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Reid Hoffman has an expert eye for promising tech startups. The LinkedIn chairman and co-founder’s early stakes in Facebook, Airbnb and Dropbox prove he’s able to see the next big thing before most of us even know what it is — and it’s paid off for him time and again.
These days, the so-called “startup whisperer” is placing his bets on Bitcoin. As a full-time partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners, he claims his primary focus is to invest in “world-class entrepreneurs with new categories of ideas with the possibility of massive scale.” One of those entrepreneurs is Wences Casares, co-founder of Xapo, an ambitious, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Bitcoin wallet and storage startup. With Hoffman leading the charge, Greylock invested $20 million in Xapo last year.
“Bitcoin has the potential to be a massively disruptive technology,” Hoffman wrote in a post announcing the investment last July. “It is the leading digital currency and it’s growing fast.”