How Elon Musk Could Use Crypto to Take Tesla Private

August 11, 2018, 5:23 PM UTC

As Elon Musk seeks backers for his proposal this week to take Tesla private—a deal for which the Tesla CEO tweeted that he had “funding secured”—one investor is offering a solution: cryptocurrency.

Haydar Haba invests in private tech companies through his fund Andra Capital, which is in the process of raising $1 billion in a token sale of its so-called Silicon Valley Coin. The cryptocurrency will represent an ownership stake in the 20 to 30 venture capital-backed startups—from Silicon Valley to China—in Haba’s portfolio, chosen for their growth potential and likelihood to go public in the next few years.

While Tesla, which currently has a publicly trading stock, does not meet Andra Capital’s criteria for VC-backed companies, Haba hopes Musk will follow a similar path.

“I love Tesla, I love Elon Musk, and I think he should definitely consider the blockchain and tokenization of assets,” Haba said this week on Fortune’s “Balancing the Ledger” show. “We’d call it the Tesla Coin.”

If Musk takes Haba’s advice, he could become a trailblazer for a new way of investing in the stock market using digital tokens instead of traditional shares—which many financial firms are already exploring.

“In my view, 20 years from now, private and public will go away, and we’re only going to have one high-quality tokenized offering,” Haba added. “These are the growth coins of the future.”

Cryptocurrency, based on a blockchain that acts as a permanent ledger of transactions, offers investors many benefits that traditional stocks don’t, he continued. For example, when Haba used to own equity in a private company, it would take him “90 days and $30,000” just to transfer his shares to someone else.

“Now we can do it on the blockchain in a matter of seconds, between global investors,” Haba said. “This is by far better than anything out there.”

Plus, he added, tokenized shares of companies have certain advantages that other cryptocurrencies don’t. “These are not coins backed by scarcity like Bitcoin,” he said. “These are backed by real growth assets.”