Chinese Bitcoin billionaire Li Xiaoli is bidding farewell to the crypto industry. Xiaoli is one of the best-known names in the cryptosphere after he founded BitFund, a Beijing-based venture capital investment fund with a focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. The businessman announced his departure from the crypto world in a post on Weibo -- popular social media platform in China.
“From this day on, Li Xiaolai personally will not invest in any projects (whether it is blockchain or early stage),” was said in a statement, translated by TechNode. “ So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it. I plan to spend several years to contemplate on my career change. As for what I’m doing next, I’m not sure just yet.”
The unexpected announcement took the cryptosphere by surprise, with mixed sentiments on social media platforms. While most commenters remained supportive of his decision, many commenters expressed concerns over the undisclosed reason for Li’s departure.
Earlier this year Li was involved in a series of accusations, the highlight of which was a feud between the BitFund founder and venture capitalist Chen Weixing. Chen called Li a “tumor” and claimed the Chinese billionaire owed investors over 30,000 BTC since 2013. Following the accusations Li stepped down from his role as a managing partner of the $1 billion Hangzhou Xiong’An Blockchain Fund.
Li was also in the center of controversy after a recording of him fuming about some of the most respected Chinese crypto individuals leaked and caused a stir in the Chinese cryptosphere. In the recording, the businessman gave tips on “cutting leeks” -- a reference to ‘harvesting’ of new investors that have just entered the market.
In May, CCTV aired a program showing that despite government regulations, ICOs were still popular in China, and “air coins” -- tokens projects that haven’t been backed by legitimate entities -- were still growing in number. The program suggested such projects seek association with big-name investors like Li Xiaoli to appear as legitimate. “99.99 percent of the time, I’m being associated with these projects without even knowing it,” Li was quoted as saying in the CCTV program.