Interesting article John. I'm curious, how do stablecoins maintain their convertibility? I know that nations that peg their currency to other currencies (usually the dollar), they have to use open market operations to buy and sell US dollars. Of course, this all works because the countries generally net export. Is that the case here as well? If so, do these stablecoin companies have to provide some sort of service to get the dollars necessary for convertibility?
Don, loved the article. Clover is a great example of a business with more sizzle than steak. Having said that, I think it's been a good 5, 6 years since Silicon Valley was excited about the business. You have to go all the way back to 2016 to find a venture round led by an external investor (Greenoaks led their Series C that year), which is a solid indicator that the existing investors were either skeptical of getting an up round or even completely incapable of finding additional investors.
Great article Zander. I'll add another couple of examples: Asimov's foundation impact on various realms of technology (AI, space travel, etc.) and The Matrix impact on AR / VR (essentially popularizing the "metaverse" concept).
Interesting article Silvi. Similar to Ed, I see a negative feedback loop limiting the potential for strong adoption. Cryptos are fundamentally volatile, and therefore useful as a speculative asset but not as a medium of exchange. Whenever bitcoin gains any traction in commercial use (besides tax evasion, money laundering, and purchasing illicit substances) the price shoots up and it becomes more volatile, thus limiting its commercial applicability.
As a FB shareholder, I am really excited about the potential for Libra (or "Diem"). By taking the best features of a private blockchain and public blockchain, I think they can scale into success and overcome the aforementioned negative feedback loop.
Hey Michelle, great article. Love the point about maturity of the sector. My friend worked at Circle, whose stated purpose was to enable businesses to take and make crypto payments. What he described sounded more like a combination sales brokerage, market maker, and prop trading operation than a payments business. It should be interesting to see the ecosystem crystallize over time. As an asset class, Crypto resembles both Currency in certain ways, Equities in others (especially for coins like Ethereum), and Precious Metal in still others. It will be interesting to see which of those asset classes the ecosystem most resembles ultimately.
The rise of Facebook over its 17 years of existence has been one of the most exceptional cases of business growth in history. In retrospect, it almost seems obvious that Facebook would achieve such dominance. However, going back to even 2012, when Facebook went public at a now astonishingly low valuation of $46bn market cap (vs. $850bn today, as of 4/2/21; source: Capital IQ), its rise was never actually predestined. From its launch as an exclusive, college student only social directory to its early monetization period of the late 20 aughts before finally evolving into the dominant advertising juggernaut it…
Great article Jess. One quick point: while it definitely seems like blockchain would be a great start to creating an auditable supply chain, one potential shortcoming is that it may not address the "commingling" problem. I.e., what if there is a commoditized good (e.g. materials, grains, vegetables, etc.) where it is normal for goods to be commingled at various points of the supply chain? I believe this was the specific problem in attributing the ecoli outbreaks a few year back in Romaine.
Great article Michelle. For several reasons, I am also skeptical as to the viability of neobanks in the long run. From a finance / investing perspective, I don't think the business model is borne out. The amount of capital burned by Chime, Monzo, etc. is really staggering. It seems like every 6-9 months, they have to go back to the well for a fresh $500mm round. The public markets would not tolerate that level of burn. The high burn is in turn a function of questionable unit economics. These businesses are paying hundreds of dollars to acquire customers (e.g. Chime…
Fascinating article Zander. I agree that quantum computing will lead to massive paradigm shift in all things predictive analytics, including the recommendation engines at the heart of the content streaming platforms. However, I do wonder what the impact of multiple viable streaming platforms will be on the value of the streaming data, as viewers migrate their viewership from primarily Netflix to increasingly Netflix + 1 or 2 other platforms (Hulu, Disney+, HBO Go), and ultimately perhaps to as many as a half dozen or so platforms. Is there a market opportunity to aggregate the data from each silo to create a meta data asset? Would such an asset obfuscate the value of Netflix et als algorithms? Could Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon (via Amazon Channels) be the ones to build such an asset?