Chris Burniske is a cofounder of Placeholder Ventures in New York and former blockchain products lead at ARK Investment Management LLC. Jack Tatar is an angel investor and advisor to startups. In this opinion piece, adapted from their book Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond, they explain what mainstream financial commentators still don't understand about the space – even if the markets are starting to get it.
This has been a breakout year for crypto assets, but not so long ago we were thickly in "blockchain, not bitcoin" season.
Work - Book - Consensus - Play - Assets
When we began work on our book, the consensus play seemed to be stripping the native assets out of blockchains and privatizing these originally open networks.
With the book, we set out to make a stand for public blockchains as the more important innovation, to confront the misguided (and persistent) claim that crypto assets are elaborate scams, and to reassure macroeconomists that not all crypto assets are currencies.
Motivations - Book - Value - Assets - Set
One of the main motivations for writing the book was to emphasize the value of the native assets that incentivize a distributed set of actors to provision a digital good or service with no central operator, i.e. crypto assets.
Given the recent boom in interest around crypto assets, it seems counterintuitive that much of 2014, 2015 and 2016 were dominated by the idea that blockchain technology was important, while crypto assets could be forgotten and little would be lost.
Term - Technology - DLT - Concept - Clean
The term distributed ledger technology (DLT) became popularized to convey this concept, effectively washing those pursuing DLT-strategies clean of association with bitcoin. Many in the financial services industry were all too eager to forget that bitcoin was the mother of blockchain technology.
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"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." - Alexander Hamilton