The co-founder of the social media website Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, reportedly bought 50,000 Ether (ETH) for just $15,000 during the cryptocurrency’s presale in 2014, a cost of just 30 cents per coin.
Ohanian, who left the social media giant in 2020, told Forbes in a Feb. 21 article that he found the idea of a decentralized store of value to be very attractive partly due to his Armenian heritage, prompting him to take an early gamble on Ethereum.
“Any group of people who have in their consciousness, or in their collective history, some idea of persecution, especially by a state, makes the idea of a store of value that is not controlled by any single state very attractive. And so, in some ways it was hardwired in me then, and made me in a way receptive to the idea of a decentralized currency.”
At current prices, this investment is worth a whopping $82.5 million according to CoinMarketCap, representing an increase of 549,589%.
He continued to explain how his family’s inheritance of heirloom rugs were seized by Turkish soldiers during the Armenian genocide in World War 1, which led to his interest in “unseizable property.”
Due to his aversion to seizable property, Ohanian is a big proponent of self-custody and manages the private keys to some of his most valuable crypto-related investments to ensure they are kept off exchanges that are more vulnerable to the prying arms of governments.
When he heard about Ethereum in a meeting with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Ohanian claimed he saw the potential for developers to build a wide range of potentially unseizable assets such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on top of it.
As a result, he made his initial investment in Ether but noted in the interview that “in hindsight, I didn’t invest nearly as much as I should have.”
Related: Ethereum derivatives data suggests $1,700 might not remain a resistance level for long
Ohanian founded venture capitalist firm 776 in 2020 using the proceeds from his early investments in Ether and Coinbase, which has invested in 29…