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 December 2013, a group of protestors in Oakland, California attacked a private Google shuttle bus that was taking Google employees from their Bay Area homes to their offices at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, 40 miles south. The protestors smashed one of the bus’s windows and blocked the bus from moving forward, holding up a banner that read “FUCK OFF GOOGLE.”
You’ve heard of bitcoin. It’s a form of digital cash you can send to anyone, even a complete stranger. You may not have heard about bitcoin’s digital ledger, called the blockchain, tracks and validates bitcoin transactions. Blockchain technology has enormous potential beyond bitcoin to automate every type of online transaction that requires a degree of trust. In this short video, produced by Institute for the Future, Olivia Olson (the voice of Marceline the Vampire Queen in Adventure Time) explains how blockchain technology can be used to launch companies that are entirely run by algorithms, make self-driving cars safer, help people manage and protect their online identities, and track the billions of devices on the Internet of Things.
Let’s follow Crowley the Crocodile as he goes about his day in the year 2030, from the moment his bitcoin-powered bioalarm clock wakes him, until he eats his late night pizza ordered using a rating service that runs without human owners.
When computer scientist Andreas Antonopoulos first heard about bitcoin in 2011 he dismissed it as “nerd money.” Six months later he happened on bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s now-legendary white paper from November 2008. This nine-page, innocent-looking document was a blueprint for replacing large swaths of the financial services industry with a globally-distributed encryption-based transaction network that wasn’t owned by anyone.
Nakamoto’s white paper blew Antonopoulos’ mind. “This isn’t money,” he realized, “it’s a decentralized trust network,” with applications extending far beyond digital currency.