Fred Wilson on the blockchain: “If they’re not laughing at you, you aren’t working on the right thing”

Fred Wilson has an impressive track record when it comes to investing in Internet based businesses. His portfolio includes Twitter, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, and Kickstarter. Union Square Ventures, the venture capital account he co-founded in 2003, manages over a half-billion dollars, with most of the investments in disruptive web and mobile companies.

In recent years, Union Square Ventures has started making investments in a number blockchain based businesses. This month, Wilson spoke at Coin Center’s annual dinner and explained why he’s a strong believer in the blockchain. Like the Internet itself, the blockchain is architected for resilience and self healing, he said. “I have a deep and fundamental belief in open and decentralized systems … that are open for anyone to innovate on.”


In his talk, Wilson admitted the only proven blockchain success to date is Bitcoin (“and likely Ethereum”). On the Gartner Hype Cycle (above), the blockchain is in the “Trough of Disillusionment.” But Wilson is ahead of the curve. He’s out of the trough and speeding up the Slope of Enlightenment, ignoring people who think he’s wrong about the blockchain. “If they are not laughing at you, you aren’t working on the right thing,” he said. “We are working on the right thing… this technology works, and it is working – at scale.”

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