The Next Chapter: Building an Exchange
I am excited to announce a new chapter. After almost two years in the world of venture capital, I have started a new company along with my cofounder, Scott Pirrello. The company is Everbloom, and we are building a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. Read more about it at “Everbloom: Who, What, Why?”.
The last few years have been a long journey that lead to this. Scott and I have known each other for several years, but my interest in blockchain dates back to the Bitcoin paper in 2008/09. Even before that, I was researching decentralized networks, especially in the realm of file storage and how it related to my work at Microsoft in the file systems group. As a software developer at heart, you had to be intrigued by these things.
About one year and several months ago, I started to take my interest in blockchain and distributed technologies much more seriously. It started with a slow roll of interesting projects like Golem that raised Series A sized sums of money in token sales and culminated with a bang in the summer of 2017 when projects like Bancor raised >$100M in very short time spans.
How can you not take notice as a venture capitalist? The concept is a challenge to your very business model. I figured it was time to learn more, and what better way to learn than to actually invest? I pooled capital with a small group of angel investors, and we started investing in ICOs. Our biggest investment was Enigma. I had a lot of respect for the team (heavily drawn from MIT) and their venture investors (which included firms like Flybridge).
Over the course of August through to November, we made about a dozen investments, many at the presale stage. In November we had an investor meeting, and one thing was very clear — despite how much money was being raised in token sales, the fundamental process and the tools of the trade still left a lot to be desired. If it was painful for someone like myself with decades of experience in complex software, what was it like for everyone else?
At its core, exchanges were perhaps the roughest. Hacks were everywhere. Critical functionality like portfolio tracking, accounting, access control, key management, and more were no where to be seen. Scott and I had been collaborating for months examining various opportunities in blockchain. In one conversation it hit us like a ton of bricks. We can build a better exchange. We should build a better exchange. It was time for a team like ours with decades of experience building professional software to take this to the next level.
From there we essentially liquidated the ICO fund and geared up to build a new company. We had resounding support from the fund investors. Many of the investors from the fund came onboard as investors in the new company.
We are excited to start this chapter and start sharing more details. Become a part of the conversation by joining us on Telegram at everbloomhq or on Twitter at @everbloomhq. We look forward to unveiling more of the roadmap and launch plan!