The idea is the brainchild of Timothy C. Draper.
Draper is the son and grandson of successful venture capitalists. His father founded the Draper & Johnson Investment Company in 1962 and served as both chairman and president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
His grandfather founded Draper, Gaither and Anderson, one of the U.S.’s first venture capital firms in 1958.
Timothy attended Stanford University, where he earned an electrical engineering degree before going on to get his MBA from Harvard Business School.
After spending a year at Alex, Brown & Sons (the oldest investment bank in the U.S., founded in 1800), Draper left to start his own venture capital firm with Jon Fisher and Steve Jurvetson.
Draper and Jurvetson are credited with coming up with the idea of advertising at the bottom of Hotmail messages, and the firm, DJF, owned 10% of Skype when it sold to eBay for $4.1 billion in 2005.
Early this year, Draper proposed an initiative to divide California into 6 separate states.
In support of his plan, he argues that the state is too big to be representative of its citizens or to be competitive economically:
“With six, you do get a good sense that you can drive 45 minutes in any direction and maybe be part of a different state and it keeps those states on their toes,”
he said while speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. If his plan is approved, each of the six states would have its own government, with it’s own elected officials and Congressional representatives.
Draper recently used Twitter to announce that he had submitted a petition with 1.3 million signatures to put his 6-state initiative up to a popular vote.
The plan definitely has its opponents though. Steve Maviglio is the spokesman for the OneCalifornia committee:
“This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand, our ability to attract business and jobs, and move our state forward together,”
he told the San Jose Mercury News. Many opponents also point out that even if Californians vote in favor of the plan, carrying it out would require an act by Congress.
Draper also has plans to expand the use of digital currencies. On June 27th, he won an auction to buy 30,000 bitcoins (worth an estimated $19 million) that were confiscated from the dark web’s illicit marketplace Silk Road by U.S. Marshalls.
He plans to use the bitcoins to help start-up bitcoin exchange Varuum increase the use of dgital currency:
“With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased Bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies,”
Draper said through a statement from Varuum.
As for the six state initiative, the signatures on the petition are currently being verified before an official date for the vote is announced.
Rad more from CBS News here.