Adam Draper, the founder and CEO of BoostVC, a Silicon Valley accelerator focused on bitcoin, stopped by Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat and spoke with Paul Vigna. Draper was an early investor in Coinbase in 2012. He discussed with Vigna, for the most part, the evolution of Bitcoin to the blockchain. This has been a dramatic change in the Bitcoin space, and one which certainly will color the future of the blockchain technology.
“The evolution is really about the currency to the technology,” Draper explained. “How it’s evolved is the banks have figured out that this technology could bring them down, and now they’re all partnering, and that evolution has been exciting to watch.” It’s noteworthy that it’s merely speculation that the banks believe Bitcoin could bring them down. Perhaps they merely believe blockchain technology could make them better at what they do.
Draper states the reason for the move from Bitcoin to blockchain has to do with the associations Bitcoin had made with illegal goods and scams. Draper believes the entrance of financial institutions into the space is a good sign. Many financial institution representatives seem to simply prefer certain aspects of the blockchain financial technology, belittling others (in their public format) as not useful in the modern economy. Draper welcomes the change.
“You need financial institution adoption to bring this to rest of the world,” he said. “Its collaborative effort from those revolutionaries trying to break the system and the people who are the system. It’s an interesting dichotomy…This year is the year of financial institution adoption of the blockchain, and 2017 is going to be consumers using it some way or another, they just don’t necessarily need to know that.” Vigna asks Draper when the first privately funded companies will begin feeling the stress of not turning a profit. Draper says he doesn’t believe that is coming, and that early movers in the space will be very successful.” He seems to mean specifically blockchain.
If you are a blockchain start up, blockchain startups are going to do very well in the fundraising environment today.
He also says entrepreneurs need to get into the space today if they want to make an impact. Vigna asked Draper about the tentative IPO environment today, and its cause.
“Fear spreads that,” Draper said. All-in-all, he thinks many valuations today are reasonable because of the nature of the market.
“The truth is right now,” Draper began. “You’re able to launch globally faster than you’ve been able to do before; suddenly your market is not 300 million of people in the US, your market is everyone with a cell phone.” In terms of seeing his Bitcoin startup investments come to fruition, Draper is in the industry for the long haul.
“We partnered with entrepreneurs early to be there for the entire story,” Draper said. “We are committing upfront to seven years before we see results. That’s generally what our thought process is.”
Because of the multitudinous uses for the blockchain, it’s likely the blockchain results could come in for decades as it touches industry after industry.
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