Peter Thiel Leads $230 Million Funding Round for BitDAO

By Jeff Benson

Another day, another DAO with a boatload of cash.

BitDAO took in $230 million in a funding round led by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Thiel-founded Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Dragonfly Capital—all early backers of the project, which “aims to promote and propel the mass adoption of open finance and decentralized tokenized economy.”

Other funders include Brevan Howard Asset Management co-founder Alan Howard and Synthetix’s Kain Warwick. Singapore-based crypto exchange ByBit is also contributing regular revenue from its futures contracts trading, which could inject hundreds of millions to the fund.

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According to a press release, BitDAO will use its war chest to fund grants, employ developers to assist blockchain teams, and pump liquidity into decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, which offer bank-like services without the banks.

DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, use smart contracts on a blockchain platform, which essentially allows their members to pledge tokens toward particular governance decisions. Though in recent years they have been used for governance of DeFi protocols, they are becoming increasingly popular vehicles for venture capital. DAOs can pool members’ assets together, increasing the chance their target projects will be successful—and that they’ll earn money on their investment.

NeptuneDAO launched with $20 million in April, with a plan to provide decentralized finance lending protocols with liquidity. A WallStreetsBets founder pivoted in May from pumping meme stocks to beginning work on a DAO in which token holders would rebalance stock portfolios. And former Huobi executive Sharlyn Wu this month gathered big names in DeFi—including Warwick and Compound founder Robert Leshner—to direct yield farmers to the best projects for AladdinDAO.

With $230 million in its hull, BitDAO is ready to set sail.