Why Tim Draper Bought All Those Bitcoins

Billionaire investor Tim Draper says bitcoin will transform how the world does business, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

“[I’m] very excited about bitcoin and what it can do for the world,” Draper told Deirdre Bolton on FOX Business Tuesday. “Bitcoin is as big a transformation to the finance and commerce industry as the internet was for information and communications.”

Last month, Draper bought 30,000 bitcoins from The U.S. Marshal Service in an auction. Although some auction participants  were hoping that the event would allow for the purchase of inexpensive bitcoins in order to make a quick buck, Draper has different plans. He says he bought $19 million worth of the volatile currency as a long-term bet.

In particular, Draper sees opportunity for bitcoin to thrive in regions where people lack confidence in their government currency, specifically citing Argentina, Mexico and Africa.

“If bitcoin were here in 2008, it would be a stability source for our world economy,” said Draper. “Everybody should go out there and buy a bitcoin.”

Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 in an effort to form a currency that operated independent from the government. One bitcoin currently exchanges for $624 U.S. dollars, but the price has been as low as $395 and as high as $659 in the past three months. These are down from November’s highs of $1,126, but substantially higher than the $76 price for the cryptocurrency a year ago.

Despite its unpredictable value, Draper said that “every investor who’s a fiduciary should at least be partially involved in bitcon because it’s a hedge against all the other currencies.” He added that “there’s a whole ecosystem being built that’s going to make commerce much easier with much less friction and safer.”

Draper is a founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), an active Silicon Valley venture firm. DFJ has invested in some notable startups including Box, SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) and Skype.

Draper also made headlines when earlier this year he advocated that California be broken up into six states, in particular, a separate government for Silicon Valley. Despite lackluster support for the campaign, Draper told FOX Business he still believes a break-up is possible. “We expect it to be its own state very soon.”