Welcome to the Party: George Soros and Venrock Plan to Invest in Cryptocurrencies

Welcome to the Party: George Soros and Venrock Plan to Invest in Cryptocurrencies

 New investments into the cryptocurrency space are happening from old investment firms. George Soros and the Rockefeller family are both reported to be entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. 

New investments into the cryptocurrency space are happening from old investment firms. George Soros and the Rockefeller family are both reported to be entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. 

Influential investing experts and banking executives have had much to say about the boom of cryptocurrencies, and much of it has been negative. George Soros, one of the world's top investors, had this sentiment regarding cryptocurrency this January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: "Cryptocurrency is a misnomer and is a typical bubble, which is always based on some kind of misunderstanding." He had this further to say about Bitcoin: 

Bitcoin is not a currency because a currency is supposed to be a stable store of value and the currency that can fluctuate 25% in a day can’t be used for instance to pay wages because wages drop by 25% in a day. It’s a speculation. Based on a misunderstanding.

However, it seems with time, tests in resiliency and greater adoption, Soros' has changed his tune. Even in August 2017 (before Soros' "bubble" comments), Soros' firm became the 3rd-largest shareholder in online retail giant Overstock.com. The significance here is that Overstock.com was one of the first major retailers to accept Bitcoin as payment. Recently, Soros Fund Management's macro-investing overseer, Adam Fisher, was given the green light to begin investing in cryptocurrencies, though according to insiders, no wagers into the market have yet been made, and a company spokesperson has declined to comment on the matter. 

On a more matter-of-fact note, Venrock, the venture capital subsidiary of the Rockefeller family, has just partnered with CoinFund, a cryptocurrency investment group. Venrock partner, David Pakman had this to say about the partnership: 

We wanted to partner with this team that has been making investments and actually helping to architect a number of different crypto economies and crypto token-based projects.

Venrock and and CoinFund are already connected via their mutual investment in a live streaming app builder, YouNow. This new undertaking between the two companies aim to utilize blockchain technology, as Pakman wrote in a blog post on April 6, that the blockchain's mot important innovation is, "the possibility of building sustainable decentralized computing platforms, services and app." Pakman continues by stating: 

It may finally be possible to build widely-distributed networks without centralized trust or control, and to allow user consensus to govern their future [...] In this scenario, ‘commodity’ applications like messaging, social media and application infrastructure like file storage and compute become very much like public utilities — and they are owned and governed by their participants. For many of us, this is the mission behind crypto.

The three year old CoinFund has already backed some important blockchain projects, such as: CoinList (based on AngelList, which helps companies handle ICO's), Kik, a chat app maker, and their previously mentioned mutual investment, YouNow. CoinFund's cofounder, Jake Brukhman, told Fortune.com that he was excited to reinforce New York's cryptocurrency scene, calling it an old-meets-new partnership. He had this to say regarding the integration of the two companies: 

We’ll be working closely with them to help mentor, advise, and support teams in the space...We’re trying to cultivate a unique synergy between teams as we see more experienced founders and more traditional tech startups taking up blockchain.

Both Pakman and Brukhman believe that blockchain technology will allow for them to help remove the middleman from the equation. Pakman states:

Gatekeepers tend to charge rent or toll on users... The benefit of the advent of crypto is that we have fewer gatekeepers.”

“Venture capital itself is effectively a gatekeeper industry and I’d actually like to see that undone...I don’t believe that a small group of people should make the decisions about which projects can raise some money and get off the ground.”
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