvalued, or wildly undervalued. That’s because of the inherent difficulty of assigning a valuation to something that does not yet exist.
So is Block.one overvalued or undervalued?
At the Economic Club of New York last year, Peter Thiel said:
“I would be long bitcoin, and neutral to skeptical of just about everything else at this point with a few possible exceptions. There will be one online equivalent to gold, and the one you’d bet on would be the biggest.”
Bitcoin blockchain watchers, keep your eyes peeled for any $6.6 million purchases.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.