Archive for June, 2021

Let’s DAO this

Posted on June 9, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For those that have read this blog for a while, you will know that I’ve been thinking and writing about crypto for about 8 years. I’m not an expert, but I am an engaged student and have been for some time. From 2013 in a less immersive way, but much more deeply during the “crypto winter” of 2018-2020 I went hard at understanding all of the new primitives that crypto presented and fell in love with the systems that people could and would design against them. In that time, I angel invested in probably 15 projects, ranging from low level protocols, to surrounding analytics and infrastructure, to exchanges, and even chip level secure compute. It was one of the richest academic explorations I’ve had as an investor…my reward was learning and thinking with great people…the economic prospects of said activity were secondary and anybody’s guess at the time. I’d like to think i learned and thought alongside Matt Huang, Alok Vasudev, Chris Dixon, and a handful of other people who all went on to start crypto related funds…I thought about doing the same, but I am a generalist, always have been, and always will be. I knew my long term game was going to look more like Pace and less like those sector specific efforts.

When we started forming Pace and I stopped putting personal capital to work in the space, I’d say I left the crypto world in a largely theoretical state. Almost nothing had a live Mainnet, everything existed in 30 page papers, but I internalized the belief that these system designs, and their more evolved successors, would be built and that I would be investing in the space for the next 20 years. Once we closed our first $150M fund at the end of June 2019 I started to revisit, but most of the activity at the time was in DeFi (decentralized finance), which I was less passionate about than the promise of self organized behavior, bottom up assembly of work, and more human centric networks of people collectively exerting their will on the universe in a trustless and economically coordinated way. I didn’t really care if a hedge fund or a whale had figured out how to earn 20% yield on their ETH position. I now know there are some corners of DeFi that are more interesting than that, but at the time i didn’t. So, I followed along, but it wasn’t the right shape of activity for me to deploy capital into on behalf of Pace.

More recently the rise of NFTs and DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) have been pulling me into a mindset of actively allocating our fund’s capital into the crypto market. On the NFT thing, my interest is not in digital collectibles so much as tokenized membership to groups or networks. I guess that’s why I find the activity in emergent DAOs particularly interesting. All i’ve ever wanted in crypto was a way for people to self organize, agree to a set of values and rules, and coordinate not just their time, but also their work and their capital around a shared agenda or intent. I want to see new behaviors orchestrated where there was no economic incentive large enough for a company to come along and make it happen. I want to see new activism where the powers that be have no political incentive to orchestrate it. I want to see a group of people collectively amass and allocate resource against a shared goal. I want to see a group of people that don’t know each other employ others to do work and then agree on who those people might be and that the work was, in fact, done. And I want to see the early participants that organize these new behaviors, not only reap the reward of their shared agenda realized, but also economically rewarded for achieving that goal together. I’m still understanding the tooling…but it is getting better and feels closer. I haven’t seen the fully formed mechanics expressed elegantly and together, but I am starting to see projects that are surfacing early building blocks for everyone to copy along this line. If you are working in this direction, Pace can contribute anywhere from $1M to $15M at a very early stage and I’d love to do that.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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