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About the talk
Andrew Dix of Crowded Media Group leads a discussion on what blockchain sectors top investors are betting big on and why with Alon Goren of Draper Goren Holm, Adam Draper of BoostVC, Aly Madhavji of Blockchain Founders Fund/Loyal VC, and Heinrich Zetlmayer of Blockchain Valley Ventures.
LA Blockchain Summit is hosted and produced by the Los Angeles-based blockchain venture studio, Draper Goren Holm.
Crowdfund Insider was founded in 2012, soon after the signing of the JOBS Act by President Obama. The digital publication has been a leading voice, and independent advocate, for the disruptive innovation of Fintech and access to capital for small and emerging companies. Articles published in Crowdfund Insider have been referenced in speeches and documents by public officials around the world. The site has generated a consistent audience on Capitol Hill and other federal agencies. In 2015 Crowdfund Insider partnered with the Centre for Alternative Finance of Cambridge Judge Business School as the exclusive media partner for the European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report. Andrew is a regular participant in the bipartisan Securities Regulation Working Group organized by the Heritage Foundation. Andrew speaks regularly at alternative finance events around the world.View the profile
Founding Partner at GHV, Co-Founder of Crypto Invest Summit, LA Blockchain Week, 805 Startups & Investedin.View the profile
Adam Draper is the founder and managing director of Boost VC. Adam is a 2x entrepreneur and a 4th generation venture capitalist. He also has a very large comic book collection. In 2009, the same year that Adam graduated from UCLA, he founded Xpert Financial, a secondary market for private securities. After settling millions of dollars in private security transactions and becoming a registered broker-dealer, he left Xpert Financial in late 2012 and began angel investing, where he backed such startups as Coinbase, Plangrid and Amplitude. Adam then partnered up with Brayton Williams and to change the face of global startup mentorship. The focus of Boost VC on future technology development stems from Adam Draper’s dream to create an Iron Man suit.View the profile
I am passionate about emerging technologies to help change the world. This includes blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, articifial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, education, and FinTech. I’ve spent my last few years investing and working on several blockchain ventures and lead Blockchain Founders Fund which invests in and venture builds top-tier Start-ups and consults companies and governmental organizations on emerging technologies. Prior to that worked in Management Consulting and Assurance with PwC in Canada, The United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean. I love to spend my free time working on social sector improvement and have served on the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto and Advantage Mississauga. I previously held roles with PayPal, Microsoft, Bloomberg, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. I enjoy spending time on millennial development and authored 3 books including an international award-winning book entitled 'Your Guide to Succeed in University' as part of the 'Succeed Series', where each book is available free of charge. I also perform workshops and speaking engagements for parents, students, and executives. Most recently we published "Your Guide to Get Into Medical School" and "Your Guide to Succeed After Graduation". I am an INSEAD MBA December 2016 graduate (Singapore and France) and a Schwarzman Scholar from Tsinghua University.View the profile
Hello everybody. So, I want to thank you for joining us at this late hour tonight at the LA. My name is the founder of the crowd of media groups recover. The full stack of fintech, including blockchain and crypto. And I am here tonight with some pretty cool people. In the Venture crypto space, we have, of course, on Gorn with the Draper going home. The sponsor of this event, we have Valley Ventures all the way in which one, so he's up late for us. Of course, we have the one and only Adam
Draper, Draper with the coolest background ever. And you got to love that, that orange juice is just to make sure, people know my name and where I work. So I think he just went up to, with the, it's raining, All right, next time I'm going to have to step it up. I guess we're talking about tonight is what I'm watching. Sectors, are investors, eyeing? I did a quick search before I hopped on this and I found a datapoint that said, Global VC investment watching crypto space, sell a little bit during the first half of the year. I guess it had
something to do with the series cold is going around. That really kind of, you know, slowed people down least Adventure Community. Also found another data point that said that investment and watching crypto was up versus year prior. But regardless, I don't trust anyone, but we're going to really find out what is really going on in this Venture space, our regards to block that investment. I don't care what you called. What's going on? And I'm going to start with a lawn because one you had a cool announcement today. You had the announcement of fun. Number
one, the first one for DJ aah. Witch you raised 25 million bucks, cited about it. It's exciting because we, you know, we always did stuff as a venture studio, right? Which essentially what means we were, like running a company in investing off of the balance sheet and doing all that stuff. And this is the first time we did a proper Fund in in the sense of like the structure and bringing in outside investors and and things like that. And so it's really exciting because now will have the ability to double and
triple down on our portfolio, companies and cruel. Companies we find in the space. So we're really excited about it. Are you doing the wrong clothes? So I noticed that the funds actually going to be based in if in Austria, is it because of Joseph, is it? Because you're you're focus on Europe. What's what's going on here? It's still based out here, but Joseph is spend spend like a good amount of time. We go to the third of his time in Austria other throughout the year. Anyway, so we decided to
try and like, plant the flag in the ground, they're having actual office to meet with companies in kind of do what we do here in LA and spent more time with the startup community. That's cool. So you see a lot of opportunity right now in the EU. We see a lot of opportunity everywhere. It's, I think it's, it's kind of like it's exactly why we're here, you know, we're here because we lived here and we love it here and I don't think I would live anywhere else is where I was born and raised in. So I just want everyone to Soul of where they live and work wherever they
are and we see companies all over the world. And so it has nothing to do really, there are amazing opportunities. Riley Heinrich is in blockchain Valley and there's some cool things going on there. And being there is a cool thing. But, you know, if a company like we just invest in a company in Canada, we just invested in a company out here in Southern California and like the last three or four companies. We never even met the people in person. Like so we doesn't even matter where we're sure the real, the real people that can be fake people. They said they could be, but they
would, then I would hope they start a like deepfake company, if that's the case. I like that. So that, that's really cool. Congratulations want. I think you're doing a great job with your with your, your Venture firm. And I think that's really cool. Very proud of you before you do a lawn, I'm really excited for that. That's awesome. I looked up the date for a deck that I did recently been in 2015 and I have a picture of Adam with my mom because my mom came. But in 2015, Adam was down here in Southern California and we did a whole thing.
Most of the talk was about Bitcoin and Adam was telling us how is going to change the world and all this stuff in the news article that wrote about that day. And that story had like one sentence about Bitcoin. It was like Adam also mentioned Bitcoin this, the digital currency that's usually who said activities on it and it was like, it was a little far off my trajectory And it was both still worth. It was a packed crowd who's been tested. Every member of those are good group of startups in 15. I'm getting
older. Long time ago. We defy his kind of sucked. A lot of oxygen out of the room. It's like everyday. You read about a different defy startup. You guys are really close into this is not, you do ico's. Kind of like, you know, we went through that whole raver with ico's, this is actually different different. But what are you guys seeing? And what are you guys doing? Dusting in right now, in the Deep by space, we're going to start with Adam because I can read your name again on your wall, there, my name is
your driver Bruce PC. I wish we were the first crypto funds, a tank, ever to focus on bitcoin-related startups. And we've backed about a hundred and ten crypto companies at this point, the in applications for Boost PC tribe 15 or going to open tomorrow. So that's something I should probably plug. But other than that, I do deep assassinated because I think of it as like, it's Modern-day Financial products that people are sandboxing in sort of this crypto environment, right? Like we know how lending works. We know how we know how all these things work, you are creating new products that are on
that are in what we call defy. So it's being rapidly prototype by like a hundred thousand to a million people everyday. So it's I think of crypto as if it personally, this is my own personal like thesis is basically Bitcoin and ethereum have sort of cleared this trajectory that's basically like a mass-market like we could leave. Those things can go beyond everything else is sort of in a rapid prototyping face still is in a sandbox environment for all Financial products globally and it's so exciting that we have this because in so
that's that's what I'm excited about. I'm excited about you know. But we just end up going to come and go pods finance that is focused on structured Financial products and smart contract on the blockchain. I do, you know, options trading for is basically trying to translate the real world to the the digital and I liked and and then I'm really excited about. I'm really sad about to fight like that. That's one of our investments from specifically in the decentralized finance, World Finance.
You no banking work. And so you're looking to automate that with pods Finance knowing visually, she came from that world and she realized that there was just a lot of like Bureaucracy, that could be wiped Away by using smart contracts. And so I'm yeah, I'm really excited so long time ago that it's been doing, really, really well talking about. The amazing thing is it's like everything is everywhere just as a long was saying like you. It doesn't matter if you're a Founder in, you know, Kuwait or China or Australia.
We're all hooked up internet. And so, that's, I think, I think like crypto and beef. I always River Baxter Krypton Bitcoin, this early, but I could think of the market. As the goal, the goal is an open Financial infrastructure, right? Like it's did, Dad is the goal and so anything that I'm bored, this bastard to that which is Defy is easily the fastest on Order and it's almost like a funnel filter for rapid prototyping in usage, to attract new people. It's like a it's like buying Google AdWords for
crypto you know. Like it's it is very like getting into a good point. I mean, the way that we try to look at it is you know we see a real Evolution was sort of like Boron lending and savings products, right. But it's still early like I keep keep that in mind, right? So you know a lot of people are talking about how these products can they apply to the developing world, unbank, excetera? I think it's still early. There's a long way to go before we start tackling real, sort of tangible, areas of the problem,
but we are seeing really interesting use cases. I'll just like being able to connect people that, you know, say have money and people that need money into the short-term borrowing. And being like connecting at this global scale, Adam was talking about, right? We have what we have a company called you find on our portfolio and they're actually in early, should I deep fry company? But doing really really well and so early stage in terms of gathering AUM for therefore they're pouring lending products, right? What one of the really interesting company in North Port Florida to come in use?
And what they do is basically create closed economy currencies and so you can think of like a closed economy currency can be all sorts of things, right? Like a Disney park is essentially a closed economy, currency or a university can have one or refugee camp. And so, you know, this is very fascinating and then there's all sorts of synergies and benefits of having one of these including, like, better sort of customer experience, you've lost your money. And sort of these systems, USMD Krispy is in where you don't even have to try. If there are you actually decreased substantially.
That's a really exciting project to keep an eye on, but I know a lot and I mean, you've got DMS and we're making a lot of strides in the space and we're excited to be, you know, how peas are on the new phone but I think that's probably why I haven't seen it. So, you're talking about lending and the whole concept of stairs. Federal and blows me away. I think it's, I think it's really cool and trusted, traditional is really amazing blockfi just closed. I think a 50 million round just a couple weeks ago, which I guess they're doing really well. I'm curious
what you think of what your point of view from the whole, you know, when Dain staking ecosystems its emerging right now, Yeah, I agree with no first. We're super interested in this excerpt so we are actually at the moment doing a lot of a lot of analysis 55. Where are investing in it? We are analyzing work, I will go if it gets more on a bigger volume level on an Institutional level a lot. I'm very convinced about, I'm a big believer in exactly. This lending space in financial products that are that are giving a interest rates to
people that that are are, are, are are for people to make money and we are asking ourselves who is benefiting from all of that. That of course brings you in the area of the strangers, suspension, the area of financial infrastructure. Now we are based in Switzerland, so we are very much always thinking how can we do things in a regulated waste. So how is the regulator singing? A that's a good Approach at the same things as Securities and therefore exactly
in the right way. And then on top of that, our investor base very clearly as you know, our investor base is mostly family offices, European family, offices. Also Asian ones and Empress ones, and they're a little bit more conservative. This is why we aren't we didn't invest yet. So you getting closer to their conservative, none of us would probably be in this face, right? What defy company is this regulation? One that you keep talking about what, what defy company is
that? And that's where I was going. It's like, there's two sides of the spectrum, right? And technology is doing two things, the way I think about it. And look at it all the time. That's right, there's this hyper defy side and it's like, we're going to use technology and completely circumventing regulation because for the most part, like they, in their opinions is not fair, it's not what it is, what it is. But they're building amazing companies, not doing anything that you're good, that should be considered illegal because the spirit of what they're doing, is, is
incredible, right? And then there is the, uh, Did another Spectrum, which is like companies were throwing regular or only complying with regulations. First strike, the super security token, digital security side of things and we kind of are trying to make sure we always have a balance side of the, like, balance on both sides of the portfolio. You know, that the device side is quicker and dirty, Oar and sexier and way more fun like a lot of things. But then there is the the side of security tokens, which it's been like, a slow grind, right? Moving up to this point, but like, if you're
watching it closely, it feels like you're at an inflection point, right? We just did a deal that we announced today also where we invest in a company called symmetria which is actually building on the owner of the network that own arrows during a previous portfolio company, and they have a, you know, they're working on some things wear. If you're in those private meeting, they're like, literally, like some of the biggest things in the world participating in digitizing Their Security's. That's not defy at all. It's not even close to what I was doing but it is like if it's them going over
to comply with regulations, and we're going to use technology to streamline the process of people can actually make it usable and then over here, like regulations on musical. Where is going to completely circumventing in a country that that is better than the United States when it comes to regulations. And that's one of things I love about the sector. It's kind of that class that ongoing Clash of old and new and and then they do meet so Adam, you know, you're big and defy. Obviously, what about digital Securities? What about tokenization?
Yeah, I think like Diva, I think, is what's happening now, right? Like if so, if you're crushing it right now you invested in defy 3 years ago. And the, I mean, for early-stage. What is what we do, mostly that mean, that's what we do, the things that are coming, I believe rdweb and then ft. So I'm so deep, the decentralized web is sort of belt, you know, building the open web so decentralised media pre-program, freedom of speech, pre-program, like these governing laws that the government actually has to build that into smart. Contracts is sort of what I believe the web is in that sort of
the promise of what crypto always has been. And then nfc's, I think you're a sneak attack. Like and if these are the things that we were talking about this defy company regulations, right? And I get to sneak underneath regulation and be in the trading card asset class, right? And the arts collectibles, like it falls, underneath that world and I'm incredibly Bullock. I meant I was just showing off before this are showing off my Michael Jai. Cards that I have next to me. So I have like this, you
know, 1990 Michael Jordan big lie. I've been obsessed with Collectibles my whole life. I have a huge comic book Library, that's literally the right of me and I have all this stuff. So, I am neatly sort of understand this concept of what non-fungible tokens in the promise of that. I, we also is so from our portfolio, that one of the number one and if he's the companies, which is also a sort of like a sneak attack on the industry is Unstoppable, domains. So people don't think about it but the
domain names are actually a piece of sort of a 10ft territory and it's also building and functionality, which is a part of that D web. So Unstoppable, domains sort of Fred's. This line right between the two things that I think are coming. That is one of our portfolio companies, a huge fan of it. And then, yes, I'm all. I'm all about. And if you want to know what I want to find the n f t company, that's doing Where you open up packs and the pack, you can actually open it wrong where it damages the cards forever. Yeah.
How's that great? It's always the scariest thing when you were at work. Indian collectible trading cards the values completely determined on whether or not is 210.0 and 9.0 and 1/2, open the box and then open the box. Do you open the packs and which tasks do you open? You feel them for the wait, I guess we wait a little more and then the brand sort of delivery with high-end too low. And like, when I was ten and I could only buy tops and then, you know, this year, I finally started upgrading to like Topps Finest
and like the freezer or a big thing. Ali, are you getting a picture? Oh, I I mean your son is a savant evidently and like, that's an incredible picture. Everybody who played that in terms of NFC though. We're also very bullish on it. One of our portfolio companies. Is it splinterlands? Which you know many people? I'm sure in the audience know number one blockchain game globally ranked as the number one top end and I mean a lot of the things that they're
doing or a really upsetting it and they've got a lot of users, there's a pretty strong, monetization on the game and it's, you know, it's building a very rapidly growing Community. There's a lot of stickiness, one of our, their portfolio companies, which I'm sure our panelists will be extorted familiar with a pogs created, a digital version of of hogs and they're now the top project on wax according to a number of metrics. And so that's also pretty exciting into a lot of these sort of things are really coming back into place. And you know, you're seeing actually
substantial volumes on the secondary markets as well. Front of keys already and it's a long way to go. I think before we really should I crack the full code on this but you know, I think there's a lot of potential here because learning curve. Kind of Heinrich. Yes, we are. I mean in the East and sports exercise time, I am very interested in that. We have packed very early on a year ago, company called exports because the important thing in the next he's when you reply to sports is about the
right. You know, you need to have the image rights. So how do you get the image rights of the, the persons? And we invested first of the company exports and that he's focusing on this phone and I would like Asian fighting Sports out because they are, you can do good, right? Steals. And and they had a very dedicated fan community and that worked out very well. And now we are backing a company called blocksport actually coming out to your Switzerland and because they focus on a sports. Now, I guess we all know he's force and didn't they are with
200 million + 2/0 + 400 million Eastport fans worldwide which makes it one of the biggest Sports ever and exports has found a neat way to work with the with the Esports teams and yet you have around the top 500. Esports teams have have captured is 200m, become much more. It took a while because there were four five companies that permitted with this. But now received coming that it crystallizes and becomes business, you know, we like to to to to, to invest in in in, in, in that stage, you know, after the initial funding after the business Angel
stage than we normally stepping. and so we see that emerging now we were watching this for us, time to find the companies with the right business model behind Do you love the NFC space for a long time and talks about Collectibles? And when I talk to, at least for the first time I I was too late for us, winter lands. I was not the boots demo day, when Misty launch do the little too late for that. That's why we raised our fun and now it's it's all coming together. I mean I was joking about my son with his picture but he really sold that end in in two days in
a 48-hour period and eight-year-old made more money. Selling NFC than I made in a month, delivering Auto Parts when I was a teenager like that's freaking crazy and that's just crazy. Just a small like he was a no on the top 100 on wearable for like a day like so imagine just as people making a living off of selling digital art is wild. It's it's just beginning. It's amazing. You know, you told me that the other day, I emailed one of my kids and I'm like, why aren't you doing this right? And I think he, he looked search for
about 30 seconds and regulations. I have a genetic flaw where I try to reach her all these things. I see, you know, you can you have this Clash of people who don't believe in the need for regulation in the people that see an opportunity to better manage regulation and compliance because that's the way it's, it's been done for a gazillion years or any of you guys in that space or are you looking to use? You know I'm watching back to to pull the freaking out because I see
a huge opportunity there because you know, how old Finance operates and they're still carting around box. Are you guys in that space? You're backing day. Stay in touch on that, right? So let me know. I can be pretty wide right now in od Teeter actually based in LA. But they do is they track, you know, cryptocurrency transactions for law enforcement, the tax authorities, but also work with say likes all the same sort of information to hedge funds, to have training advantages, right? But that would sort of classify under. That is working in that
way. That's for the helping. You know, whether it's central banks are toxic authorities, if they try to track what's going on, you know? Similarly, I think there is there's quite a lot of other things I'd probably fall in her some forms of a regulation and our Purple oil, whether it's like a griot and in South America no working with financial institutions to decrease the risk of their lending portfolio. Using things like geospatial mapping soil moisture and and also There's an entire for the blockchain later to that, you know, there's a lot of really exciting things that, you know, I think
people aren't aware of their just fascinating regulations, like the sexiest moat, you can have. So, yeah, I'm all about regulation. Like, once you get past the bar, it's sort of like the money-printing device happens and so I I'm I'm, I'm very much involved in. I mean, that at the end of the day, the biggest exchanges you've gotten through that mode Weatherby coinbase. Geminis like they are, there is a huge barrier to entry for exchanges because they got through that. So I think if
someone is were all really, really into regtech, it just doesn't sound sexy. We, I personally. So, I mean, the companies that are coming to mind are like wire wyre day. Are a red tech company except they are a payments company also. So it's sort of one of these things where you use them to onboard that payment for really what the companies are using them for the blockchain, they're using them for like, all these companies are using for his, they are plugged in, have their money transmitter license. They've dealt with all of the regulatory burden, that is for any crypto
company. I, I mean, to be fair, I don't think the regulatory environment needs like blockchain yet. They need like computers, like in that industry, that would be great. So like a green screen ones like, you know, like 1.2 and it's going to it's going to look pretty good and it's big business. Like I always think my first company was commenting on the expert Financial. It was regular regulated 80s and like, Regulators are really just their great. They're good people. They're trying to do the what's right. They just want to make
sure that no one's greedy and no one steals your cat. Like that's basically what they're trying to do. You want to regulate? I mean there is there's there's a balance there cuz it's hard to to to to, you know, meet what kind of running out of time here. And I have a bunch of other questions. I'd like to watch ask each of you but but we don't have enough to find out those cuz you're so I'd like to kind of go round circle here. Uh, tell me what are we going to be
talking about next year because this whole industry tends to be a little bit weird like at times where everybody gets excited about something and then it dies down and then he gets excited about something else. And you know, are we talking about the same stuff they were talking about today, 12 months from now. So your crystal ball. How are you going to tell me the future? I know what I need to be buying now. Yes, that is a good question, right? I think I have cheese or so to mention earlier. So I'm going to skip that what I'm going to say Enterprise. I think it's starting to come back, right?
It's actually business has been a space is actually stagnated from investment standpoint. You had a lot of hype on it before a lot of mention in, for the earnings calls, things like that and it sort of dropped off and we're starting to see some of those successes. It's not a hard maybe demonetized from the pure crypto, you know, blockchain enthusiastic and point. But you look at Players like HSBC. They've moved 1.2 trillion dollars on our blockchain. Right. Like crazy numbers are, you know, we've got company is using blockchain, an enterprise-level in sort of like you do a pack and
media entertainment would be Daft. You know, we've got company is doing it across X Factor excetera, until we're really excited about the Enterprise layer. I need to be invested in now. You need to invest in my opinion is here is a and series B round of the financial infrastructure coming up in blockchain. The more institutional side the more Enterprise side because that will scale. Massively next year's we would have we will see a lot of coin lives of traditional Banks using blockchain and
other things. Because what we're going to do between now. And this time, next year is hopefully do the stuff that exciting 2 years 3 years. From now you got it at work, so we have to be early or else we lost, right? So all right. What great that's we made a year ago, I think. I think it's one of the headlines it's going to be coinbase. Has a 200 billion dollar company and its public. And then the second one is going to be for earlier stage, it's going to be decentralized. Media
is going to be a big deal, so that's cool. That's cool. I like that with me tonight. I have lots of questions. You guys are all awesome. Thank you very much. I want for putting on La watching some of it it's it's fantastic. Everybody have a good night.
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