Ethereum Billionaire Looks to China for Next Big Crypto Winners

(Bloomberg) -- Anthony Di Iorio hasn’t stopped looking for bargains in the digital-currency world after amassing a fortune of as much as $1 billion from his early investment in Bitcoin and as a co-founder of Ethereum.

“The biggest stake for me is in Qtum and VeChain right now, the two Chinese projects,” Di Iorio said Thursday in an interview in Toronto. “There’s much more opportunity in newer ones if you can identify them.”

Qtum is an Ethereum-based project that aims to combine the reliability of Bitcoin’s blockchain with the flexibility of the smart contracts of the Ethereum network. It’s the 20th-biggest digital coin in circulation with a market value of about $914 million, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

VeChain’s blockchain platform focuses on financial services and supply-chain management. The coin is the 17th largest, with a market value of about $1.7 billion.

Di Iorio got into the cryptocurrency craze on the ground floor by helping to fund Ethereum, now the leading alternative to the Bitcoin platform. Ether, the currency that runs on Ethereum, has a market value of around $50 billion compared with Bitcoin’s $115 billion. Di Iorio now runs Decentral, an “innovation hub” in Toronto focused on blockchain projects. It’s the creator of the popular cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx.

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He’s still a believer in Bitcoin, which he purchased first for under C$10 ($7.52). It now trades at about C$8,915.

“In general, it’s got amazing features and it’s got the ability to, because it’s scarce, great utility, you could move value quickly fast, it’s a first-mover advantage,” Di Iorio said. “I think it’s going to consistently do what its been doing over the last year as more people start to use it, I think it’ll go up.”

Ether investors got a reprieve last week when a top U.S. regulator said transactions involving the token aren’t subject to federal securities rules, ending months of speculation that had weighed on the digital currency.

“When we set it up and launched it, we were pretty comfortable that it wasn’t a security,” Di Iorio said. “It’s great to get the reaffirmation that it’s not.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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