Layer1, a cryptocurrency investment firm, announced on Wednesday that it has received $2.1 million in seed funding from, amongst other people, PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel. Based in San Francisco, the company claims that its executive team has an array of experience in both the technology sector and financial services industry.
One of those executives, Co-Founder Alexander Liegl, most recently worked on building a fraud detection platform for tax agencies. How that experience will contribute to his success in the blockchain industry is unclear.
“We believe that the crypto investment company of the future will look radically different to status quo, with a clear focus on an engineering-first and pro-activist investment approach,” said Liegl. “Cryptocurrencies, as open-source protocols, offer the unprecedented opportunity for companies like Layer1 to meaningfully add value. This is fundamentally different from the possibilities available in traditional asset classes.”
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Peter Thiel Joined by Jeffrey Tarrant
Layer1, according to a statement released by the company, wants to be the “category-defining investment company” for cryptocurrencies. The company says that it will act as an engineering organization that directly engages with open-source protocol development.
Currently, the firm is involved with a privacy-focused cryptocurrency called Grin and intends to build technology to support its growth. Launching in early 2019, Grin is supposedly highly scalable and has stronger privacy features than some of its competitors.
Alongside Thiel, Jeffrey Tarrant, one of the early backers of the MIT Media Lab’s Bitcoin Developer Fund, is also investing in the firm.
Tarrant is the Co-Founder of Protégé Partners, an investment firm, and continues to work for the company. Interestingly, Liegl spent some time as an intern at the company back in 2016. Whether he came into contact with Tarrant at that point in time, and whether that influenced the latter’s decision to invest in Layer1, is unclear.