作为一名比特币及其底层区块链金融分类账本技术的狂热爱好者，Tim Draper却不知为何始终在克制着自己，从未染指与区块链相关的投资项目。直到几个月前，他才公开表示，将于近期着重关注区块链投资项目，挑选创新型项目进行投资。而此次Tim Draper参与到Tezos的ICO项目也正好迎合了他此前制定的投资规划。
除Tezos之外，Tim Draper还计划投资由Tezos创始人创办的另一家专注于区块链动态账本解决方案的公司Dynamic Ledger Solutions Inc，但投资的具体细节还尚未公布。
Tim Draper此前曾投资了SpaceX、Tesla、Theranos、Thumbtack等行业巨兽，同时早年也投资过Baidu，Hotmail，Skype等耳熟能详的公司。本次对Tezos的投资也使得Tim Draper成为了首位公开表示支持加密代币众筹（ICO）这种投资形式的知名风险投资人。业内人士认为，Tim Draper作为创投界的传奇，他的入局对于ICO的发展具有重要意义。同时，也有部分专家表示了担忧，加密代币众筹领域的监管尚处于一片空白，Tim Draper的入局恐怕只会引火上身。
此外，Tim Draper还提到，目前行业中阻碍ICO发展的因素主要是：大部分的风险投资公司禁止客户投资数字货币等高风险资产类别。Tim Draper强调称，他管理的公司允许客户投资任何形式的资产类别。目前的金融行业正在经历着颠覆式的变化，而ICO等新型投资模式的出现也确实令广大消费者猝不及防，因此，投资公司在其中所扮演的角色就显得尤为重要了。Tim Draper表示，他名下的公司已经拨下了一笔转款，专门用于非传统投资。
Tezos的创建可以追溯到三年以前，该平台使由Kathleen和Arthur Breitman共同研发的。Arthur Breitman曾在高盛的高频交易部门工作，同时还在摩根士丹利担任期权营销员。而Kathleen曾是世界上最大的对冲基金Bridgewater Associates的管理人员。
Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper soon plans to take a step that even he, a long-time bitcoin aficionado, has eschewed to now: buying a new digital currency offered by a technology startup.
Draper, an early supporter of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain financial ledger technology, told Reuters in an interview he will for the first time participate in a so-called "initial coin offering" (ICO) of Tezos slated later this month.
Tezos, a new blockchain platform launched by a husband and wife team with extensive Wall Street and in hedge fund backgrounds, will launch the ICO on May 22. Draper will also invest in U.S.-based Dynamic Ledger Solutions Inc, the creator of Tezos, but did not disclose details.
Draper, who scored big as an early backer of Skype and Baidu, becomes the first prominent venture capitalist to openly embrace initial coin offerings. This would be a significant stamp of approval for this new financing mode of blockchain start-ups. Some investors have expressed concern about lack of regulatory oversight for ICOs.
Over the last year, blockchain start-ups have been raising cash by creating and selling their own currencies or tokens in unregulated offerings that bypass banks or venture capital firms as intermediaries. [nL1N1HS130] Interest in these deals has been stoked by the run-away performance of the original cyber currency, bitcoin <BTC=BTSP>, which has surged more than 67 percent in the last six weeks to hit a record high.
"The best thing I can do is lead by example," said Draper, on his plan to participate in Tezos' token offering. "
Over time, I actually feel that some of these tokens are going to improve the world, and I want to make sure those tokens get promoted as well.
I think Tezos is one of those tokens." Most traditional venture capital firms are prohibited by agreements with investors from deploying cash into such high-risk assets as digital currencies.
But Draper said the contract terms with his investors allow investing in pretty much any vehicle. "I think most investor contracts did not anticipate something like an ICO," said Draper. "But we did anticipate that certain things are going to happen and finance is going to be transformed." Draper said his firm has specifically carved out money for non-traditional investments.
Tezos is similar to bitcoin and other blockchain platforms, but its design allows for decentralized and automated upgrades.
Most software platforms provide for automated updates, but blockchains remain notable exceptions because update procedures are typically centralized.
Tezos touts itself as the first blockchain platform to overcome that hurdle. Tezos was created over a span of three years by Kathleen and Arthur Breitman. Arthur Breitman had worked at the high frequency trading desk at Goldman Sachs and was an options market maker at Morgan Stanley, while Kathleen Breitman is a former management associate at Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund.
Unlike previous ICOs, Kathleen Breitman said Tezos' deal would not be capped by a set number of tokens to be created. "What we're going to do is allow as many people who want to buy into the crowdsale over a two-week period," she said.