A few years ago Marc van der Chijs wanted to retire and enjoy life.
“But that phase lasted about six weeks,” explains this serial entrepreneur.
Now he has created First Block Capital, a fund that invests in crypto businesses. He wants to raise a billion dollars in two years.
Van der Chijs firmly believes in digital currency and the technology on which it is based. “Blockchain is the engine and Bitcoin is the fuel,” he says.
The entrepreneur gave a conference during the Crypto Investment Summit, a meeting on cryptocurrency investments that was held in late November in Ede, the Netherlands. Trend-watcher and organizer Vincent Everts spoke via Skype with the entrepreneur, who currently lives in Vancouver.
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Bitcoins will be worth millions
Last summer, Van der Chijs predicted that Bitcoin would reach a value of $ 10,000 this year. The threshold has already been reached, so Everts wanted to get a new prediction during the interview.
No problem. The entrepreneur thinks that the cryptocurrency exchange rate at the start of the new year will reach $ 15,000. “There are professional investors of all kinds who want to put it in their portfolios this year, so they can show they have jumped on the bandwagon,” he says to explain his optimism.
For 2018, he says, $ 40,000 is a reasonable estimate. “There are still large institutional funds holding on to the sidelines waiting to take part in this market.”
And in 2021, a bitcoin will be worth approximately $ 150,000. “I think Bitcoin can eventually reach millions of dollars when it becomes a means of payment,” says Van der Chijs. “The number of bitcoins is limited to 21 million, so there will never be more than that. But demand will increase exponentially, so the price will continue to rise. ”
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The king of video in China comes from Arnhem
As for money, Van der Chijs doesn’t need to join the Bitcoin adventure. He has been a millionaire for a long time thanks to his success in China.
After studying business administration in Maastricht, he joined Daimler, Mercedes’ German parent company, as a financial controller and moved to Beijing. A short time later he resigned and began working as an independent consultant.
His wife Grace introduced him to Gary Wang, a former fellow student at the famous French business school INSEAD. An understanding was born immediately between the two. In 2005 Wang and Van der Chijs founded Tudou, a cross between Netflix and YouTube that became the largest video site in China.
The company went public in 2011 with a valuation of $ 822 million. Four years later, Internet giant Alibaba bought Tudou for more than $ 4 billion.
The second Internet
Van der Chijs is not a billionaire, he confessed to Quote. He is “only” a millionaire. But he considers it an advantage.
“In the billionaires around me, I see that the determination has failed. They are no longer interested in companies in which you have to invest a few million, ”the businessman told Quote. “Actually, the fact that I’m not terrifyingly rich is an advantage. This is why I think differently. I still have an incentive to invest and earn from my investments. ”
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This point was evident in 2013, when Van der Chijs and his wife moved to the Canadian city of Vancouver. The intention was to take it easy, but a situation soon emerged that Van der Chijs necessarily had to deal with: the financial crisis in Cyprus. The island’s banks blocked customer accounts to prevent a bank assault. Consequently, Van der Chijs’ company based on that island was no longer able to access its funds.
The episode prompted the entrepreneur to study the financial system and the power of banks. In search of alternatives, he soon came to Bitcoin. “I realized it was something that changed the world, mostly because of the blockchain. It will become a kind of second Internet and subvert sectors of the economy, ”says Van der Chijs.
By attending conferences as a speaker, traveling extensively and developing a network, Van der Chijs spreads the faith in Bitcoin. “I have carried out evangelism”, as he himself defines it. In 2015 he was invited to Richard Branson’s private island, Necker Island, to discuss the blockchain with around 150 guests. He was the only Dutchman invited.