Skype co-founder maintains personal wealth in Bitcoin, Ethereum


In the letter

  • Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn holds the majority of his wealth in cryptocurrency.
  • The Estonian engineer donated 350 Ethereum and 50 Bitcoin to the British company Faculty AI in 2018-2020.
  • The company still holds most of the cryptocurrencies received from Tallinn.

Jaan Tallinn, an Estonian engineer who was one of the co-founders of Skype, holds the majority of his personal assets in cryptocurrency, and it had been for some time now, according to an article published by Luck on Fridays.

Since Skype was sold to eBay for around $ 2.6 billion in 2005, Tallinn hasn’t launched new businesses, but it has invested in many. One of these was Faculty AI, a London-based company focused on machine learning systems, which has received digital assets from Tallinn on at least two occasions.

According to the report, while Tallinn-based investment firm Metaplanet Holdings has backed the Faculty in the past and holds about 9% of its shares, the Skype co-founder has also donated thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency to the British firm. In January 2018, Tallinn donated 350 Ethereum (ETH) to the Faculty (worth approximately $ 434,000 at the time and approximately $ 160,000 today).

The Skype logo on a mobile phone. Image: Shutterstock.

In March 2020, the engineer followed up on a gift of 50 Bitcoin (BTC) – this was worth around $ 316,000, according to the Faculty public financial documents, but rose to over $ 810,000 during the recent Bitcoin rally.

Since he still holds most of his personal cryptocurrency funds, he told the outlet, it was a lot easier to invest that way. Selling the coins for cash would have resulted in capital gains tax and reduced the amount of money Tallinn was able to give to the Faculty.

In the end, the move turned out to be much more complicated for the UK company itself as traditional accounting falls short of the rapidly developing world of digital assets.

“Our accountants had to go find someone else who was working on cryptocurrencies and how to do cryptocurrency accounting,” Marc Warner, founder and CEO of the Faculty, told the outlet.

Since then, the company has sold Ethereum worth around $ 144,000 in 2019-2020, but has reportedly kept most of the cryptocurrencies it received from Tallinn. While Ethereum is still far from its late 2017-early 2018 highs, Bitcoin’s price is definitely going back there.

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