The Japanese expression of gratitude we heard everywhere, almost always accompanied by a bow, delivered with a lilt, is so different from the distant almost insincere “thank you” we mutter in most parts of the world. And that is Japan for you: a modern, developed society, that is so genuine, still steeped in ancient culture, that it stands apart from every other developed country we have been to.
Packing: there was much debate in the family about how to pack for our 8 days in Japan. We did China with backpacks and that worked really well. We wanted to do…
The Trading Show is an esoteric conference that brings together people who work in niche areas of fintech like algorithmic trading and increasingly in digital assets and cryptocurrencies. I was invited to speak at the Chicago event last month on the subject of Fintech and its evolution, which presented a good opportunity to introduce our investment thesis for the next series of funds from Applied Crypto Ventures.
Back in late 2017, when Applied Crypto Ventures first fund announced our framework for investing in Blockchain, we were very focused on blockchain protocols at two levels:
In “Crypto” yes, but blockchain technology is thriving
Welcome to the first of our new periodic updates about our blockchain-tech focused funds, our strategy, our portfolio, and sector news.
Bitcoin has been spoken about a lot in the 10 years since its birth. Unleashed on the world in 2008, a few weeks after the financial crisis was ushered in as indicated by the fall of Lehman Brothers, it largely stayed in corners of the Internet till a mini bubble grew and popped in 2013–2014. Since then a lot of excitement has built around cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin and other coins flourished, especially in 2017, only to meet their comeuppance in 2018.
Anyone who is keenly interested in the blockchain sector, has probably realized that the blockchain technology market has matured and is primed to solve real-world problems, far separated from the hype and hysteria of cryptocurrencies. As thoughtful, thematic, and analytical venture capital investors (rather than crypto speculators), we at Applied Crypto Ventures have been firm believers in the enterprise blockchain opportunity.
Important Note: The class of technologies colloquially called “blockchain” is now more accurately called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), with blockchain being one architecture that works pretty well and is most familiar as it underlies popular cryptocurrencies.
We recently completed our first overseas reconnaissance as we look to give our portfolio greater geographical diversification. Given the summer lull in the Americas and Europe, it seemed an opportune time to connect with a part of the world that does not slow down much in July and August: Asia.
The choice of Mumbai as a stop on this tour was one of convenience rather than necessity. Having procured an incredible airfare to Mumbai, I set up meetings in an ecosystem where I have deep connections, given my previous investing experience in this part of the world.
Going in, having…
Those of you following AVG Blockchain Fund are probably aware of our laser focus on the foundational layers of the blockchain stack. Our strategy has been largely based on our published thoughts regarding near-term opportunities in the sector in infrastructure and protocols.
We have also developed a view that in this nascent sector, the best deals in line with that strategy (entrepreneurs, technology teams, and investor syndicates) are based in the US — and consequently our early stage investments have been concentrated here.
However, we are now revisiting our geographical concentration strategy based on three observations:
Enough people asked me to present a primer on how blockchain works (rather to answer the question: is it Bitcoin or is it Blockchain) that I decided to put together a set of slides.
Note that I make some generalizations here in the interest of keeping it simple enough to be a first introduction.
My long form posts on Blockchain investing:
I welcome your thoughts but minimally please clap so I know you find this interesting.
Originally published on Medium; all views are personal.
Other analyses from me on Medium:
by Esmé, my thirteen year old middle-schooler
(A heartfelt composition I was compelled to share)
I do not weep for my city as it is
I weep in memory of how it was
The luscious fields, the bustling streets
But above all, laughter and freedom that permeated through the desert haze
Where lovely mosques once stood stand armed monsters,
Guarding piles of rubble of their own creation
The schools in which children once gaily frolicked
Are now hubs for brainwashing and child soldiers
The people have not given up on their home
But they stay only in body
Venture Capital as an asset class has mostly been associated with institutional investors like pension funds, endowments, and substantial family offices. When I recently met Mike Collins, founder and CEO of Alumni Venture Group, I was intrigued to hear of their unique business model whereby individual investors (much like myself and my peers) could access the kind of investment opportunities only available to institutions. Around this time, I was mulling the idea of a fund focused purely on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (including cryptocurrencies and tokens). …