An aggressive Bitcoin trade got crypto VC shop Paradigm flying out of the gate. But Fred Ehrsam and Matt Huang aim to do more than just generate outsized returns for their blue-blooded backers — they want to take alt-currencies into finance’s mainstream.

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Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase (L) and Rolfe Winkler of The Wall Street Journal speak onstage at “Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?” during the 2014 SXSW on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Tammy Perez/Getty Images for SXSW

By Alex Konrad

On a secluded back patio of the luxe Ventana Big Sur hotel, several dozen of the world’s leading cryptocurrency experts are playing a special after-dinner game. It’s a brisk weeknight in November 2019, and the attendees congregate around tall heaters to sip wine and hot chocolate and quiz each other — a nerdy, real-life reimagining of a computer science concept called the Byzantine Generals Problem, which imagines a leader passing orders to lieutenants of unreliable loyalty.

Pooling their deductive skills, the participants successfully root out three players instructed to lie. They’ve illustrated, in low-tech form, the power of the blockchain, which combines vast amounts of processing power to create a dynamic, but effectively unbreakable, decentralized public ledger. …



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