Tezos Foundation Offloaded Millions of Dollars Worth of Bitcoin in 2019: Report

The Tezos Foundation liquidated some 8,000 bitcoin in the latter half of 2019, investing the funds into ethereum, XTZ and some more traditional securities. It still holds 31,000 BTC.

AccessTimeIconMar 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:21 a.m. UTC

The non-profit that holds funds raised in Tezos' $400 million initial coin offering (ICO) sold as many as 8,000 bitcoins (BTC) in 2019.

The share of the Tezos Foundation's portfolio made up of bitcoin fell from 61 percent in July to 47 percent as of the end of January, the non-profit disclosed in its biannual report, released Thursday. The value was reinvested into XTZ tokens and into other asset classes.

Per the report, the Tezos Foundation, which is based in Switzerland, held approximately $397.7 million worth of bitcoin on July 31, 2019. As bitcoin traded at the $10,000 mark, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index, the foundation held roughly 39,700 bitcoins.

As of Jan. 31, the foundation held 31,800 bitcoin, worth roughly $298.5 million based on a spot price of $9,400. That means the foundation sold as many as 8,000 bitcoins, which, even with the recent downturn in prices, would still be worth as much as $53 million today.

The total value of the foundation's portfolio fell from $652 million on July 31 to $625 million by Jan. 31. It is managed by an asset-management strategy that is established and reviewed by the Tezos Foundation Council – the group that leads the organization – on a regular basis, according to the report.

Value was reinvested into other asset classes, including bonds, equities and fiat currencies.

The foundation also increased its tezos (XTZ) token exposure, upping the share from 15 percent to 23 percent. With the XTZ price increasing by nearly 40 percent in the six months between the reports, according to CoinGecko, the value of holdings went up by approximately $48.2 million.

Roman Schnider, CFO of the Tezos Foundation, told CoinDesk that although it considered bitcoin to be a "key store of value," its asset strategy policy was to focus and pay for its long-term objectives "without being distracted by short-term market moves."

Investments into a stability fund – a diversified range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and bonds – as well as fiat currencies, acted as risk management instruments that ensured "operational effectiveness" against crypto volatility, Schnider added.

In Thursday's report, the Tezos Foundation said it had no plans to liquidate any of the XTZ allocated from the genesis block or generated from its own baking activities, a form of staking used to produce blocks and secure the tezos protocol.

UPDATE (Mar. 23, 12:35 UTC): A previous version of this article stated the Tezos Foundation had moved value into ether. Ryan Lackey, a Foundation council member, reached out to say this was not the case and that the ether came from the 2017 ICO.


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