UPFRONT VENTURES

Blockchain & Crypto-assets

A blockchain-powered decentralized web has quickly become the organizing theme of Internet 3.0, but it's still early days for this potentially revolutionary market. As we look to navigate this important topic, we collected insights from dozens of experts to help shed light on the foundational technology, the state of the market today, and the outlook for investors both near and long-term.

 

What is Blockchain?

It's hard to separate blockchain technology from the crypto-assets like Bitcoin that transact on these platforms. At their core, blockchains promise entirely new forms of decentralized systems, offering for the first time attributes of distributed trust, immutable ledgers, and digital scarcity that have been inconceivable previously. With these foundational protocols, the market is reimagining the way software and the internet itself are architected.

 

A Guide to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Presented by Mark Suster

New to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and ICOs? Start here to understand the basic technology, infrastructure, and ambition of the crypto market.

 

View Slides Here

 

A shift back towards decentralization

VCs and entrepreneurs discuss how blockchain could be the next wave of Internet innovation and benefits of a return to the once-dominant theme of decentralization.

With insights from Aaron Batalion, Chris Dixon, Preethi Kasireddy, Alyse Killeen, Tom Loverro, Adam Ludwin, Balaji Srinivasan, Mark Suster and Fred Wilson.

 

Blockchain Technologies, Scalability, and Project Governance

Garry Tan (Initialized Capital), Nick Tomaino (1confirmation), Preethi Kasireddy (Schelling). Moderated by Michael Carney (Upfront Ventures)

Adam Ludwin Interview with Kevin Zhang

Adam Ludwin, founder and CEO of Chain, joins Kevin Zhang of Upfront Ventures to discuss the current state and future promises of blockchain technology for the general public and enterprise.


The Market Today

While there are still many unanswered questions about the ultimate impact of blockchains, crypto-tokens, and distributed apps, the rapid growth in awareness and scale of these platforms is undeniable. With Silicon Valley and Wall Street both bullish, it seems not if but rather when and how the tech goes fully mainstream. Below, experts provide a snapshot of the market today and predict the near-term milestones that could unlock this market potential.

 

The Economics of Cryptocurrencies

Presented by Thomas Lee

Fundstrat Global co-founder Thomas Lee shares analysis on trust, crypto as an asset class and the millennial market that will drive adoption and change.

 

View Slides Here

 

 

What the VC Community Thinks

In a January survey of 200 leading VCs, we learned that the industry is indeed excited and optimistic about the long-term impact of blockchains, tokens, and ICOs. However, the prevailing belief is that we are quite early in this cycle. There are a variety of different strategies that investors following in this space today, with each tying primarily to the individual investor or firm's depth of understanding of the underlying technology and their anticipated timeline for its mass commercialization.

The full results of the survey are included in the presentation here. A more thorough analysis of the survey is on Upfront Insights.

 

Understanding Blockchain and the Race for Scale

Why are blockchains, though promising, struggling to scale and what solutions are in the works to tackle this challenge?

Insights from: Muneeb Ali, Aaron Batalion, Chris Dixon, Matthew Goetz, Preethi Kasireddy, Adam Ludwin, Jim Robinson, Barry Silbert, Balaji Srinivasan, and Mark Suster.

Crypto Bull Market - Fad or Future

Are we over-investing? Can the bull market last? Is hype a net-positive, even if temporary? Experts share their predictions for crypto valuations on a global scale. 

Insights from: Aaron Batalion, Chris Dixon, Preethi Kasireddy, Alyse Killeen, Thomas Lee, Tom Loverro, Rachel Mayer, Barry Silbert, Balaji Srinivasan, Mark Suster, and Fred Wilson.


Looking Forward

The blockchain ecosystem is nothing if not ambitious in its goals. Will it disrupt the venture capital industry? Replace government-backed monetary systems? Eliminate the need for governments and corporations all together? Leading blockchain thinkers look to the future to predict what impact the technology could have on society and industry.

 

Investing in Blockchain Infrastructure and Cryptocurrencies

Dan Primack (Axios) interviews Adam Draper, Matthew Goetz, Alyse Killeen, and Bart Stephens about the impact of cryptocurrency on venture capital and what investors, entrepreneurs and LPs need to consider.

 

Crypto: The Future of Money?

Currency, commodity, or token? Experts weigh in on the potential and challenges for crypto-assets to become the dominant stores of value and mediums of exchange. 

Insights from: Aaron Batalion, Matthew Goetz, Thomas Lee, Tom Loverro, Rachel Mayer, Jim Robinson, Barry Silbert, Balaji Srinivasan, Mark Suster, and Fred Wilson.

Is Crypto the Future of Early Stage Funding?

VCs & entrepreneurs share thoughts on ICOs and the open questions around transparency, liquidity, governance, and their overall impact on venture funding. 

Insights from: Aaron Batalion, Chris Dixon, Preethi Kasireddy, Alyse Killeen, Jeremy Liew, Tom Loverro, Adam Ludwin, Jim Robinson, Mark Suster, and Fred Wilson.