Alexis Ohanian is highly optimistic about cryptocurrency, having used the profits from his early Ether investment to establish a venture capital firm focused on crypto. His enthusiasm for the potential of digital currency is unwavering, and he is determined to help shape the future of the industry.
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the renowned social media website Reddit, reportedly purchased 50,000 Ether for a mere $15,000 during the cryptocurrency's presale in 2014, which equates to a mere 30 cents per coin.
After leaving Reddit in 2020, Ohanian spoke to Forbes in a Feb. 21 article, where he revealed that his Armenian heritage had inspired him to take an early risk on Ethereum, as he found the concept of a decentralized store of value to be highly appealing.
“Having experienced persecution in his family's collective history, Ohanian found the idea of a store of value that was not controlled by any single state to be highly attractive. This made him particularly receptive to the idea of a decentralized currency.”
His investment in cryptocurrency has paid off handsomely, with his current holdings being worth a staggering $82.5 million according to CoinMarketCap, representing an increase of 549,589%.
Ohanian's interest in decentralized currency was further fueled by his family's experience during the Armenian genocide in World War 1 when Turkish soldiers seized their heirloom rugs. This experience led him to become a proponent of self-custody, and he now manages the private keys to some of his most valuable crypto-related investments to ensure they are kept off exchanges that are more vulnerable to government interference.
When he heard about Ethereum during a meeting with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Ohanian recognized the potential for developers to build a wide range of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on top of it. Consequently, he made his initial investment in Ether, though he later admitted that “in hindsight, I didn't invest nearly as much as I should have.”
In 2020, Ohanian founded venture capitalist firm 776 with the proceeds from his early investments in Ether and Coinbase. Since then, the firm has invested in 29 crypto-related startups and raised $500 million in February 2022 to finance similar investments.
In accordance with Ohanian's belief that bear markets offer investors the chance to purchase assets at discounted prices, the firm has seen the recent market downturn as the ideal time to make long-term investments in the crypto industry.
Boasting over $750 million in assets under management, Ohanian noted that, while crypto is highly volatile, "there are plenty of people who have a generational understanding of experiencing massive inflation," making crypto's volatility much more acceptable for these individuals.
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