⚠️ Update Autumn 2022: as part of this incubator, I'm devoting all my time to Accessor Labs alongside this guy. We apply novel cryptographic research (especially zero-knowledge proofs) to solve the highest-impact problems for institutions and individuals.
I'm a technology professional based in London. After a brief stint in finance, I spent a few years in web2 as a software engineer, product manager and founder. In late 2020 I wrote about my journey here.
My basic investment hypothesis is that web3 will disrupt web2.
Depending on your background, this is either a hot take or a lukewarm take - or perhaps you're not sure what I mean. Read on:
Why web3 is so exciting
While I have a neutral outlook on cryptocurrency valuations, I'm bullish on the value created by Turing-complete, decentralised computers such as the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
As individuals using mobile phones and the internet, you and I can only see the thin, top layer of a stack of digital information technologies - whether that's your Instagram feed, your Fortnite lobby or your mobile banking app.
If we go a few layers deep into the stack and redesign underlying technologies to be more decentralised, we may (may!) achieve a system that is more interoperable - where users have more control over their information than platforms.
The web3 dream is to design and build an interoperable "data later" for the internet, as a shared, public good for anyone to access, but at the same time retaining user privacy. With such a data layer, the whole economics of the internet changes. "Network effects" and data hoarding are no longer reliable ways to grow a platform. Instead, businesses (social media, SaaS, proto-metaverses) will grow by attracting users through better experiences - at least that's the theory 🤞🏻!
In turn, this will encourage platforms to reward creators and fight toxicity - because users can leave any any time, taking their information with them to different apps. The internet (again, we hope) will be a more creative, vibrant, safer place to be - where you, the user, are in control of your information.
On a side note I'm bearish about the capacity of decentralised technology to displace the tech giants, or tech giants in general. I also think the sooner we move to proof-of-stake, the better. Block mining is terrible for the environment and proof-of-work also advantages the rich. Microchips cost money, people!
There's a lot of work to do but this could transform:
- How we work and organise ourselves (DAOs)
- How we exchange value (Cryptocurrencies)
- How we balance risk and reward (DeFi)
- How we use digital assets to establish and judge social attributes (NFTs and the Metaverse)
- How we manage our digital identity and verify others' claims (Self-Sovereign Identity, DeSoc)
- And probably more. This is all happening pretty fast and I haven't spotted everything.
I can't stress this enough. Cryptocurrency valuations are entertaining, but they are just the fuel for a future internet. The future internet is the exciting bit. Speculating about cryptoassets is a bit like speculating about oil in the late 1800s - sure, the asset may be worth something one day, but wouldn't it be more interesting to design the first automobile?
In terms of my skillset I am more of wannabe Steve Jobs than a Steve Wozniak, but anyway, here's what I'm working on at the moment.Happy to get coffee if you'd like a chat - reach out on LinkedIn and attach a note.