Inside Blockchain Capital | Top Crypto Venture Capital Fund


So you said that you used to work in sort
of the more traditional financial industry.
So how would you compare working in crypto
and blockchain to working there?
I feel like you get a lot more done.
Blockchain Capital, one of the earliest venture
capital firms that invests only in blockchain
and crypto startups.
Founded by brothers Bart and Brad Stephens,
Brock Pierce and with Jimmy Song as a Bitcoin
fellow.
It has 250 million dollars in assets under
management and has invested in companies like
Coinbase, Kraken, Circle and Ripple.
Its partner, Spencer Bogart, showed us around
their office.
Inevitably, at large Wall Street financial
firms, you end up with a very small set of
responsibility, whereas in crypto there’s
so much to be done, to be built, to put on
the venture side.
That means there’s a lot of work and everyone
has to do it, which is fun.
So would you say that this environment is
corporate at all?
Or is it like you know…?
Oh it’s pretty relaxed but you know also with
venture capital and you know we have our LPs
are very serious investors and so we also
tried not to be too too playful, but we like
to have fun here as well.
VR room.
So we invested in a virtual reality company
called High Fidelity, run by Philip Rosedale
who’s the founder of Second Life – the biggest
successful online virtual world and so now
he’s working on building that in a virtual
reality.
I mean so it makes sense for us that in a
digital world there will be digital assets,
you know those probably be blockchain based
assets.
So this is where we try out some of the fun
virtual realities.
So, like, between, like, you know, corporate
Wall Street get-their-at-six leave-at-midnight
and, like, the San Francisco tech companies
with, like, the beer on tap and barefoot,
like, where would you fall?
Let’s see, we don’t have beer on tap.
We do have cold brew in the fridge and obviously
LaCroix.
But that’s like so cool.
So like yeah exactly, but then again I am
usually in before 7:00 a.m so it’s kind of,
it’s literally a blend of the two.
Interesting and so do you find that most people
at work here came from traditional finance?
It’s about.. yeah most of them did yeah probably
about three quarters.
So where did the rest come from?
Just like..?
Out of the legal world, out of universities
and out of research.
Over the years Blockchain Capital’s invested
in a couple of ATM companies and so this is
one of them that sent us out their actual
ATM so you could actually use it.
I don’t know if it’s been set up in the new
place yet, looks like it has, but you can
enter your phone number, you can submit cash
in.
Oh wow.
And you can either have it sent straight to
a wallet or printed out on a paper wallet.
So these are all old, mostly defunct, bitcoin
mining companies.
So we have Butterfly Labs, KnCMiner, Spondoolies,
and a whole bunch of blades here.
These are all mining companies that were early
and were all very interesting and have not
survived unfortunately.
It’s like a graveyard.
Yeah, exactly.
A lot of them.
This is the 21 Bitcoin Computer, which is
kind of a prototype.
We have the CoinTerra machines here, for mining
bitcoin, and then some of Bitmain’s equipment
down here as well which is, of course, one
of the only mining companies that’s been able
to survive and has now grown into a 15 billion
dollar behemoth.
Yeah, now it’s huge.
So big.
Yeah.
I mean at one point you could even just – used
to keep these on the conference table and
these little chips would actually be mining,
these little tiny ones, and you’d have a fan
on here just to keep them cool so they wouldn’t
overheat.
So I have to say, the space here does look
pretty empty.
Where is everyone?
Oh, so we just moved in a couple months ago
and down here – so we’re gonna keep everything
upstairs but what’s gonna be down here is
we’re gonna incubate a couple of the teams,
that maybe aren’t quite at a stage where we
can invest in them yet but we really like
what they’re doing, and we’d like to give
them the office space; to be able to work
together, build and collaborate and hopefully
they get to a stage where we can, kind of,
put capital into the company as well.
So down here that’s primarily what the space
will be used for and we do use all the conference
rooms down here, for now, in the meantime
and then in the back we have our teaching
room.
A couple weeks ago Jimmy Song was doing “Programming
Blockchain” out of here, so we had 25 different
developers here that were learning how to
code into bitcoin.
I joined Blockchain Capital about a year and
a half ago.
We’re a venture firm that invests exclusively
in blockchain and crypto companies, about
75 companies in the portfolio, but what I
ended up spending most of my time on was just
around Bitcoin.
So I started publishing on Bitcoin.
I was the only analyst on Wall Street consistently
publishing on Bitcoin and one thing led to
another.
So in total, it’s probably been about three
years, three or four years, of working professionally
and about five, five and a half, of personal interest.
So what do you think needs to happen with
regulation in the US specifically in terms
of growing blockchain development?
It’s a good question.
I’d say the biggest hurdles right now…I
mean, if we think about, kind of, blockchain
technology as a whole, and then we think about
maybe the crypto side of things in particular,
I think more of the regulatory goes on the
crypto side of things as opposed to necessarily
like blockchain technology side.
I haven’t seen much resistance to kind of
blockchain technology as a whole except maybe
as applied to something like health care but
otherwise I think that’s relatively open.
When it comes to the crypto assets, I think
it’s a little bit more challenging.

5 thoughts on “Inside Blockchain Capital | Top Crypto Venture Capital Fund

  1. Nice to see all the money raised being wasted on empty fancy offices with people chiling collecting outrageous paychecka for a few years not accomplishing anything tangible or useful. You could not get me to invest in this junk with a gun pointed to my head. Blockchain is biggest scam ever!!!!!! Bitcoin is only purposeful, meaningful thing in space, rest vaporware to drain hard earned money from fools.

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