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The International 2018 in Vancouver FAQ (Updated!)
Hey there again, you punks. So with a tip coming from some of the moderators on the board, I've decided just to quickly update this FAQ that I wrote a few months back since TI is next week and I'm sure many of you still have a ton of questions. I've gotten some more information that I can pass down to you in regards to Vancouver but also now TI as well, including updated marijuana laws and beer recommendations. Two quick notes:
This summer has been an extremely hot season in Vancouver (at least in Vancouverite standards). Like anyone who attended in Seattle last year, there is noticeable smoke in the air in the city due to the fires all over the Pacific North West. If you have breathing issues or health related problems do to particles in the air, be advised that there is currently an Air Quality Advisory in effect so act accordingly. Wind/Rain will most likely clear up any issues going into next week, but just a heads up in case new fires flare up or we aren't blessed with some light rain. Forecast is looking to be sunny through midweek and the finals, with an average of about 23-25C.
Yes, but it's not exactly regulated by AirBnB. Feel free to stay at one through AirBnB but know that it might be a little tricky to deal with issues if they come up with your rental. Also while you're at it, check out VRBO.
How far away from Rogers Arena should I stay?
The general piece of advice you'll get from any local about where to stay for TI is going to be anywhere that's on the Skytrain Expo Line (the line in dark blue). The Expo Line will take you to Stadium-Chinatown station, which is where Rogers Arena is 30 seconds away. As in Seattle, the closer to downtown you are, the more expensive it is to stay.
Where are the cheaper hotels like Holiday Inn, Mediterranean Inn or Travelodge like in Seattle?
Unlike Seattle Center, there aren't very many budget hotels left, if at all in the Downtown core. The cheaper hostels are available, though fair warning, many of them are placed on Granville Street, which is a place that many Vancouverites will tell you to avoid while you're here (Though I have never stayed at a hostel on Granville, if anyone has an experience, feel free to share). Check out the Ramada Inn and the Days Inn near Waterfront for some cheaper-ish options.
Are there any areas in Vancouver that we should specifically avoid?
In my mind, there are two places that I would keep a look-out for avoiding while you visit Vancity.
Granville Street. During the day time it's normally fine, filled with some cool shops (Golden Age Collectibles, The Rock Shop, Movieland Arcade) but it's packed to the absolute max with dumbasses at night due to the amount of night clubs. There's police around every weeknight, but since you're in Vancouver for a good time, head towards Gastown, Chinatown or Main Street for places to party.
Downtown East Side. If you've researched anything about Vancouver, you'll know that this area as where a large portion of the cities homeless reside. There is rampant drug use, poverty and sex work in this neighborhood, focused mainly between 5-10 blocks in the area of Main/Hastings. That being said, the community is an especially strong one, with fantastic human beings supporting the less fortunate. Though there isn't too much danger in terms of being robbed, you might want to just avoid the area at night. Be respectful to the people of this community and you'll have no problems.
Is there UbeLyft?
Sadly, no there isn't. We know, it absolutely sucks and everyone in Vancouver is aware. Your options are public transit or a taxi.
What's the parking situation like around Rogers Arena?
Super shitty if you don't like paying for parking. If you can, park outside of the Downtown core near a Skytrain and then head over to the Arena. Commercial Drive is pretty good for this if you can find certain spots. Tinseltown as well if you buy a movie ticket on non-event days.
How does Transit work? What do I need?
If you've ever been to any major city, you'll notice that Vancouver shares the same load-up card/tap system that places like London share. It's called Compass Card and it's fairly easy to use. Just load up money onto the card, tap it when you enter and tap when you leave. It'll do all the calculations for you. Note that certain zones will cost more just due to how far you're traveling.
Does Vancouver have car-sharing?
Yes it does! Car2Go and Evo are two of Vancouver's most popular car share services. Hot tip would be to register before you head over to Vancouver and it'll help mitigate the fact that UbeLyft aren't in Vancouver just yet. Just drive safely.
How do I get from the Airport (YVR) to Downtown Vancouver?
The easiest way to get to downtown from YVR, if you aren't getting picked up/taking a taxi is to take the Canada Line. It will take you directly to Waterfront station, from there you can take multiple buses, the Expo Line (the main line that will take you to Rogers Arena) or the Seabus (going to North VancouveLonsdale).
What's the drinking age in Canada?
19 years old.
I'm new to Canadian beer culture, what would you recommend?
Vancouver has an exploding craft beer culture and you'll be happy to find that the variety of different beers/ciders to drink is absolutely massive, probably to the point of being intimidating. Here are some of my favorite breweries and the beers that you should look out for when you're at the liquor store/pub: Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice Pale Ale Two Straws MilkShake IPA Short Pants Mosaic IPA Brassneck Brewing Changeling Sour Passive Aggressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Steel & Oak Changeling Sour Passive Agressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Bomber Brewing Bomber Parklife Passionfruit Ale Bomber Pilsner Bomber Snow White IPA
Does Vancouver have any specific rules about drinking that I should know about?
Yes. First, there isn't any drinking in public if you already didn't know. Second, you must have TWO pieces of ID on you whenever you go to buy drinks in case you're asked for your ID. First piece must be photo ID, the second piece must be something with your name on it (in order for bartenders/servers to validate the first piece). I see a lot of tourists thrown off by this, so just know that Vancouver's liquor laws are much more strict than other places. I've heard from a few Vancouver residents that this isn't exactly enforced harshly, but just to note that it is an actual law. Piece of mind.
What's the legal drinking limit in Vancouver?
%.05. There will be a ton of pubcrawls and side events going on for people that are attending TI and I'm sure that you'll be blasted one night or another. Please don't drink and drive. If you need a cab, here are the numbers you can contact in order to grab a taxi from downtown. Yellow Cab: (604) 681-1111 Black Top Cab: (604) 731-1111 MacLure's Cabs: (604) 831-1111 Also, a note for people from outside of Vancouver: the cab drivers in this city are notorious for being hard to deal with at times. Broken debit machines, cash up front, not providing receipts. Use your common sense to get you through pushy cabbies. If they have a broken debit machine and they are still driving, kindly reject them and give your business to another cabbie that will. UbeLyft will be here soon and karma will bite them back. If at anytime you are in an emergency and don't know what to do, please DM me and I will provide my contact info.
This is not confirmed at the moment, but if the rules were anything like Seattle, you will be able to bring outside food into the arena. You are not permitted to bring liquids into the venue. You'll have to dump out your water bottle and refill it once inside. Rogers Arena might have different policies, but thankfully the venue has twice the amount of food stalls including a much more varied selection.
What's a secret you have from being a lifelong Canucks fan for eating in the area?
Everyone from Vancouver attending will hate me, but this is going to be one of the hottest tips I can give you: there is a Costco food court DIRECTLY across the street on the lower level of Rogers Arena that DOES NOT require a membership in order to buy food. It is the only Costco food court in Canada that doesn't need a membership to eat there. Hot dogs, poutine, pizza, soft drinks, ice cream and it's all lovingly Costco cheap. Enjoy!
What sort of credit card/tap options does Vancouver accept?
Visa/Mastercard are widely accepted everywhere. Cards such as American Express/Discover are also accepted most places, though a few places might reject them for whatever reason (higher charge rates, issues with their machines etc..) Best case would be to make sure you have a Visa/Mastercard with you at all times as a back-up in case you run into any issues. Most places in Vancouver also allow you to use Android/Apple Pay now as well. No bitcoin though.
How much money should I bring?
Well, that's entirely up to you. If you're staying the full week, a few hundred dollars in spare Canadian currency won't hurt you, especially if majority of your spending is going to be on plastic. There's going to be the Secret Shop, but that'll be done through online ordering and not cash payments. Just don't come with nothing. Worst case, always have at least $30-$40 cash on you just in case you run into a bind. It's really entirely up to you and how you plan on spending your time here. Do note that because of the low Canadian dollar, don't be surprised if the price of certain things is higher than usual.
Are there any huge cultural differences in Canada that I should know about?
Due to the amount of fires that have started in the Pacific North West the past month or so, please do not throw your cigarette/joint butts into the street, sidewalk, bushes or wherever that isn't a proper garbage. You'll get a ton of dirty looks by locals if you do otherwise. Canadians are known to be rather polite, we'll answer questions for you or guide you in the right direction (as long as we aren't in a huge rush). As long as you're respectful of the people around you, take care of your hygiene, don't spit on the ground, talk over people in conversation or just avoiding being a total dick, you'll be fine. Though Vancouver is a somewhat socially cold city, that's mainly in dating circles. Get some new Bumble photos up!
What's the tipping policy like in Vancouver?
Most places won't have the tip included in your bill. It's common courtesy to tip between %10-%15 of your final bill if you enjoyed your meal/drink/service. Feel free to go higher if you had a really excellent time. Some places do include the tip in the bill, but will have it noted usually at the bottom of the menu.
I'll be taking public transit while I'm here. Any tips?
A few. Remove your backpack when you're boarding a bus/SkyTrain in order to create more space for the people around you. Hygiene again is a big one. Remember to fill your Compass card and check your remaining balance at least once a day in case you're transiting a lot. If you see elderly/disabled/parents with strollers attempt to come on board, the polite thing to do would be to offer your seat etc..
My English isn't great and I need to ask a question, what should I do?
Don't worry at all! Vancouver is an extremely multicultural city and the residents here are used to hearing many different languages daily. Best bet is if you struggle communicating with anyone for any reason, download the Google Translate app and use it to answer questions you might have in a discussion.
I want to ask for a playetalents autograph and I'm standing right beside them. How should I ask?
Use common sense. Most players/talent would be more than willing to sign an autograph or pose for a photo with you. But also be aware that much of the on-screen talent (Slacks, Kaci, panel members) will often have to be running from segment to segment, taking in matches and so on. If they seem to have a minute, ask nicely, thank them for their time and cross one off of the bucket list.
I want to throw things at Slacks!
Don't throw things at Slacks.
Will there be an outdoor screen showing games?
No update on this. Rogers Arena is mainly a concrete concourse, surrounded by a viaduct and multiple lower roads. Unlike Seattle Center (which had multiple fields and smaller available venues), the only place large enough outside the Arena that could hold a large crowd with a big screen would most likely be the "main" entrance through Expo Blvd/Pat Quinn Way. There are a few other options in the area, but we're going to have to wait to see how creative Valve is with the space around the Arena. Perhaps they rent out the adjacent parking lots?
Will there be a beer garden?
No update on this also, but again, there's a lack of outdoor space beyond the concrete concourse. Sportsbar Live will be open, which also gives a view of inside the Arena while you're eating/drinking. But again, it's indoors.
Can I charge my phone inside of Rogers Arena?
From what I remember from Canucks games, yes, there are stations where you can plug your phone in to charge. But don't be surprised if a company like NVIDIA pops up a charging station outside much like in Seattle.
What is the capacity for Rogers Arena?
Where will I be able to see players? Will there be an open-area to ask for autographs?
One of the more obvious differences that most people will find from Key Arena to Rogers Arena, is that unlike Key Arena, Rogers doesn't have an open space concept between levels. Meaning, you won't be able to just look up to the third floor and see players hanging out like you normally would. This year, they most likely will be held in the boxes above or in the dressing rooms in the lower levels. Look for autograph times scheduled throughout the week to see your favorite players.
Is there anything being hosted at BC Place during TI?
The only thing right now is a Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) game on August 18th and a BC Lions (CFL) on the 25th. So if you really feel inclined, now you know.
Where, how and when can we buy weed legally when we arrive in Vancouver?
When: On October 17th, weed will officially be legalized in British Columbia and most parts of Canada. How: Normally you need a medicinal prescription to purchase marijuana legally. Though, because of the soon to be legalization coming up in a few months, most dispensaries will most likely write you a prescription if you tell them a valid medical reason for the marijuana (Trouble sleeping, chronic joint pain, back pain, headaches, trouble eating etc.). My friends who smoke themselves told me that hot tip, so do with it what you will. Please DO NOT buy weed from a source that isn't verified by another trusted person or a licensed dispensary. You never know what your weed could be laced with. Where: Here are some dispensaries located close to Rogers Arena. Bloom Medical Dispensary The Dub Dispensary The Medical Cannibis Dispensary
Where can I smoke?
You can't smoke anywhere that frequents children, even if there aren't kids around. So no beaches, public parks, playgrounds etc.. So just, anywhere that's away from people that don't want to partake essentially.
Yo dude, thanks for that help, hit this shit real quick.
I wasn't able to buy any tickets. What should I do?
If you weren't able to buy tickets from Ticket Master, you have a few options. Post in the TI8 Vancouver Subreddit and ask if anyone has a spare ticket. Buying tickets from scalpers in front of Rogers Arena is fairly easy and shouldn't be difficult if you understand the basics of haggling.
Know what you're comfortable paying and stick to it. Always remember that number.
Be prepared to just walk away. The longer you stay negotiating, the more you show the scalper how important it is for you to buy the tickets. Play the long game.
The less you talk, the less information you give the scalper. If he says he's got a Midweek ticket for $300, shrug and say no thanks.
Have money in your hand/wallet when you're trying to buy tickets. When they see that the cash is right there, they'll be more inclined to just make the deal and move onto the next one.
You will most likely miss the opening ceremonies, but after that the prices for Midweek tickets will normalize and scalpers will want to just get rid of their tickets at a lesser price. The advantage you have in this instance is that Vancouver, outside of the LoL tournament at Pacific Colosseum, doesn't have much experience with esports tournaments. So scalpers themselves won't have the same level of patience. The longer you wait to buy your tickets from them, the cheaper you can get them for. Only downside is that you'll be missing games. The other thing you can do is literally just walk around the outside of the Arena and spot non-scalpers with extra tickets. There are always people who buy extra tickets and are just wanting to get their money back (friends flake on them, they couldn't flip them like they thought). DO NOT panic and end up buying an overpriced ticket from StubHub, Craigslist or wherever. Tickets will be available, you just have to keep your cool.
I'm picking up my tickets at the venue. Where do I go?
The box office at Rogers Arena is located at the bottom of the venue on Expo/Pat Quinn Way at the Toyota Ticket Center. You can pick up your tickets between these times: Mon, August 20th: 7AM - 9PM Tue, August 21th: 8AM - 9PM Wed, August 22nd: 8AM - 9PM Thu, August 23rd: 8AM - 9PM Fri, August 24th: 8AM - 9PM Not sure about the box office times for the Finals. Will update that when I know.
FIRST TIME ATTENDING TI
I'm coming to TI alone. What can I expect?
So first off, understand that EVERYONE there is going for the same reason you are, DOTA. Don't be afraid to go up to people, say hello and start conversations. If they shrug you off, fuck them, they don't deserve your brilliance. Enjoy yourself. Worst case, just create a thread on DOTA saying that you want to go shotgun a few beers. My first TI was pretty much by myself, but the combination of a beer + a garden really did wonders. Simply put, don't worry as much as your mind is telling you to worry. All the talent (casters/players) are incredibly friendly and are pretty much the same as us, just super stoked to be there. But do give them space if they're working or running around to the next thing.
What else do I need my Ticket/Badge for?
During TI, after every First Blood in a match, there are potential drops given to in arena attendee's who have registered their badge with their Steam ID. There will be a Steam Link kiosk/section OUTSIDE of Rogers Arena, so look out for it. You must have tapped into the Arena in order to be eligible for those drops. The link to register your badge to be eligible for these drops will be on the back of your badge when you receive it.
What sort of stuff should I be bringing with me on an average day?
Try to pack as lightly and efficiently as possible. My two main staples during the last two TI's were a water bottle (usually given out in a goody bag for midweek + finals ticket holders) and a portable battery pack for my phone. Also know that you might buy things from the Secret Shop, do some shopping downtown and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around with you all day. Though consider bringing a sweater for inside the Arena, as Rogers is a fairly cold one. HOT TIP Try checking with bell boys/concierge at any hotels if they can possibly check in some of your bags for you. I tried this at TI7 and was surprised how chill they were. I left them a $5 tip for taking my bags and was free for the rest of the day.
When should I go to the Secret Shop?
Avoid the Secret Shop on the first day or else you'll just spend the entire day waiting in line. Midweek the shop lines will be much more reasonable.
What else should I do in Vancouver beyond watching DOTA?
I have an emergency and I need help. Who do I call?
Depending on your situation, here are numbers for emergencies in British Columbia. Ambulance, fire, police: 911 Poison Control: Lower Mainland: 604-682-5050 Toll-free: 1-800-567-8911 Healthlink BC: 811 Deaf or Hearing Impaired: 711 Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention: Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be. Mental health support: Call 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) for emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health.
Who's the guy with the statue outside the Arena?
That is Roger Neilson, former Vancouver Canucks head coach and the inventor of towel power. Please treat it nicely!
Where does Arteezy live? Where did he go to school? Where does he hang out?
How sweet of you to ask! That would be Lush by Snail Mail. Please, if you feel like you need to ask any questions, or there should be things added to this FAQ, post here or DM me. There are obviously some things that no one knows right now in regards to potential additions or subtractions from moving the event from Key Arena to Rogers. But I'll try my best to keep this thing updated if people bookmark it for future use. Enjoy planning your trip to TI!
Wealth Formula Episode 180: Is Venture Capital Right for You?
Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/180-is-venture-capital-right-for-you/ Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Vanessa Bartram. She is the managing partner of Zora. Zora is a Tel Aviv based fund that backs exceptional Israeli teams who will become the next global leaders in impact tech. Vanessa began her career in investment banking in Mexico City, later founding the Miami Impact Company WorkSquare which she grew to twenty five million dollars in revenue. She holds an MBA from Harvard BA from Princeton and is a heritage fellow with the Wexner Foundation and now of course the next step for most Harvard graduates is to go to the Wealth Formula Podcast for an interview. Welcome to the show Vanessa. Vanessa: Thank you happy to be here. Buck: Great so let me start out a little bit just defining some things which you're involved in is something called impact tech. What is impact tech and how did you get involved in this space? Vanessa: Sure. So impact investing is a broad and messy term. I think we're getting a little bit better at defining the space. But effectively what investors where impact investors are looking for is to have some quantified measurable trackable impact on a social or environmental outcome in addition to you know strong financial return. At this stage I think about 90% of impact investors say they're looking for market rate of return. So this doesn't mean that you want to you know save the whales and make less money, it's figuring out how to make the same amount of money that any other venture fund would or any other tech company would while also being able to track you know tons of carbon you know diverted or you know tons of food waste diverted from landfill or something like that. Buck: Yeah so give me some examples of some of the impact tech companies out there that maybe people might have or heard of just to get a bit a little bit better sense of what that sort of the company looks like. Vanessa: Sure so you know some of the companies that we're working with are working on everything. One company does data analytics for satellite/radar data and they're working specifically in the forestry industry. So for us you know for them they're looking to sell you know operational insights and forest managers about how to grow their forests better. But for us when we look at this it was really a carbon emissions play that we realized that we could help improve the carbon stocks you know in the because of their because of the intervention that they had another of our companies now is a company called waste lists you know they're working on the problem of supermarket food waste so the 30 to 40 percent of perishable products in supermarkets are thrown away right now and it's about one percent of revenue for supermarkets. So by being able to introduce a dynamic pricing that's integrated with the you know POS software in the in the supermarket can incentivize customers to buy a cottage cheese that's expiring five days sooner rather than the ones that's gonna expire in three weeks and that way you know for them it's for the supermarket it has potential to to up their margins which are very tight already by you know 30 to 40 percent. Buck: Got it. So you know one of the things again going back to basics and defining things you mentioned Zora is a it's a fun but it's a it's a venture capital fund is that right? Vanessa: Yes that'd correct. Buck: So for some of you know as you may or may not know most of us in this group and our investor group we’re just a bunch of dumb real estate investors. Can you explain the difference you know this this is sort of new for I think a lot of people. What's the difference between a venture capital fund and say you know private equity or say angel investing so what how do you how are those defined? Vanessa: Sure so venture capital, angel investing, private equities they're all the same thing and that you're buying some percentage of a private companies equity as opposed to buying company I'm on the public market like the New York Stock Exchange. So in all of these you know as an investor you're buying some shares of a private company so different phases typically are just what phase the company is in and what size the company is. So an angel investor is going to be the first capital that goes into you know a start-up or other company. An angel may be putting in anywhere from you know 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 into a company. Venture capital typically is the first sort of institutional round of a company fundraise. So they'll be putting in anywhere from maybe a few hundred thousand to several million. Private equity tends to be what's called the growth stage when companies are already established and they're just looking to expand operations. Buck: Got it guys so that's helpful so in general you know part of it is determining you know how big the company is where you're in and presumably because of that there's different levels of risk reward profiles based on those kind of different time horizons for business investment right? Vanessa: Absolutely. Buck: So in terms of venture what is the typical time horizon you know for this kind of thing where I say you've got investors who are in a fund and you know what do you typically you know in a venture fund do you expect like a five years, ten years, you know some level of liquidity during that period of time? Vanessa: It's a great question and I love that you're that you're facing and what you usually talk about is residential you know both my family. I came from a background a family that that's our family business so you know about 90% of my net assets are in multi-family residential real estate so everything you say I think is absolutely spot-on. Venture capital you know I tell everyone whether it's you're an angel investor even up to private equity it's an extremely risky asset class. This is something that I put in that bucket over five to ten percent looking for a different uncorrelated you know asymmetrical kind of return. So it's important to remember that piece when we're talking about the risk because then the risk of a venture capital has become you know we have this extremely risky asset class what's everything we can do to mitigate that risk and to do this as strategically and thoughtfully as we can. But to answer your questions were typical and it's illiquid is another another piece of this. And so the typical venture investment is a five to seven year hold. So typically a fund is going to spend about two to three years deploying the capital that they raised. So say someone raised over ten million dollars fund, it'll take them two years to sort of spend that money and make those investments they then hold it for five to seven years and then that harvesting period is another two to three years. So as a typical venture capital fund has a heavy shelf life of ten years which can be a daunting hold period for for some investments. Buck: Yeah so in terms of what that looks like during that period of time there's often zero liquidity so I mean again going back to the parallel of multifamily real estate, we typically are looking at some dividends or distributions you know quarterly or even potentially yearly or whatever. But this is something that you got to say okay you know what this is your asymmetric risk play. Okay you buy Bitcoin and maybe you want to know invest in and this as well and you're just gonna forget about it. If you lose it you lose it. If one day you wake up and somebody says you meet you know five hundred percent on your money then that's kind of what what this is right? Vanessa: Absolutely and then listen it can be done far more strategically that's that's what we're there to do. But yes it absolutely has an element of risk and it attracts people who are entrepreneurs and it's a you know we can talk a little bit more about the economics of it but it's absolutely a homerun business you know you're looking to have a portfolio and have those one or two you know big wins in there. Buck: Right and then in terms of in terms of a homerun what is a homerun in venture language is that like at ten like 10x or is that a 5x I mean I'm just curious again these may be somewhat simplistic but most people probably in this in this audience probably don't really understand you know what what kind of metrics, financial metrics that, again not talking about specifically your fund as you know but just in general for venture like what if you're if you're talking about smaller allocations what are the typical targets like what's a win what's a what's a grand-slam and what is you know kind of a loss? Vanessa: You're testing my sports metaphor here this is a sounder, but I can play, I can play. So typically our fund you know a fund that has is it in sort of 90th percentile is going to return 3x net of fees to its investors. So if you have a hundred million dollar fund that means you're returning maybe 350 million, 50 million are you know please other expenses and your investors end up in their pocket with 3x what they put in. So that's how that's how you get into the top decile of funds you know that's the same kind of numbers that we're looking to do, but then you're going down to the portfolio level and you assume each fund is invested and maybe you know 10 to 20 companies. So if we say that's 10 companies you're going to make the assumption that 5 of those companies failed totally, you know 3 of those companies you'll have like a small return on and that's maybe two to three times your capital, one of those companies deals on medium return which is maybe a five to ten and one of those companies you want to have a real outsides return that could be upwards of a 10 and somewhere a 20 to 30 kind of X. Buck: Right I got it. And from a you know again understanding how I'm approaching this from real estate is there any sort of tax advantages to venture capital investing. Vanessa: Not in this, you know we don't have obviously the the depreciation that you would have in real estate. Most everything as an investor you're buying into a limited partnership so you own a part of a pass-through entity right you own a percentage of that LP and then from that you receive a k1 and your gains are you know long-term capital gains so somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. Buck: Okay got it okay. So let's talk specifically about Zora. Okay so when was Zora founded? Are you one of the founders and you know tell us a little bit about the story of the company. Vanessa: Sure I am the founder and general partner. I moved to Israel about six years ago and started investing a few years after. And again this was a I always grown up with this idea of wanting to sort of do well do good while also doing well. This came from you know being second generation immigrant family that after running a series of different small businesses you know multi-family real estate and was able to grow you know reasonable amount of wealth there and I think as a child my parents did a good job of pointing out all of the things that I got to do that was not what an average child gets to do, whether that was going to summer camp or my education at a private school or studying abroad. So I think I always had sort of this question of how do people acquire wealth, how is it that once people have wealth they seem to be able to make more wealth more quickly, and what can we do as a society to sort of make sure that other people have access to more wealth, whether that's through financial education or starting businesses whatever that is. So that was sort of my you know social social justice lens coming into this world, but started my career and Investment Banking and really love the transactions I than the deal-making side. I was working in Mexico City where helping mostly third fourth generation companies sell themselves to foreign acquirers so going through the valuation and through the exit with them and after a bit after doing that moved to Boston to be my MBA at Harvard realized I was in entrepreneurial unfortunately while there, moved down to Miami started a company there doing financial education with low income you know bussers, janitors, dishwashers as a sort of job placement HR agency at WorkSquare and after running that business for a few years loved what I was doing did not love the industry and wanted the opportunity to work with more mission aligned entrepreneurs at a strategic level. By chance I came across Israel and started learning more about Israel and was just blown away about what a good fit it was for someone who wanted to do early-stage tech investing you know with a social environmental focus. Buck: Why is that? Tell us a little bit about that you know why Israel was such a big part of it, why was it a good target for your venture fund. Vanessa: Sure so you know first off we have about 6400 startups in Israel and about 40% of those have some social environmental sort of impact in what they're doing. So we have about 600 startups each in agricultural technologies in digital health and medical devices and clean tech, we have exciting new sectors coming up like food tech and and education and water technology all have 250-300 companies between them so really strong pipelines. I identified about you know 2,400 companies in Israel that were mission oriented and the way we were looking for and among those about 700 that were relevant in stage for us which is sort of pre seed and seed and I think Israel's really benefited you know with the the largest tech hub outside Silicon Valley it has the highest number of engineers and scientists or capita in the world. The government strongly supports R&D you know to the tune of about 400 million dollars per year for for small startups. The companies here all have a strong b2b focus from day one because our you know our population is only eight billion people you automatically need to be selling abroad. So that's a given. You know we have over 300 multinational companies that have a presence here whether it's a venture fund or Scouts for technology so from day one startups are working with these multinationals to sort of figure out the product market fit and the best reasons you know also evaluations here are far more reasonable. You know it's not hard to be more reasonable than what we're seeing in the US center market right now is craziness. We have far more reasonable valuations and our entrepreneurs tend to do about twice as much with the same amount of capital. Buck: That's great okay got it okay. So you go to Israel you set up shop and when was that this? Vanessa: It was 2014 when I moved here and started looking for deals on my own sort of as an angel that I could follow and put some put some money in and I would find deals you know this is a dating before you get married kind of things and a year to two years sort of following coaching these companies before deciding which ones to go with. I would put in you know a small amount of capital personally put together a 25-page diligence report and bring that to investors primarily in the US where my network is and have them invest alongside me for a typical you know venture capital fee. Buck: Got it. So what's happened since 2014? Vanessa: So we've invested in five companies as part of our demo portfolio and that was the sort of one by one you know each investment we did was a special purpose vehicle with different investors and then it came time to put together a small fund. So we're working on that now we've made our first two investments and have our third under diligence and we're really looking to be the the best of Israeli impact tech. Buck: Got it. Is it too early to have any Vegas 2014 and now is too early to have any divestments or at this point? Vanessa: Yeah so I first investments we're actually like started in 2016 we've had one we've had one exit so far yeah which was which was fun and to use sports metaphors there was a double you know now that not a homerun but it was great to be able to send some money back to investors and it was I think emblematic of the challenge that we see in Israel which you know we have great product and technology and the challenge is frequently knowing how to commercialize and get that to market you know the best way. So this company was approached by the largest Japanese education publisher because they wanted to expand the product through Asia so the team decided to go with that and have them distribute for them. Buck: So let's go back again to sort of your buy box. so when you guys are looking at companies what are some of the characteristics that might be somewhat unique to to you and your in terms of metrics things like that what are you looking at? Vanessa: Sure we're looking first of all we're looking at the niche of seed stage. In the past about five years since 2015 most venture capital funds have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger with the reasonable idea that if you're going to make an investment in spend the time doing due diligence you might as well invest more money at a later stage and have more fees and more you know successfully from the time that you spent on that. What happens is there's a real vacuum at sort of speed stage and for us seed stage is when a when a tech company is raising about a million to two million dollars, they’re pre revenue, what we're looking for is that they have some significant partnership with a major corporation that might be an unpaid pilot, a paid pilot, it might be you know a joint project and developing a product together, but we want to see that the company has abilities to access the kind of the kind of large-scale multinationals that they're going to need to be selling to and for us we're looking at seed stage we're looking at valuations of about four to five million dollars pre-money or about a five and a half, six million dollar valuation after is around this point and that allows us to buy about a little over five percent interest in the company and so we're writing initial checks of about three hundred and fifty thousand dollars on average, which means we're looking for other strong co investors in that round. We want other people with deep pockets with sector expertise that are also going to come in have skin in the and help us grow that company. I would say the other things we're looking for, we're looking for a short time to monetization so anything that we think is going to have a long regulatory cycle, anything beyond that be a class one we won't even look at. There's a lot of the clean tech here that becomes problematic for us because it's the time horizon is too long it's too capital intensive so we're looking for companies that can monetize in the next you know two years minimum. Buck: Yeah got it got it. And I presume and of course those monetization I mean that money is all going back in the business just to be clear, it's not distributed or anything. So basically from from the standpoint, these investments are relatively small right three hundred three hundred fifty thousand like you're saying. So for a venture fund is there a lot of variability in terms of minimum investment for the actual investors in the fund, I mean is it you know usually, you don't have to talk about your fund I know, but in general do you have to you know is there these kinds of things sort of all over the place? Vanessa: They are and I would say increasingly so and for the better. Typically in a firm this may be a twenty five million dollars fund I think traditionally they're going to have a minimum that's a 250,000 or a 500,000 but payable over you know a few years of the investment period and you know one interesting trend we've been seeing in the past few years a sort of the better access to startup investment through crowdfunding platforms. There's you know a large one in Israel called Our Crowd that I think is invested over you know maybe 300 million dollars in the last few years in Starbucks. The one challenge you know it's a real balance with sort of the making venture capital which you know in my mind is a terrible industry it's you know been opaque, it's you know people are running off the ball stairs and crazy fees, you know there's a lot of mismatched incentives between investors and the fund managers, so I'm not at all a fan of of the industry as it is, but on the flip side you know bringing the model to a more retail level I think can also be scary because investors are missing that diversification. I see investors you know coming here and you know putting money in one startup that they find that the guy seems nice and statistically speaking you're better off going to Vegas and you know putting your guns on red pen. So that's one piece. The diversification piece is another that's really challenging, you know like we were talking about before even the best angel investors the best don't know for a while which of the 10 is going to be the home run and which is going to be you know one of the hardest and so that's another piece of it. And the third thing I'd say is that you know whether it's an equity crowdfunding platform or even like a local angel group, it's really hard to get the best a little access, so again this is a this is a game of home runs you need to have access to the absolute best entrepreneurs and deals you can find and you know nine times out of ten the best deals, different VC fund severity you know are fighting for allocation and those deals before any crowdfunding platform or any angel group whatever see them. Buck: So that's probably one of the reasons being in Tel Aviv is also advantageous as well right I mean I would imagine it's probably a little bit less competitive compared to the Silicon Valley venture targets. Vanessa: Yeah absolutely and that's why we're really strict about staying in seed stage because at that phase when an entrepreneur is raising about a million a million and a half dollars they're shopping locally for investors. They're not taking the time to go abroad. Once they get to their series A when they're looking for three to five million you know they're going to New York they're going to Silicon Valley and suddenly the valuation is the same as it is in Silicon Valley, New York you know so my colleague Ryan Weinberg and I were joking about one startup that we saw that we thought was really interesting and had a four million pre-money valuation, they were invited to participate in Y Combinator in the valley and two months later after they finished the program the four million pre-money valuation was now nine million pre-money. Buck: If you’re in that as an investor at that point it really doesn't really make any difference to you until there's some sort of liquidity event right? I mean that's not that that's great to know right, I mean just increased your net worth, but is there any you know what happens at the investor level when that happens? Vanessa: So that was one trend since we didn't invest in because we anticipated before they closed the round the valuation was going to get a little ridiculous and so you know you're absolutely right. Being here locally we get to take advantage of the better valuation before people go shop them abroad but they're you know if you are in a deal you know where you come in at a reasonable valuation and other investors come in at what you think is a little bit crazy valuation and it's time you know, on paper you know we have to remember all these values on paper until you actually get your money back which doesn't have a central acquisition or exit and you know on paper you you double your money and however it can make it difficult for the company to raise additional capital you know at that valuation. Buck: Right got it. Well you know I want to give you a chance just to mention anything else that I haven't asked because this is clearly not my area but I mean if you're somebody who's interviewing you, is there something or anything I've missed that you think is useful to know about the space about impact investing or just you know just in general about Zora? Vanessa: Sure I mean I think it's important in this space if people are looking to get involved in venture, I would spend a lot of time doing diligence on different fund managers and checking them out, you know we talked about you know VC returns historically are nothing to get excited about. I think on average VC returns as bad anywhere from sort of you know 13 to 15% which when you are counting in the liquidity you know and the risk profile over what a market benchmark is not so exciting when you're looking at it used to be real estate is not so exciting. You know smaller fronts is not a bit of advantage. They're typically at 15 to 18 percent kind of IRR return. But the real sort of secret in this industry is a big huge gap between the good fund managers and the bad fund managers. So the top quartile of fund managers have traditionally delivered you know load 20 IRRs know 20 to 26 IRR numbers where it's the lowest quartile fund managers have been about 5 to 8 percent, which 5 to 8 percent to have your money locked up for 10 years it's you know enough to make your stomach turn. So I think a huge piece of this is picking the right front manager and doing the homework on that and that's really a question of who's gonna have the best deal offset. For me I really favor and admire homes that are run by entrepreneurs. They’ve been there, they understand what it looks like, they know how to add value in an operational sense, you know they need to have an ability to execute on a relatively short timeline, and they need to have skin in the game. You know I see some fund managers who have none of their own capital sort of invested in this and they're happy making money off the management fees whether those investments succeed or fail, and that's obviously a no-go. Buck: Well this has been very very helpful and educational. How can how can we learn more about what Zora does and you know website or any other kind of information we can potentially get? Vanessa: Sure so we put together a special page for Wealth Formula listeners. One of the Wealth Formula members, Jonah Mink is an investor of a few years and a good friend. Thanks to him, made the introduction, so glad to be with you today. And so if you go to our website and http://www.zora.vc/wealthformula, there's a special page and we'll be having some more informational materials for Wealth Formula members. Buck: We’ll also put that in the show notes. Vanessa thanks so much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today. Vanessa: Thank you, Buck. It’s great to be with you. Buck: We’ll be right back.
Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until a top of $20000 before correcting to where we are today. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited. For more threads like this see UASF
The wilkelvoss are trying to make bitcoin legit according to esquire magazine
Every idea needs a face, even if the faces are illusory simplifications. The country you get is the president you get. The Yankees you get is the shortstop you get. Apple needed Jobs. ISIS needs al-Baghdadi. The moon shot belongs to Bezos. There's nothing under the Facebook sun that doesn't come back to Zuckerberg. But there is, as yet, no face behind the bitcoin curtain. It's the currency you've heard about but haven't been able to understand. Still to this day nobody knows who created it. For most people, it has something to do with programmable cash and algorithms and the deep space of mathematics, but it also has something to do with heroin and barbiturates and the sex trade and bankruptcies, too. It has no face because it doesn't seem tangible or real. We might align it with an anarchist's riot mask or a highly conceptualized question mark, but those images truncate its reality. Certain economists say it's as important as the birth of the Internet, that it's like discovering ice. Others are sure that it's doomed to melt. In the political sphere, it is the darling of the cypherpunks and libertarians. When they're not busy ignoring it, it scares the living shit out of the big banks and credit-card companies. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW It sparked to life in 2008—when all the financial world prepared for itself the articulate noose—and it knocked on the door like some inconvenient relative arriving at the dinner party in muddy shoes and a knit hat. Fierce ideological battles are currently being waged among the people who own and shepherd the currency. Some shout, Ponzi scheme. Some shout, Gold dust. Bitcoin alone is worth billions of dollars, but the computational structure behind it—its blockchain and its sidechains—could become the absolute underpinning of the world's financial structure for decades to come. What bitcoin has needed for years is a face to legitimize it, sanitize it, make it palpable to all the naysayers. But it has no Larry Ellison, no Elon Musk, no noticeable visionaries either with or without the truth. There's a lot of ideology at stake. A lot of principle and dogma and creed. And an awful lot of cash, too. At 6:00 on a Wednesday winter morning, three months after launching Gemini, their bitcoin exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss step out onto Broadway in New York, wearing the same make of sneakers, the same type of shorts, their baseball caps turned backward. They don't quite fall into the absolute caricature of twindom: They wear different-colored tops. Still, it's difficult to tell them apart, where Tyler ends and Cameron begins. Their faces are sculpted from another era, as if they had stepped from the ruin of one of Gatsby's parties. Their eyes are quick and seldom land on anything for long. Now thirty-four, there is something boyishly earnest about them as they jog down Prince Street, braiding in and out of each other, taking turns talking, as if they were working in shifts, drafting off each other. Forget, for a moment, the four things the Winklevosses are most known for: suing Mark Zuckerberg, their portrayal in The Social Network, rowing in the Beijing Olympics, and their overwhelming public twinness. Because the Winklevoss brothers are betting just about everything—including their past—on a fifth thing: They want to shake the soul of money out. At the deep end of their lives, they are athletes. Rowers. Full stop. And the thing about rowing—which might also be the thing about bitcoin—is that it's just about impossible to get your brain around its complexity. Everyone thinks you're going to a picnic. They have this notion you're out catching butterflies. They might ask you if you've got your little boater's hat ready. But it's not like that at all. You're fifteen years old. You rise in the dark. You drag your carcass along the railroad tracks before dawn. The boathouse keys are cold to the touch. You undo the ropes. You carry a shell down to the river. The carbon fiber rips at your hands. You place the boat in the water. You slip the oars in the locks. You wait for your coach. Nothing more than a thumb of light in the sky. It's still cold and the river stinks. That heron hasn't moved since yesterday. You hear Coach's voice before you see him. On you go, lads. You start at a dead sprint. The left rib's a little sore, but you don't say a thing. You are all power and no weight. The first push-to-pull in the water is a ripping surprise. From the legs first. Through the whole body. The arc. Atomic balance. A calm waiting for the burst. Your chest burns, your thighs scald, your brain blanks. It feels as if your rib cage might shatter. You are stillness exploding. You catch the water almost without breaking the surface. Coach says something about the pole vault. You like him. You really do. That brogue of his. Lads this, lads that. Fire. Stamina. Pain. After two dozen strokes, it already feels like you're hitting the wall. All that glycogen gone. Nobody knows. Nobody. They can't even pronounce it. Rowing. Ro-wing. Roh-ing. You push again, then pull. You feel as if you are breaking branch after branch off the bottom of your feet. You don't rock. You don't jolt. Keep it steady. Left, right, left, right. The heron stays still. This river. You see it every day. Nothing behind you. Everything in front. You cross the line. You know the exact tree. Your chest explodes. Your knees are trembling. This is the way the world will end, not with a whimper but a bang. You lean over the side of the boat. Up it comes, the breakfast you almost didn't have. A sign of respect to the river. You lay back. Ah, blue sky. Some cloud. Some gray. Do it again, lads. Yes, sir. You row so hard you puke it up once more. And here comes the heron, it's moving now, over the water, here it comes, look at that thing glide. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW The Winklevoss twins in the men's pair final during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. GETTY There's plenty of gin and beer and whiskey in the Harrison Room in downtown Manhattan, but the Winklevoss brothers sip Coca-Cola. The room, one of many in the newly renovated Pier A restaurant, is all mahogany and lamplight. It is, in essence, a floating bar, jutting four hundred feet out into the Hudson River. From the window you can see the Statue of Liberty. It feels entirely like their sort of room, a Jazz Age expectation hovering around their initial appearance—tall, imposing, the hair mannered, the collars of their shirts slightly tilted—but then they just slide into their seats, tentative, polite, even introverted. They came here by subway early on a Friday evening, and they lean back in their seats, a little wary, their eyes busy—as if they want to look beyond the rehearsal of their words. They had the curse of privilege, but, as they're keen to note, a curse that was earned. Their father worked to pay his way at a tiny college in backwoods Pennsylvania coal country. He escaped the small mining town and made it all the way to a professorship at Wharton. He founded his own company and eventually created the comfortable upper-middle-class family that came with it. They were raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, the most housebroken town on the planet. They might have looked like the others in their ZIP code, and dressed like them, spoke like them, but they didn't quite feel like them. Some nagging feeling—close to anger, close to fear—lodged itself beneath their shoulders, not quite a chip but an ache. They wanted Harvard but weren't quite sure what could get them there. "You have to be basically the best in the world at something if you're coming from Greenwich," says Tyler. "Otherwise it's like, great, you have a 1600 SAT, you and ten thousand others, so what?" The rowing was a means to an end, but there was also something about the boat that they felt allowed another balance between them. They pulled their way through high school, Cameron on the port-side oar, Tyler on the starboard. They got to Harvard. The Square was theirs. They rowed their way to the national championships—twice. They went to Oxford. They competed in the Beijing Olympics. They sucked up the smog. They came in sixth place. The cameras loved them. Girls, too. They were so American, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, they could have been cast in a John Cougar Mellencamp song. It might all have been so clean-cut and whitebread except for the fact that—at one of the turns in the river—they got involved in the most public brawl in the whole of the Internet's nascent history. They don't talk about it much anymore, but they know that it still defines them, not so much in their own minds but in the minds of others. The story seems simple on one level, but nothing is ever simple, not even simplification. Theirs was the original idea for the first social network, Harvard Connection. They hired Mark Zuckerberg to build it. Instead he went off and created Facebook. They sued him. They settled for $65 million. It was a world of public spats and private anguish. Rumors and recriminations. A few years later, dusty old pre-Facebook text messages were leaked online by Silicon Alley Insider: "Yeah, I'm going to fuck them," wrote Zuckerberg to a friend. "Probably in the ear." The twins got their money, but then they believed they were duped again by an unfairly low evaluation of their stock. They began a second round of lawsuits for $180 million. There was even talk about the Supreme Court. It reeked of opportunism. But they wouldn't let it go. In interviews, they came across as insolent and splenetic, tossing their rattles out of the pram. It wasn't about the money, they said at the time, it was about fairness, reality, justice. Most people thought it was about some further agile fuckery, this time in Zuckerberg's ear. There are many ways to tell the story, but perhaps the most penetrating version is that they weren't screwed so much by Zuckerberg as they were by their eventual portrayal in the film version of their lives. They appeared querulous and sulky, exactly the type of characters that America, peeling off the third-degree burns of the great recession, needed to hate. While the rest of the country worried about mounting debt and vanishing jobs, they were out there drinking champagne from, at the very least, Manolo stilettos. The truth would never get in the way of a good story. In Aaron Sorkin's world, and on just about every Web site, the blueblood trust-fund boys got what was coming to them. And the best thing now was for them to take their Facebook money and turn the corner, quickly, away, down toward whatever river would whisk them away. Armie Hammer brilliantly portrayed them as the bluest of bloods in The Social Network. When the twins are questioned about those times now, they lean back a little in their seats, as if they've just lost a long race, a little perplexed that they came off as the victims of Hollywood's ability to throw an image, while the whole rip-roaring regatta still goes on behind them. "They put us in a box," says Cameron, "caricatured to a point where we didn't really exist." He glances around the bar, drums his finger against the glass. "That's fair enough. I understand that impulse." They smart a little when they hear Zuckerberg's name. "I don't think Mark liked being called an asshole," says Tyler, with a flick of bluster in his eyes, but then he catches himself. "You know, maybe Mark doesn't care. He's a bit of a statesman now, out there connecting the world. I have nothing against him. He's a smart guy." These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. But underneath the calm—just like underneath the boat—one can sense the churn. They say the word—ath-letes—as if it were a country where pain is the passport. One of the things the brothers mention over and over again is that you can spontaneously crack a rib while rowing, just from the sheer exertion of the muscles hauling on the rib cage. Along came bitcoin. At its most elemental, bitcoin is a virtual currency. It's the sort of thing a five-year-old can understand—It's just e-cash, Mom—until he reaches eighteen and he begins to question the deep future of what money really means. It is a currency without government. It doesn't need a banker. It doesn't need a bank. It doesn't even need a brick to be built upon. Its supporters say that it bypasses the Man. It is less than a decade old and it has already come through its own Wild West, a story rooted in uncharted digital territory, up from the dust, an evening redness in the arithmetical West. These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. Bitcoin appeared in 2008—westward ho!—a little dot on the horizon of the Internet. It was the brainchild of a computer scientist named Satoshi Nakamoto. The first sting in the tale is that—to this very day—nobody knows who Nakamoto is, where he lives, or how much of his own invention he actually owns. He could be Californian, he could be Australian, he could even be a European conglomerate, but it doesn't really matter, since what he created was a cryptographic system that is borderless and supposedly unbreakable. In the beginning the currency was ridiculed and scorned. It was money created from ones and zeros. You either bought it or you had to "mine" for it. If you were mining, your computer was your shovel. Any nerd could do it. You keyed your way in. By using your computer to help check and confirm the bitcoin transactions of others, you made coin. Everyone in this together. The computer heated up and mined, down down down, into the mathematical ground, lifting up numbers, making and breaking camp every hour or so until you had your saddlebags full of virtual coin. It all seemed a bit of a lark at first. No sheriff, no deputy, no central bank. The only saloon was a geeky chat room where a few dozen bitcoiners gathered to chew data. Lest we forget, money was filthy in 2008. The collapse was coming. The banks were shorting out. The real estate market was a confederacy of dunces. Bernie Madoff's shadow loomed. Occupy was on the horizon. And all those Wall Street yahoos were beginning to squirm. Along came bitcoin like some Jesse James of the financial imagination. It was the biggest disruption of money since coins. Here was an idea that could revolutionize the financial world. A communal articulation of a new era. Fuck American Express. Fuck Western Union. Fuck Visa. Fuck the Fed. Fuck the Treasury. Fuck the deregulated thievery of the twenty-first century. To the earliest settlers, bitcoin suggested a moral way out. It was a money created from the ground up, a currency of the people, by the people, for the people, with all government control extinguished. It was built on a solid base of blockchain technology where everyone participated in the protection of the code. It attracted anarchists, libertarians, whistle-blowers, cypherpunks, economists, extropians, geeks, upstairs, downstairs, left-wing, right-wing. Sure, it could be used by businesses and corporations, but it could also be used by poor people and immigrants to send money home, instantly, honestly, anonymously, without charge, with a click of the keyboard. Everyone in the world had access to your transaction, but nobody had to know your name. It bypassed the suits. All you needed to move money was a phone or a computer. It was freedom of economic action, a sort of anarchy at its democratic best, no rulers, just rules. Bitcoin, to the original explorers, was a safe pass through the government-occupied valleys: Those assholes were up there in the hills, but they didn't have any scopes on their rifles, and besides, bitcoin went through in communal wagons at night. Ordinary punters took a shot. Businesses, too. You could buy silk ties in Paris without any extra bank charges. You could protect your money in Buenos Aires without fear of a government grab. The Winklevoss twins leave the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, after appearing in court to ask that the previous settlement case against Facebook be voided. GETTY But freedom can corrupt as surely as power. It was soon the currency that paid for everything illegal under the sun, the go-to money of the darknet. The westward ho! became the outlaw territory of Silk Road and beyond. Heroin through the mail. Cocaine at your doorstep. Child porn at a click. What better way for terrorists to ship money across the world than through a network of anonymous computers? Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Mexican cartels. In Central America, kidnappers began demanding ransom in bitcoin—there was no need for the cash to be stashed under a park bench anymore. Now everything could travel down the wire. Grab, gag, and collect. Uranium could be paid for in bitcoin. People, too. The sex trade was turned on: It was a perfect currency for Madame X. For the online gambling sites, bitcoin was pure jackpot. For a while, things got very shady indeed. Over a couple years, the rate pinballed between $10 and $1,200 per bitcoin, causing massive waves and troughs of online panic and greed. (In recent times, it has begun to stabilize between $350 and $450.) In 2014, it was revealed that hackers had gotten into the hot wallet of Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo. A total of 850,000 coins were "lost," at an estimated value of almost half a billion dollars. The founder of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht (known as "Dread Pirate Roberts"), got himself a four-by-six room in a federal penitentiary for life, not to mention pending charges for murder-for-hire in Maryland. Everyone thought that bitcoin was the problem. The fact of the matter was, as it so often is, human nature was the problem. Money means desire. Desire means temptation. Temptation means that people get hurt. During the first Gold Rush in the late 1840s, the belief was that all you needed was a pan and a decent pair of boots and a good dose of nerve and you could go out and make yourself a riverbed millionaire. Even Jack London later fell for the lure of it alongside thousands of others: the western test of manhood and the promise of wealth. What they soon found out was that a single egg could cost twenty-five of today's dollars, a pound of coffee went for a hundred, and a night in a whorehouse could set you back $6,000. A few miners hit pay dirt, but what most ended up with for their troubles was a busted body and a nasty dose of syphilis. The gold was discovered on the property of John Sutter in Sacramento, but the one who made the real cash was a neighboring merchant, Samuel Brannan. When Brannan heard the news of the gold nuggets, he bought up all the pickaxes and shovels he could find, filled a quinine bottle with gold dust, and went to San Francisco. Word went around like a prayer in a flash flood: gold gold gold. Brannan didn't wildcat for gold himself, but at the peak of the rush he was flogging $5,000 worth of shovels a day—that's $155,000 today—and went on to become the wealthiest man in California, alongside the Wells Fargo crew, Levi Strauss, and the Studebaker family, who sold wheelbarrows. If you comb back through the Winklevoss family, you will find a great-grandfather and a great-great-grandfather who knew a thing or two about digging: They worked side by side in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. They didn't go west and they didn't get rich, but maybe the lesson became part of their DNA: Sometimes it's the man who sells the shovels who ends up hitting gold. Like it or not—and many people don't like it—the Winklevoss brothers are shaping up to be the Samuel Brannans of the bitcoin world. Nine months after being portrayed in The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins were back out on the water at the World Rowing Cup. CHRISTOPHER LEE/GETTY They heard about it first poolside in Ibiza, Spain. Later it would play into the idea of ease and privilege: umbrella drinks and girls in bikinis. But if the creation myth was going to be flippant, the talk was serious. "I'd say we were cautious, but we were definitely intrigued," says Cameron. They went back home to New York and began to read. There was something about it that got under their skin. "We knew that money had been so broken and inefficient for years," says Tyler, "so bitcoin appealed to us right away." They speak in braided sentences, catching each other, reassuring themselves, tightening each other's ideas. They don't quite want to say that bitcoin looked like something that might be redemptive—after all, they, like everyone else, were looking to make money, lots of it, Olympic-sized amounts—but they say that it did strike an idealistic chord inside them. They certainly wouldn't be cozying up to the anarchists anytime soon, but this was a global currency that, despite its uncertainties, seemed to present a solution to some of the world's more pressing problems. "It was borderless, instantaneous, irreversible, decentralized, with virtually no transaction costs," says Tyler. It could possibly cut the banks out, and it might even take the knees out from under the credit-card companies. Not only that, but the price, at just under ten dollars per coin, was in their estimation low, very low. They began to snap it up. They were aware, even at the beginning, that they might, once again, be called Johnny-come-latelys, just hopping blithely on the bandwagon—it was 2012, already four years into the birth of the currency—but they went ahead anyway, power ten. Within a short time they'd spent $11 million buying up a whopping 1 percent of the world's bitcoin, a position they kept up as more bitcoins were mined, making their 1 percent holding today worth about $66 million. But bitcoin was flammable. The brothers felt the burn quickly. Their next significant investment came later that year, when they gave $1.5 million in venture funding to a nascent exchange called BitInstant. Within a year the CEO was arrested for laundering drug money through the exchange. So what were a pair of smart, clean-cut Olympic rowers doing hanging around the edges of something so apparently shady, and what, if anything, were they going to do about it? They mightn't have thought of it this way, but there was something of the sheriff striding into town, the one with the swagger and the scar, glancing up at the balconies as he comes down Main Street, all tumbleweeds and broken pianos. This place was a dump in most people's eyes, but the sheriff glimpsed his last best shot at finally getting the respect he thinks he deserves. The money shot: A good stroke will catch the water almost without breaking its seal. You stir without rippling. Your silence is sinewy. There's muscle in that calm. The violence catches underneath, thrusts the boat along. Stroke after stroke. Just keep going. Today's truth dies tomorrow. What you have to do is elemental enough. You row without looking behind you. You keep the others in front of you. As long as you can see what they're doing, it's all in your hands. You are there to out-pain them. Doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, how they got here. Know your enemy through yourself. Push through toward pull. Find the still point of this pain. Cut a melody in the disk of your flesh. The only terror comes when they pass you—if they ever pass you. There are no suits or ties, but there is a white hum in the offices of Gemini in the Flatiron District. The air feels as if it has been brushed clean. There is something so everywhereabout the place. Ergonomic chairs. iPhone portals. Rows of flickering computers. Not so much a hush around the room as a quiet expectation. Eight, nine people. Programmers, analysts, assistants. Other employees—teammates, they call them—dialing in from Portland, Oregon, and beyond. The brothers fire up the room when they walk inside. A fist-pump here, a shoulder touch there. At the same time, there is something almost shy about them. Apart, they seem like casual visitors to the space they inhabit. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. The Winklevoss twins speak onstage at Bitcoin! Let's Cut Through the Noise Already at SXSW in 2016. GETTY They move from desk to desk. The price goes up, the price goes down. The phones ring. The e-mails beep. Customer-service calls. Questions about fees. Inquiries about tax structures. Gemini was started in late 2015 as a next-generation bitcoin exchange. It is not the first such exchange in the world by any means, but it is one of the most watched. The company is designed with ordinary investors in mind, maybe a hedge fund, maybe a bank: all those people who used to be confused or even terrified by the word bitcoin. It is insured. It is clean. What's so fascinating about this venture is that the brothers are risking themselves by trying to eliminate risk: keeping the boat steady and exploding through it at the same time. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. For the past couple years, the Winklevosses have worked closely with just about every compliance agency imaginable. They ticked off all the regulatory boxes. Essentially they wanted to ease all the Debting Thomases. They put regulatory frameworks in place. Security and bankability and insurance were their highest objectives. Nobody was going to be able to blow open the safe. They wanted to soothe all the appetites for risk. They told Bitcoin Magazine they were asking for "permission, not forgiveness." This is where bitcoin can become normal—that is, if you want bitcoin to be normal. Just a mile or two down the road, in Soho, a half dozen bitcoiners gather at a meetup. The room is scruffy, small, boxy. A half mannequin is propped on a table, a scarf draped around it. It's the sort of place that twenty years ago would have been full of cigarette smoke. There's a bit of Allen Ginsberg here, a touch of Emma Goldman, a lot of Zuccotti Park. The wine is free and the talk is loose. These are the true believers. They see bitcoin in its clearest possible philosophical terms—the frictionless currency of the people, changing the way people move money around the world, bypassing the banks, disrupting the status quo. A comedy show is being run out in the backyard. A scruffy young man wanders in and out, announcing over and over again that he is half-baked. A well-dressed Asian girl sidles up to the bar. She looks like she's just stepped out of an NYU business class. She's interested in discovering what bitcoin is. She is regaled by a series of convivial answers. The bartender tells her that bitcoin is a remaking of the prevailing power structures. The girl asks for another glass of wine. The bartender adds that bitcoin is democracy, pure and straight. She nods and tells him that the wine tastes like cooking oil. He laughs and says it wasn't bought with bitcoin. "I don't get it," she says. And so the evening goes, presided over by Margaux Avedisian, who describes herself as the queen of bitcoin. Avedisian, a digital-currency consultant of Armenian descent, is involved in several high-level bitcoin projects. She has appeared in documentaries and on numerous panels. She is smart, sassy, articulate. When the talk turns to the Winklevoss brothers, the bar turns dark. Someone, somewhere, reaches up to take all the oxygen out of the air. Avedisian leans forward on the counter, her eyes shining, delightful, raged. "The Winklevii are not the face of bitcoin," she says. "They're jokes. They don't know what they're saying. Nobody in our community respects them. They're so one-note. If you look at their exchange, they have no real volume, they never will. They keep throwing money at different things. Nobody cares. They're not part of us. They're just hangers-on." "Ah, they're just assholes," the bartender chimes in. "What they want to do," says Avedisian, "is lobotomize bitcoin, make it into something entirely vapid. They have no clue." The Asian girl leaves without drinking her third glass of free wine. She's got a totter in her step. She doesn't quite get the future of money, but then again maybe very few in the world do. Giving testimony on bitcoin licensing before the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2014. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS The future of money might look like this: You're standing on Oxford Street in London in winter. You think about how you want to get to Charing Cross Road. The thought triggers itself through electrical signals into the chip embedded in your wrist. Within a moment, a driverless car pulls up on the sensor-equipped road. The door opens. You hop in. The car says hello. You tell it to shut up. It does. It already knows where you want to go. It turns onto Regent Street. You think,A little more air-conditioning, please. The vents blow. You think, Go a little faster, please. The pace picks up. You think, This traffic is too heavy, use Quick(TM). The car swings down Glasshouse Street. You think, Pay the car in front to get out of my way. It does. You think, Unlock access to a shortcut. The car turns down Sherwood Street to Shaftsbury Avenue. You pull in to Charing Cross. You hop out. The car says goodbye. You tell it to shut up again. You run for the train and the computer chip in your wrist pays for the quiet-car ticket for the way home. All of these transactions—the air-conditioning, the pace, the shortcut, the bribe to get out of the way, the quick lanes, the ride itself, the train, maybe even the "shut up"—will cost money. As far as crypto-currency enthusiasts think, it will be paid for without coins, without phones, without glass screens, just the money coming in and going out of your preprogrammed wallet embedded beneath your skin. The Winklevosses are betting that the money will be bitcoin. And that those coins will flow through high-end, corporate-run exchanges like Gemini rather than smoky SoHo dives. Cameron leans across a table in a New York diner, the sort of place where you might want to polish your fork just in case, and says: "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." He can't remember whom the quote belongs to, but he freely acknowledges that it's not his own. Theirs is a truculent but generous intelligence, capable of surprise and turn at the oddest of moments. They talk meditation, they talk economics, they talk Van Halen, they talk, yes, William Gibson, but everything comes around again to bitcoin. "The key to all this is that people aren't even going to know that they're using bitcoin," says Tyler. "It's going to be there, but it's not going to be exposed to the end user. Bitcoin is going to be the rails that underpin our payment systems. It's just like an IP address. We don't log on to a series of numbers, 115.425.5 or whatever. No, we log on to Google.com. In the same way, bitcoin is going to be disguised. There will be a body kit that makes it user-friendly. That's what makes bitcoin a kick-ass currency." Any fool can send a billion dollars across the world—as long as they have it, of course—but it's virtually impossible to send a quarter unless you stick it in an envelope and pay forty-nine cents for a stamp. It's one of the great ironies of our antiquated money system. And yet the quark of the financial world is essentially the small denomination. What bitcoin promises is that it will enable people and businesses to send money in just about any denomination to one another, anywhere in the world, for next to nothing. A public address, a private key, a click of the mouse, and the money is gone. A Bitcoin conference in New York City in 2014. GETTY This matters. This matters a lot. Credit-card companies can't do this. Neither can the big banks under their current systems. But Marie-Louise on the corner of Libertador Avenue can. And so can Pat Murphy in his Limerick housing estate. So can Mark Andreessen and Bill Gates and Laurene Powell Jobs. Anyone can do it, anywhere in the world, at virtually no charge. You can do it, in fact, from your phone in a diner in New York. But the whole time they are there—over identical California omelettes that they order with an ironic shrug—they never once open their phones. They come across more like the talkative guys who might buy you a drink at the sports bar than the petulants ordering bottle service in the VIP corner. The older they get, the more comfortable they seem in their contradictions: the competition, the ease; the fame, the quiet; the gamble, the sure thing. Bitcoin is what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. What seems indisputable about the future of money, to the Winklevosses and other bitcoin adherents, is that the technology that underpins bitcoin—the blockchain—will become one of the fundamental tenets of how we deal with the world of finance. Blockchain is the core computer code. It's open source and peer to peer—in other words, it's free and open to you and me. Every single bitcoin transaction ever made goes to an open public ledger. It would take an unprecedented 51 percent attack—where one entity would come to control more than half of the computing power used to mine bitcoin—for hackers to undo it. The blockchain is maintained by computers all around the world, and its future sidechains will create systems that deal with contracts and stock and other payments. These sidechains could very well be the foundation of the new global economy for the big banks, the credit-card companies, and even government itself. "It's boundless," says Cameron. This is what the brothers are counting on—and what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. When you delve into the world of bitcoin, it gets deeper, darker, more mysterious all the time. Why has its creator remained anonymous? Why did he drop off the face of the earth? How much of it does he own himself? Will banks and corporations try to bring the currency down? Why are there really only five developers with full "commit access" to the code (not the Winklevosses, by the way)? Who is really in charge of the currency's governance? Perhaps the most pressing issue at hand is that of scaling, which has caused what amounts to a civil war among followers. A maximum block size of one megabyte has been imposed on the chain, sort of like a built-in artificial dampener to keep bitcoin punk rock. That's not nearly enough capacity for the number of transactions that would take place in future visions. In years to come, there could be massive backlogs and outages that could create instant financial panic. Bitcoin's most influential leaders are haggling over what will happen. Will bitcoin maintain its decentralized status, or will it go legit and open up to infinite transactions? And if it goes legit, where's the punk? The issues are ongoing—and they might very well take bitcoin down, but the Winklevosses don't think so. They have seen internal disputes before. They've refrained from taking a public stance mostly because they know that there are a lot of other very smart people in bitcoin who are aware that crisis often builds consensus. "We're in this for the long haul," says Tyler. "We're the first batter in the first inning." GILLIAN LAUB The waiter comes across and asks them, bizarrely, if they're twins. They nod politely. Who was born first? They've heard it a million times and their answer is always the same: Neither of them—they were born cesarean. Cameron looks older, says the waiter. Tyler grins. Normally it's the other way around, says Cameron, grinning back. Do you ever fight? asks the waiter. Every now and then, they say. But not over this, not over the future. Heraclitus was wrong. You can, in fact, step in the same river twice. In the beginning you went to the shed. No electricity there, no heat, just a giant tub where you simulated the river. You could only do eleven strokes. But there was something about the repetition, the difference, even the monotony, that hooked you. After a while it wasn't an abandoned shed anymore. College gyms, national training centers. Bigger buildings. High ceilings. AC. Doctors and trainers. Monitors hooked up to your heart, your head, your blood. Six foot five, but even then you were not as tall as the other guys. You liked the notion of underdog. Everyone called you the opposite. The rich kids. The privileged ones. To hell with that. They don't know us, who we are, where we came from. Some of the biggest chips rest on the shoulders of those with the least to lose. Six foot five times two makes just about thirteen feet. You sit in the erg and you stare ahead. Day in, day out. One thousand strokes, two thousand. You work with the very best. You even train with the Navy SEALs. It touches that American part of you. The sentiment, the false optimism. When the oil fields are burning, you even think, I'll go there with them. But you stay in the boat. You want that other flag rising. That's what you aim for. You don't win but you get close. Afterward there are planes, galas, regattas, magazine spreads, but you always come back to that early river. The cold. The fierceness. The heron. Like it or not, you're never going to get off the water—that's just the fact of the matter, it's always going to be there. Hard to admit it, but once you were wrong. You got out of the boat and you haggled over who made it. You lost that one, hard. You might lose this one, too, but then again it just might be the original arc that you're stepping toward. So you return, then. You rise before dark. You drag your carcass along Broadway before dawn. All the rich men in the world want to get shot into outer space. Richard Branson. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk. The new explorers. To get the hell out of here and see if they—and maybe we—can exist somewhere else for a while. It's the story of the century. We want to know if the pocket of the universe can be turned inside out. We're either going to bring all the detritus of the world upward with us or we're going to find a brand-new way to exist. The cynical say that it's just another form of colonization—they're probably right, but then again maybe it's our only way out. The Winklevosses have booked their tickets—numbers 700 and 701—on Branson's Virgin Galactic. Although they go virtually everywhere together, the twins want to go on different flights because of the risk involved: Now that they're in their mid-thirties, they can finally see death, or at least its rumor. It's a boy's adventure, but it's also the outer edge of possibility. It cost a quarter of a million dollars per seat, and they paid for it, yes, in bitcoin. Of course, up until recently, the original space flights all splashed down into the sea. One of the ships that hauled the Gemini space capsule out of the water in 1965 was the Intrepid aircraft carrier. The Winklevosses no longer pull their boat up the river. Instead they often run five miles along the Hudson to the Intrepid and back. The destroyer has been parked along Manhattan's West Side for almost as long as they have been alive. It's now a museum. The brothers like the boat, its presence, its symbolism: Intrepid, Gemini, the space shot. They ease into the run.
General info and list of exchanges for FansTime (FTI)
Ecosystem Individual IP Value System If currency no longer represents the amount of work per unit of time, then what can measure the value of talent? FansTime believes that only fans can do it. IFS, the TOKEN generated on iFans Chain parent chain will become the only object to price an Individual IP so as to solve the pricing, financing, derivative development and assetization. Gradually, a decentralized multilateral market can be built then the value of Individual IP can be cherished fairly.Based on the new logic of communication, changing from domain addressing to content addressing, FansTime will promote the establishment of a truly worldwide content distribution system and copyright identification system together with other technology enterprises which focus on the fundamental technical advances in the Blockchain area. International Crowdfunding Platform for Individual IP FansTime will also provide an international crowdfunding platform for IFS holders in addition to continuously connecting the terminal consumption scenarios to the Ecosystem. Compared to the traditional crowdfunding platforms, the new ones will operate independently without man-mad interferences, thanks to the Smart Contracts and Decentralized&Distributed Databases. In this case, "code equals to law" would be truly realized at least in the process of profits allocation between investors. Global Membership Rewards System of Individual IP Based on distributed data storage, asymmetric encryption, peer-to-peer networking and other Blockchain related technologies, a global membership rewards system may be realized. The problems such as identity certification, unfair treatment, poor flexibility of databases will be solved. Application Scenarios Time Exchange As the number of users increasing and the depth of user engagement enhacing,there will be a huge amount of demand for individual IPs. So FansTime will launch an equivalent object as Exclusive Token in order to simplify the process of issuing and auditing. Time,the equivalent object,provides a more flexible assetization channel which can attract much more Individual IPs with potentials.Time Exchange will work with Exclusive Token Exchange in parallel, thus enriching the value system. Fans Rights Mall It is one of the terminal consumption applications in FansTime ecosystem. With the development of the community, terminal consumption scenarios will increase greatly. Commodities in Fans Rights Mall covers traditional copyright commodities, tickets for offline activities , weaker-copyright digital contents. According to different status of Individual IPs, the comodities can be priced by IFS, Exclusive Token or Time. Exclusive Token Exchange With the Smart Contract of the FansTime parent Chain (iFans Chain), Individual IP can issue its own Exclusive Token, which is used to anchor its own IP value. Fans can obtain investment returns by holding and selling the Exclusive Token of Individual IP, directly participating in the process of Individual IP increasing. In this case, problems of pricing, transaction and assetization can be solved. FansTime will introduce high quality Individual IPs and more demanders of segment markets into the community as to expand the scope of Exclusive Token using. Management Team Martae Honorably,Miss Apinya Pramoj(More) Honorary Chairman Eric Jiang(More) CEO TETSUYA SHIN(More) RD Department Head Ting SHE(More) Marketing Department Head Terry Wu(More) Finance Department Head Investment Institution With a globalization strategy, ChinaEquity Group (CEG) focuses on investment in High-tech and Culture&Entertainment industries. CEG was co-founded by Wang Chaoyong, returned American investment banker and Chief Representative of Morgan Stanley Beijing Office, together with Swiss investors. Mr. Wang is hailed as Investment Godfather and he is one of the first overseas Chinese students working in the Wall Street investment and financing community. Leading domestic non-public online equity investment platform. 36 Kr is a mainstream, prestigious and influential new business media and its parent company is now the largest service platform for the 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiatives’ in China. Chen Shu, the founding initiator of NEXT, is the initiator of Wenzhou Financial Management Association and co-founder of W Youth Capital. NEXT has now accomplished its initial operations in blockchain-related fields, concerning TMT, cloud computing, big data, AI, financial technology, etc. Qianhai M&A Funds, with the powerful support of Qianhai Equity Exchange shareholders, specializes in 7 sectors of high-tech investments, including culture and education, internet, IT, industrial automation, healthcare, environmental protection, national defense conversion to civil use. iFensi is the most professional fans operation and service platform, ranking top on Alexa Chinese entertainment website. It secured RMB 150 million in B- Round Financing in 2017 and was valued at RMB 1 billion, a record high in fan economy financing. A frontier investor in blockchain technology co-founded by the core team of Waltonchain and business circles and pevcnews, committed to offering support to teams with industrial expertise and connections as well as understandings and visions on blockchain. A venture capital firm dedicated in blockchain and one of the earliest professional investment companies laying hands on blockchain. Node capital is to connect nodes existing in blockchain ecology and integrate sector resources through investment projects and cooperation, thus construct eco-system of the industry and carry forward steady and healthy development of blockchain. Ainvestment arm under huoxun.com, was established by several top blockchain experts. Tsing Capital, specializing in risk investment in block chain industry, is a professional investment institution, the earliest one established in the world for linking and hatching young leaders' new technology projects. United Cultural Works Exchanges is the largest and most influential film and television derivative exchange platform and the only government-approved cultural art works equity exchange platform in Liaoning Province, China. United CulturalWorks Exchanges has worked with Chunqiu Time, H&R Century Pictures, Alibaba Pictures, Huayi Brothers Media Group and other top IP creators to publish over 50 pieces of derivative works, business turnover exceeding RMB 50 billion in 2016. Xiang Chain Fund of Funds (XCF), the first Fund of Funds (FOF) of blockchain industry in Hunan province, was jointly established by Cheng Guihua, a founding member of the China Young Angel Investor Leader Association and Wang Xiaoye, an executive director of the China Young Angel Investor Leader Association. XCF has invested many projects including the following: EGCC, Extrade, Rcash, etc. It maintains a highly cooperative relationship with well-known blockchain investment institutions, and has a high degree of integration of the head resources of the entire blockchain industry. At the same time, XCF provides high-quality blockchain industry projects with consulting services of one-stop investment and financing, helping accelerate the development of excellent projects in blockchain infrastructure and commercial applications. DFUND was founded by Zhao Dong, a well-known person in digital currency field, in July 2017, specializing in the investment in the field, and supplying the invested project with end-to-end investment bank services. It sticks to the principle of value investment, which is judged and screened by professional team. It has impressive earnings in its early open-ended fund. Till January 2018, the net earnings of Bitcoin in the first phase project of DFUND is 620%, or 2543% in U.S. currency. The major investment projects are TNB、QASH、aelf、Cybermiles、LLT、MobileCoin、Beechat, etc. Genesis, a blockchain-oriented professional investment bank and venture capital institution, was found by Zhu Huaiyang and Sun Zeyu in 2017, engaging in finding the top quality blockchain projects and providing long-term comprehensive assistance. The major investment projects are Deep Brain Chain(DBC)、IOS、AELF、JEX、Game.com、ProChain、Acute Angle Cloud, etc. Link Capital, founded by Lin Jiapeng, a senior investment expert in blockchain field, is an investment institution specializing in the sectors of blockchain project, digital currency and network finance, used to invest in lots of quality blockchain projects home and abroad. It has established offices in Singapore, Canada, and China’s Hong Kong and Shenzhen. HS Capital has sharp acumen in blockchain industry, unique insight and control over projects, and energizes invested project with community energy. Ju Capital under the Jubi Group, is a venture capital company concentrating on blockchain industry, as well as one of the professional investment institutions early involving in blockchain industry. Ju Capital is aimed at bringing most potential blockchian projects to frontier markets through project investment and cooperation. Over years, Ju Capital has been implementing influential blockchain projects worldwide by supplying end-to-end professional team services, sticking to the principles of dedicating and professional investments, and upholding the concepts of vale investment and deep guidance. Stars Capital, founded by Mr. Liu Jingchao in 2017, is a venture capital company specializing in blockchain industry, and one of the profession investment institutions early involving in the blockchain industrial ecology in the global context. It sets its purpose on integrating industrial resources, building industrial ecological circle, and fueling the healthy and stable development of blockchain industry through the way of project investment and cooperation. Mr. Liu Jingchao is also the founder of Bijiu.com and Binvestment, as well as an accomplished expert in blockchain industry. Trueway Capital is a professional investment institution focusing on the blockchain sector, engaging in building ecological layout in the fields of mineral pool, transaction platform, technical media, technology application, etc. It is now devoting itself to the technology innovation and development of blockchain by investing in and incubating excellent venture teams in blockchain sector.Investment cases: CyberMiles（CMT）、JEX、Coindom（CCC）、OneRoot（RNT）、GIFTO、Zipper OS、TopChain（TOPC）、Game.com（GTC）、RenRen、Nebulas（NAS）、BAIC、TrueChain、QUNQUN、WaykiChain 、HotChain（HOTC）、TokenClub、All Sport（SOC）、ARMADA MINER（AMUT） Lemi Capital is a venture capital company focusing on the investment in global blockchain sector in its early and growing stages, and is one of the earliest professional investment institutions making layout for creating blockchain industrial ecology worldwide. Lemi Capital’s target lies in, by means of project investment and cooperation, fueling rapid rising of new technology and high-value projects, linking the nodes on blockchain industrial ecology, integrating industrial recourses, building industrial ecosystem so as to better release the potentials of blockchain technology in its coming development and application, and promoting the healthy and steady development of blockchain industry. Gama Capital is a type of blockchain industrial fund established at the beginning 2018. Its capital investment portfolio covers all developing stages of blockchain industry, vertical industries, regions and commercial modes, including tracks such as basic chain, Internet of things, supply chain, cross-border remittance, traceability, enterprise level application, etc. Our concept is to realize linking in the global blockchain ecosphere by laying out the blockchain enterprises worldwide. Gama Capital has established a most professional globalized investment team in the industry, which is composed of lots of investment managers and industrial analysts equipped with long-term experiences working at large-scale international investment management institutions. The blockchain projects invested by the partners of Gama Capital are PNT, Quantum, VeChain, ABT, EOS, FSN, etc., achieving dozens of times of return on investment on the whole. Trichain Capital is a comprehensive and professional venture capital focus on blockchain industry and digital asset investment banking. Trichain Capital is driven by capital, industry and technology, and is committed to becoming the best partner of the global blockchain entrepreneur. Shuanghua Capital is a new prominent fund focusing on blockchain industry, which registered in Cayman Islands. The scope of investment includes crypto currency, smart contract, oracle, decentralized storage, decentralized database, cross chain trading, consortium blockchain, etc. SMWM is a professional Venture Capital focusing on BlockChain and Fintech, which is committed to finding excellent project and accelerating their development。 Our team are from Tsinghua University, Peking University and overseas returnees, who have wide experience in BlockChain industry , professional research capacity and keen insight into the future development of BlockChain. SMWM has abundant resources about institution investor, talent and capital market, and has general investment layout in Blockchain industry. Hence, SMWM can provide all-round and systematic post-investment service, and has had some successful cases yet. Tsinghua Alumni Fintech Capital is an investment firm that exclusively invests in companies related to blockchain technology and Fintech. Our fund has an innovative operating model--we connect campus with capital and combinator to help entrepreneurs get starting fund, connections, coaching and professional consulting. Tsinghua Alumni Fintech Capital collaborates closely with funds including Zhen Fund, Aplus Capital, Plum Ventures, Skysaga Capital, Legend Star, Future Capital, Tusstar, Flyfot Ventures, Collinstar Capital, Taiyou Fund and Innoangel Fund to accelerate the development of the industry through investing in the whole industrial chain and integrating resources. Our goal is to empower the whole industry, so we make investments with high quality standard. We endeavor to find companies with the potential to become the industry leaders and help them succeed with our resources. With the resources of Tsinghua University and its alumni, we keep excellent cooperative relations with Tsinghua related funds, Tsinghua Alumni TMT Association, Tsinghua Holdings and Tsinghua Tongfang. Also, we stay closely cooperative relations with our advisor—Digital Currency Lab of Central Bank. With an estimated $100 Million AUM, we help our portfolio companies to achieve higher goals by offering funding support, deploying resources and providing professional advices. Our portfolio includes KyberNetwork, Tezos, NEO, Bluzelle, aelf, Icon, EOS, 0x, Trinity, Zilliqa, Gifto and Qash. Crypto Vision Capita Limited focuses in investing crypto currency, since founded in BVI, Crypto Vision Capital has invested in several famous and successful ICO, obtained supernormal returns. Main members graduated from top universities all over the world, possessing rich investment experience in both primary and secondary markets. AUM is around 1 billion yuan. LD Capital is one of Asia's earliest organizations focusing on value investing in blockchain field. Owing to industrial resource advantages and professional investment research teams, LD Capital has successively discovered and invested in projects such as Qtum, Vechain and Eos which all achieved over 100 times return. Our teams spread over China, the United States, Europe, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, and have accumulated rich experience in areas of traditional internet, Fintech, and advanced blockchain technology. We are committed to the globalization of blockchain and quality investment in the entire industry. LD Capital focuses on blockchain innovation projects within finance, games, content publishing, Internet of Things and other circuits, and we have been propelling broad layout of blockchain technology and infrastructure construction to facilitate the comprehensive development of the global blockchain ecosystem. BN Capital is a new type of investment banking and investment institution focusing on the blockchain sector. We provide high quality investment services for blockchain projects with professional knowledge and continue to tap quality blockchain investment targets. The Great Voyage Capital, set up by NewBorn Town and Plum Ventures, is the first investing fund focusing on the overseas mobile market in China. NewBorn Town is a mobile company whose product portfolio has over 1 billion oversea users and Plum Ventures is a professional vertical internet Venture Capital. The purpose of the Great Voyage Capital is to discover the valuable early stage projects and teams in China who have strong wish to expand oversea markets and have the capacity and potential to enlarge the Great Voyage Capital investment portfolio. By joining the Great Voyage Capital, one could get support from end to end like capital injection, resource sharing, mentor guidance and post-investment management (lawyer, job hunter, media coverage and so on). FROM INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CO.,LTD is a capital management company registered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Our main business is providing investment advice and investment management in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Road Map Media Report In order to solve the existing problems in the fan economy for a long time, such as centralization-based value system, unhealthy market environment, exploitation of intermediary agents , limited channels of commercialization, we will establish a global decentralized ecosystem to reconstruct the industry market environment including value and credit mechanism. EXCHANGE LIST Kucoin Binance Bit-Z Bibox Linkcoin Qryptos Bitrue Bilaxy Bitpaction
Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until here we are today at $15000. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited.
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