We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
The cryptocurrency market is growing fast. In the Angel Talks anniversary episode, we talk about the new generation of zoomers, who are cryptosavvies. The invited guest is Max Skibinsky, an entrepreneur and venture investor, CEO and cofounder of Vault12 company and venture ex-partner of Andreessen Horowitz Fund. Skibinsky calls himself a “lifer” (the one, who does one job or works for one company for his whole life) in Silicon Valley, since he’s been living there for almost 30 years, starting from the early days of web-browsers.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
A generation of zoomers is growing up, the one, who was born with smartphones in their hands and actively using social networks. Are they going to create their startups and funds? What will change in this sphere?
All technology that appeared before you turned 30 is the best and the most understandable for you. Things that appeared when you turned 30–40 are also well-received. But everything created after you turned 40 is considered unclear and senseless. Investors have to take into account that some segment of the population will react to the new technologies as toys for children and as those that are not worth any attention. People who grow up with new technologies can no longer imagine their life without a phone, the Internet, and social media profiles. Generations have different perceptions of the world: for us, bitcoin is an interesting new technology, but for zoomers it is already standard and understandable along with the iPhone. Bitcoin is now the most conservative and stable cryptocurrency. In the future, zoomer’s grandmother will give her grandson half a Bitcoin, and he will use already completely insane (from the point of view of previous generations, including Generation Z) crypto products.
What happens with the company tokenization?
We can set an example of Facebook, which was built during the last fifteen years: its employees were constantly renewed and were receiving shares, which they were able to exchange on IPO. This process is very lengthy, it has many limitations and a huge human factor.
Company tokenization has a revolutionary approach. The company becomes instant liquidity: all risks can be input into the token value, but you receive benefits right away, and you don’t have to wait 15 years. Usually, the high-tech sphere is the best realized in the USA, but it is a different story with the tokens. Now, it is better to establish token companies in Asia, since the US law regulations are so archaic and incompatible with cryptoworld, that it holds tokens back for more than objective technical reasons. Thus, many startups are now launched in Asia.
Zoomers is a digitally native generation. The zoomers perception is inverted: they believe that there is real Internet money, the most conservative of which is Bitcoin and the most speculative are all other tokens, and there is also a currency used by grandfathers, which is called “money”: pieces of paper, from which you can even get infected by virus. Each generation is faced with the same questions: how to create companies, participate in startups, but also it invents different tools and approaches to solve these issues. Five generations ago, the answer was: applied to IBM, joined a team, worked 50 years, and got a gold watch. But the mission changes every 15–20 years.
When will social media users be able to create tokens? Do they need it?
For instance, Telegram doesn’t have a simple way to receive money from the user for a service, let’s say one cent, as nobody won’t enter their card credentials for this sum. With the advent of the token, it will become much easier to perform such operations and the number of possibilities will become limitless. Commerce will appear within Telegram, a certain marketplace.
If the services aren’t in high demand, then the token price drops. If the token is actively used, then marketplaces come and people begin to exchange something with each other, the token price rises. Any company and startup can create a token. Moreover, the liquidity of tokens begins from day one: if they are ready to pay for it, then you can give it away with one click of the mouse.
Fiat doesn’t have a cryptographic guarantee, and the token’s peculiarity is that one can track how much economic activity was done with it. For example, if the percentage of the token that the guest of the program receives for participation is initially agreed with him, then this information is encoded in the smart contract. There is no need to spend mental energy on checks, conduct annual audits — all information is transparent and exists as data on the blockchain. The only leverage to cheat is to break the elliptic curve cryptography, which is a tough task.
Could cryptocurrency devaluation happen?
Boomers got used to the fact that such metrics as inflation and devaluation are hard to change. Devaluation in cryptocurrency is a metric of the software system — you’ll have what you code in. For example, you can assume that the annual currency inflation rate is 3%, then it won’t be possible to change it even during a crisis. The only thing is that if the parameters are incorrect, then the currency may simply not be bought. There were stories when the weak team were creating tokens with bugs and when those were exposed, tokens were “dumping” (Dump in cryptocurrency is a situation when a market player artificially lowers the cryptocurrency price to the desired one, and after that, he buys cryptocurrency again but for a significantly lower value — Startup Jedi).
Is it real that the dream of the Medieval alchemists came true — is it possible to create gold from nothing?
Any cryptocurrency is the coding of what you create. A token is not creating gold from nothing, it is coding something. Telegram Token is The Telegram token is the encoding of all future economic and social activity in the messenger. Angel Talks Token is a part of the channel’s future profit, a reward for guests for some kind of activity. Thus, you can not only save on service providers but also get cryptographic guarantees, since on the blockchain you can see for what activity the user has received a reward.
Even I don’t know how fast everything will change: if the transition to tokens happens in 20 years, then I will have time to launch 2 more funds. If it happens in 50 years, then the profession of a venture investor will remain for the next generation. But if changes take place in ten years, then it turns out that those people who now come to venture are wasting their time and building a profession in a field that in fact won’t exist in 10–15 years.
Quantum computers are developing. How will cryptocurrency adapt its protocols?
Rumours about the arrival of quantum domination are greatly exaggerated, progress is in action, but so far there is nothing to worry about. In cryptography, computers work on both sides: to decrypt and break codes, as well as, to encrypt. One of the oldest rules of cryptography, which will almost always be applied, no matter what computer you use: it is millions of times easier for computers to encrypt information using specific algorithms than to decrypt it.
It is hard to ban cryptocurrency, and the only way is to ban the Internet. The main hazard for cryptocurrency is world governments, as all their systems appeared long before the Internet. There is a threat that governments won’t understand the full power of the crypto movement, so they won’t even try to regulate it, but will simply ban everything. There is already a proverb in the Valley about this: if you try to sell a meteorite to a dinosaur, you will fail and you will only make him angry. For many governments, crypto regulation is an attempt to buy a meteorite. But a similar story has already happened with the advent of the Internet and web browsers, so some governments are already well aware of what could have happened if it were not for banning the Internet, and not even integrating it faster than others.