Bitcoin can help less-prosperous nations build stronger economies: Tim Draper

Even as bitcoin is facing an uncertain future itself, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper is betting that digital currencies like bitcoin can help less-prosperous nations build stronger economies.

Draper recently made beat 44 rival bidders to scoop the whole lot of nearly 30,000 bitcoins that U. S. government had put on auction. Confirming that he had submitted a winning bid for the whole lot of bitcoins, he revealed that he would trade the digital coins on a platform that would cater to markets looking for alternative currencies to their own volatile currencies.

Speaking on the topic, he said, "Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy. Using Bitcoin could benefit you more than any other currency out there."

Bitcoins auctioned by the government earlier this week were seized by U. S. Marshals Service during a crackdown on illegal online drug market Silk Road in 2013. Silk Road had stockpiled the digital currency while selling illegal drugs throughout the world.

Draper didn't reveal the price he paid for the bitcoins but the digital currency's current market value of around $650 indicates that he might have paid nearly $19 million to scoop the whole lot.

Injecting millions of dollars into risky assets is not new for Draper. He is one of the best-known venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and he likes to be called by the nickname Riskmaster. His Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm Draper Associates' investment portfolio includes an early stake in satellite maker Skybox Imaging, which Internet search giant Google last month agreed to acquire for $500 million.

Tim Draper