“But that took about six weeks,” says the serial entrepreneur.
Now he has set up First Block Capital, a fund that invests in crypto companies. Within two years, Van der Chijs wants to collect a billion dollars.
He firmly believes in the digital currency and the underlying technology. “The blockchain is the engine and the bitcoin the fuel,” says the Dutch entrepreneur.
Van der Chijs spoke at the Crypto Investment Summit, a meeting about investing in cryptocurrencies that was held mid-December in Ede, the Netherlands. Trend-watcher and organizer Vincent Everts Skyped with the entrepreneur, who now lives in Vancouver.
Bitcoin will be worth millions
Last summer, Van der Chijs predicted that this year the bitcoin would go to the USD $10,000. That has already happened, so Everts wanted a new prediction.
No problem. Van der Chijs thinks that the bitcoin exchange rate for the turn of the year is still going to the $15,000. “There are all kinds of professional investors who want to add it to their portfolio this year, so that they can show that they are in it,” he explains of his optimism.
For 2018, $40,000 is reasonable, he says. “There is still a great deal of institutional money waiting on the sidelines to participate in this market.”
And in 2021, a bitcoin will be worth about $150,000. “I think that the bitcoin can eventually go to the millions of dollars when it becomes a means of payment,” says Van der Chijs. “The number of bitcoin is limited to 21 million, so there will never be more than that. But demand will increase exponentially, and so the price will continue to rise.”
Chinese video king from Arnhem
For the money, Van der Chijs doesn’t have to go into the bitcoin adventure. He has been a millionaire for a long time by his success in China.
After his studies in business administration in Maastricht, he joined Daimler, the German parent company of Mercedes, as a financial controller and moved to Beijing. He quickly resigned and started working as an independent consultant.
His wife Grace introduced him to Gary Wang, a former fellow student of hers at the famous French business school INSEAD. The two men clicked. 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 was listed on the stock exchange in 2011 at a valuation of $822 million. Four years later, internet giant Alibaba bought Tudou for over $4 billion.
The second Internet
Van der Chijs is not a billionaire, he confessed to Quote. He is “only” a millionaire. But according to him, that is an advantage.
“In the billionaires around me, I see that the drive is gone. They are no longer interested in companies in which a few million must be invested,” Van der Chijs told Quote. “Actually, it is an advantage that I am not extremely rich. That is why I think differently. I still have the incentive to invest and to earn from it.”
This 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 soon there was situation that demanded Van der Chijs’s attention: the financial crisis in Cyprus. Banks on the island blocked customers’ accounts to prevent a bank run. And that meant Van der Chijs’ company on the island could not access its funds…