Tim Draper, the founding partner of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, was the winning bidder in a recent government auction of about $19 million worth of bitcoin, according to a son and the CEO of a startup in which he has invested.
Avish Bhama, the CEO of a bitcoin startup called Vaurum, published a blog post this morning reporting that Draper would be
handing over storing the 30,000 or so bitcoin to with the startup to help build up liquidity in overseas bitcoin markets.
“Vaurum has launched trading platforms in emerging markets, and we will be partnering with Tim to leverage the pool of ~30,000+ bitcoins as a liquidity source,” Bhama wrote. “It’s still quite difficult to get access to bitcoin in these developing economies – and that’s exactly where it is needed the most. Our goal is to build reliable infrastructure and increase liquidity, which are two major challenges in the ecosystem.”
Adam Draper, Tim’s son, confirmed his father’s winning bid in a text message. “Very exciting times,” he said. “I just like that he is putting the coins back to use in the market through Vaurum.”
The bitcoin was auctioned off by the U.S. Marshals Service following its seizure from an underground online marketplace called Silk Road. The now defunct marketplace is accused of being home to illegal goods purchased with bitcoin.
Adam Draper declined to reveal how much the elder Draper spent to purchase the pot of bitcoin.
The younger Draper runs a startup accelerator program for bitcoin companies called Boost. Vaurum took part in the program last summer and says that both Drapers are investors in its service.
Tim Draper didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. It’s yet not clear if he is keeping any of the bitcoin for himself.