Roelof Botha, the grandson of the late Pik Botha, worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Co, Johannesburg, from August 1996 through June 1998. Photo: Supplied
Roelof Botha, the grandson of the late Pik Botha, worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Co, Johannesburg, from August 1996 through June 1998. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Earlier this month the Bank of America informed an influential venture capitalist Roelof Botha about the imminent closure of his bank account. Botha is a former chief financial officer of PayPal turned venture capitalist. 

According to his tweet he has been the banks customer for 20 years. He shared the news via his Twitter account. 

In response to this announcement, another South African celebrity tech entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham enquired if the move had anything to do with his Bitcoin activities. Assumptions also started arriving that this was done because the former PayPal exec may have invested in Bitcoin.

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When he shared the news about his bank account being shut down without any solid explanation, assumptions started arriving that this was done because the former PayPal exec may have bought Bitcoin.



Numerous banks prohibit their customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies. The Reserve Bank of India laid a crypto ban on all businesses dealing with crypto in the country – mainly crypto exchanges – and forbade banks to provide services to these companies.

Botha will not be alone, he will join a list of other cryptocurrency executives whose accounts were also closed. A founder, Justin Sun, of another cryptocurrency platform, Tron, had his bank account also closed. Sun announced the news on Twitter in reply to former PayPal executive and Silicon Valley investor Roelof Botha.

He is another technology entrepreneur who was born in Pretoria, South Africa. At the age of six he moved to Cape Town with his parents.

He was raised in Hout Bay, a suburb of Cape Town, and attended Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck. Botha earned a BSc in Actuarial Science, Economics, and Statistics from the University of Cape Town, graduating in 1996 with the highest GPA in the history of the programme.

Botha, the grandson of the late Pik Botha, worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Co, Johannesburg, from August 1996 through June 1998.

He then moved to the US, where he attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business from 1998 through 2000 and received an MBA, where he was the Henry Ford II Scholar as Stanford GSB valedictorian.

He took an early risk on YouTube and continued to invest in start-ups including personal genetic testing company 23andMe and bio company BridgeBio. The South African native also spearheaded the launch of Sequoia AMP, a 10-week intensive for portfolio company founders to accelerate company growth.

This is a developing story and will updated as new information becomes available.

BUSINESS REPORT