Where does venture capital invest in Bitcoin? -Bitcoin Magazine

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This is a transcribed excerpt from the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast”, hosted by P and Q. In this episode, they are joined by Alyse Killeen to talk about what is happening in the VC space in relation to Bitcoin and what hidden gems are ripe for investment right now.

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Alyse Killeen: I’m curious with so many things, how you all think about the important things to pay attention to in the innovation space. We talked a bit about the Swan acquisition, which is exciting because it’s a company that has maintained such a commitment to its community, so I’m excited to see them grow.

We talked about Taro and what he does for adoption. I wonder how you all think about it. So from Stillmark’s perspective, just to give an answer here, from Stillmark’s perspective, what we like to do is look at where the protocols are going and then anticipate what that means for entrepreneurs, the infrastructure and applications.

I gave the example of talking about seeing Segwit come alive in 2017, and what that meant for Lightning Network or for entrepreneurship and innovation in an absent infrastructure that would be built on top of Lightning Network . So we see it in this kind of incremental buildup, but I’m curious from your perspective, how things get to the top of your list in terms of what’s important and exciting.

P: Man, that’s a fantastic question. I’m going to give my opinion and I’d love to hear the Qs as well. I think, as I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenges we face in the Bitcoin space is the UX issue. How can we increase the average person’s ability to adopt bitcoin?

In the United States, we have a level of financial privilege, given that we exist in the country that is currently the world’s reserve currency, but in so many other places we don’t. I think technologies like Fedimint and things that allow people who aren’t interested in bitcoin for the big reasons that we all are, to embrace it and immediately see those positives – people operating in oppressive financial regimes, people who are trying to figure out how they can maintain and persist the value they have earned over time and space because they have real, lived experience of the confiscation of that wealth by their governments. I think these are the most interesting technologies for me.

Second, I would say the technologies that allow us to more effectively preserve our financial privacy and freedom in developed countries. We have talked a lot about CBDCs (central bank digital currencies). We spoke yesterday with Natalie Smolinski, who will testify tomorrow at a congressional hearing about how CBDCs are a sales funnel for Satan.

I think the technologies that enable the average person – who isn’t by default obsessed with financial privacy – the technologies that enable them to adopt that very easily and natively are going to become increasingly important as the challenges we face in the world continue to heat up.

These are the things that interest me the most.

Killeen: So P, I was just going to say we see it the same way here, and what Stillmark does is look at how technology can be used to meet people where they are in terms of adoption of BTC, the asset, and Bitcoin, the protocol.

So I’m going to give an interesting example of that, which is a company we recently invested in called Pink Frog. And so what Pink Frog really is is a game studio, but what they’re going to do is they’re going to integrate Lightning Network in order to provide a better community experience for their players, and they’re will use sats as in-game rewards, and also user-to-user rewards.

We’ve seen this before and maybe it’s not interesting described the way I just laid it out, but here’s the detail that I think really makes it compelling and shows a step forward in the bitcoin ecosystem, in general. This is a team that does not come from a Bitcoin perspective, but from a gaming perspective.

So a team coming from King, which is one of the most prestigious and successful studios in gaming, and they’re the team that introduced and developed Candy Crush. And Candy Crush is a game that has seen 100 million monthly active users as an example of the adoption this team has been able to achieve.

Now what they did when they left King and started Pink Frog is they thought deeply about the gaming experience and how it could be improved for their players. And what they’re doing is they’re looking at a young millennial, Gen Z audience. So they’re looking like the TikTok audience and trying to see how technology or other kinds of innovation can s intertwine with what these players are looking for.

So they’re not really trying to force bitcoin, they’re identifying bitcoin as a way to fulfill a need and a want they’ve observed in their user base. And so it’s really exciting to see technology being used in that way, which is just to solve problems or to provide some kind of fun answer to something that people want.

And rather than trying to convince people they want bitcoin, it uses bitcoin technologies to meet people where they are and fit into their lives or how they spend their time. Pink Frog is a great fun example. Then going back to the very beginning of our conversation, Taro was the serious application of this, where when we brought Lightning Network to emerging markets, and I’m going to use El Salvador again as an example, we saw that people really needed to be banked via Bitcoin and via Lightning Network. They needed to be able to engage with their local and online community, without a debit or credit card, and it was truly Lightning Network for them. But the volatility of BTC was difficult for people of lower socioeconomic status. Taro therefore comes to meet people exactly where they are and offer them a solution for something they know they need, namely tools to engage both in their local economy and in the global economy. .

What you say really resonates with me because I’m excited about the exact same thing, which is how bitcoin can meet a variety of challenges that future users face.

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