An early Theranos investor may be one of the only people to make any money from the failed Silicon Valley startup — thanks to NFTs.
According to a press release, Marc Ostrofsky invested around $100,000 in 2005 after directly receiving chief exec Elizabeth Holmes’ pitch for a device that could supposedly analyze blood and administer medication via a remote doctor.
Before Theranos flopped, his investment would reach a $22 million valuation. Now, it’s worth nothing.
So, Ostrofsky is selling a tokenized version of his stock certificate for 500,000 Theranos shares signed by Holmes.
Holmes claimed her tech could perform a number of diagnostic tests from a droplet of blood — a feat essentially impossible at the time.
The medtech firm is now all but defunct, but between 2003 and 2016 Holmes was able to raise over $700 million in venture capital funding.
At its peak, Theranos was valued at over $10 billion. Prominent investors included Newscorp boss Rupert Murdoch, American politician George Shultz, Bitcoin tie-guy Tim Draper, and tech overlord Marc Andreessen (although his fund a16z did not).
Shultz’s grandson Tyler eventually blew the whistle on Holmes’ racket, although not before Theranos machines were misdiagnosing the American public in supermarkets.
Theranos NFT sale is a crowdfunded bailout
Holmes, once heralded as Silicon Valley’s first self-made female billionaire, is currently on trial in San Jose, California.
Holmes is awaiting her verdict after allegedly deceiving Theranos investors about the functionality of her Edison diagnostic devices.
She faces up to two decades in prison charged with 11 counts, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
A minute-long animation shows the certificate with breaking news captions at the bottom; a whistle-stop tour through the Theranos story via news headlines.
“The goal of any investment, like this NFT, is to take advantage of timing and market opportunities to buy the right investment early in a market like NFTs,” said Ostrofsky.
“As one of the first investors with Elizabeth, Jupiter Group and I decided this could be the perfect NFT as a long-term investment,” Ostrofsky claimed.
Something tells me that logic isn’t totally airtight.
In any case, “The Rise & Fall of Theranos NFT” currently stands at 2 ETH ($7,600) after two bids, and ends Thursday evening.
Always do your own research. Just because Ostrofsky says this NFT is an “investment,” doesn’t mean it actually is. Press releases can be misleading.
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