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Peter Thiel places big bet on bitcoin: report

Bitcoin bubble?

Founders Fund, the venture capital fund started by famed Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel, is holding "hundreds of millions of dollars" in bitcoin, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The fund invested some $15 to $20 million in the so-called cryptocurrency in mid-2017, according to the newspaper. Bitcoin's price has grown more than tenfold since that time, greatly increasing the value of the venture firm's holdings.

Where does Bitcoin go from here?

Bitcoin's price jumped on the news, rising to $14,891 on Tuesday afternoon, according to CoinDesk. The currency's price, which surged to nearly $20,000 in December, has soared 1,500 percent in less than a year, encouraging investors of all stripes to jump aboard.

Thiel was an early investor in Facebook (FB) and a co-founder of PayPal. News of his involvement is likely to bolster the digital currency's drive for legitimacy, even as many other investors decry it as a bubble.  

Wall Street is getting increasingly comfortable with the volatile currency. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade each launched trading in bitcoin futures last month. Other digital currencies also proliferate, despite warnings from regulators, outgoing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and even Warren Buffett. 

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As bitcoin gains value, a handful of early investors have seen their wealth jump. Last year, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss became "bitcoin billionaires," seeing a spectacular return on their investment of $11 million in the currency five years before. 

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