Blockchains and Society

In July, I sat down The Falkes Group, organizers of the annual Women’s Private Equity Summit in Half Moon Bay, to talk about my fund, and how I got interested in investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2013.

As we see bitcoin near $6000 (it was near $1000 in the beginning of this year), it’s important to remember that there are still many question marks on how the technology will develop, particularly as we see more cryptocurrencies come to market. The pace of growth in the blockchain sector has exceeded what those of us who got involved in 2013 (or earlier) could have predicted. I think it is a testament to pent-up demand for better mechanisms for value transfer, authentication, and security. As if on cue, Equifax recently showed us how a large, well funded company whose sole job it was to protect our data, failed at its basic Continue reading "Blockchains and Society"

Blockchains and Society

In July, I sat down The Falkes Group, organizers of the annual Women’s Private Equity Summit in Half Moon Bay, to talk about my fund, and how I got interested in investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2013.

As we see bitcoin near $6000 (it was near $1000 in the beginning of this year), it’s important to remember that there are still many question marks on how the technology will develop, particularly as we see more cryptocurrencies come to market. The pace of growth in the blockchain sector has exceeded what those of us who got involved in 2013 (or earlier) could have predicted. I think it is a testament to pent-up demand for better mechanisms for value transfer, authentication, and security. As if on cue, Equifax recently showed us how a large, well funded company whose sole job it was to protect our data, failed at its basic Continue reading "Blockchains and Society"

Token Thoughts on the Blockchain Boom

The past 10 days have been heady for anyone in the cryptocurrency space.  The market cap of digital currencies increased to over $90 billion last week (a 50% increase in 7 days).  Bloomberg put together the chart below to show relative value increases in major cryptocurrencies.  
There is also a lot of buzz about ICO’s, or initial coin offerings, a new asset class of cryptocurrencies being issued in crowdsales to fund development of projects on top of Bitcoin or Ethereum (or in some cases, entirely new protocols).  I spoke at the inaugural Ethereal Summit in Brooklyn on May 19th on this topic, stating that there is undoubtedly a bubble in the market, driven by speculation.  I also said that I think these ICO’s can eventually change the world. Longer term, I believe tokens can enable a whole new ownership model, where consumers will be incentivized Continue reading "Token Thoughts on the Blockchain Boom"

Token Launch

This is not the story of another cryptocurrency coin offering, but of a product that is using a tangible, age-old form factor to manage and secure our digital and analog identities. I am pleased to announce that Future\Perfect Ventures portfolio company Tokenize has launched its latest product: Token, a ring that allows users to make payments, use public transport, log into websites, and enter our homes, cars and offices without carrying around keys or credit cards. Using advanced biometric technology and sensor detection, the ring is disabled when the user takes it off and has a battery life of 14 days on one charge.

Over the past few years as I’ve invested in the thesis of rapid decentralization, I was on the lookout for a company that represented what I call the “post smartphone” world. In the future, we will be accessing services and products through more seamless means, rather Continue reading "Token Launch"

My Talk at MIT: Beyond Finance, Considering Business and Social Impact of Blockchains

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at a conference entitled “Business of Blockchains” that the MIT Technology Review and MIT Media Lab organized in Cambridge.

One of the reasons I started investing in the blockchain space 4 years ago was the rush I got learning about the tech at my first bitcoin conference – akin to the chills I got when I first logged into the Internet in 1994, when I was deeply passionate about more equal access to education. There were some debates at the MIT conference on where we were in blockchain development vs the internet (is it 1960’s or 1990’s?). I’m not sure that this is the right way to frame it. Successful investors know when to draw inferences – but are also aware of conditions that create new opportunities. Pattern recognition is straightforward and linear– the way to recognize and invest in disruption is Continue reading "My Talk at MIT: Beyond Finance, Considering Business and Social Impact of Blockchains"

The LP Opportunity to Change Tech Culture

Over the past month, Silicon Valley has been at the forefront of many conversations outside of the technology world.  Unfortunately not for groundbreaking technology, but for rampant sexual harassment and predatory behavior. The stories outlined by a number of brave women in the NY Times last week recount investors using their power and position to proposition female founders.  Just a week before, Justin Caldbeck, founder of Binary Capital, admitted to sexually harassing a number of women who were seeking investment from his fund.  Binary Capital was dissolved within days by its investors once the extent of the allegations were revealed. While this behavior has existed in the industry for years, women are now standing up and speaking out.  For too long, too many men have taken the view that women were “reading too much” into behavior, didn’t have a “sense of humor”, or just didn’t Continue reading "The LP Opportunity to Change Tech Culture"