Peter Thiel Backs $2.1 Million Round for Crypto Investment Startup Layer1

PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel has backed a $2.1 million seed round for crypto investment startup Layer1.

Dec 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:42 a.m. UTC

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.

Peter Thiel image via Dan Taylor/Wikimedia Commons


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.