Investment banker Alex Tapscott learned about “bitcoin” a few years ago and had no idea it would drastically change his life.
“I was curious about the idea that money did not have to be issued by a central bank. It was novel,” he said in an interview.
Alex and his father, tech guru and author Don Tapscott, decided to research the cryptocurrency, and its underlying computer science (blockchain technology), and in May of 2016, their book Blockchain Revolution was published.
Alex then teamed up with Dennis Bennie, a seasoned entrepreneur, and Charlie Morris, a cryptocurrency investor. The three formed NextBlock and last month they announced the close of their oversubscribed financing round, with $20 million, and became one of the world’s largest blockchain venture capital firms.
NextBlock is now scouring the world for great start-ups and platforms that utilize blockchain technology.
In finance, the blockchain has the potential to replace cash and credit cards, but it already allows corporations or individuals to raise capital directly from the public without investment bankers or venture capitalists.
Understanding how blockchain works is very complicated, but at its root is a new digital medium for value. Simply put, it is a vast, global, distributed ledger where buyers and sellers can securely and privately transfer, store, and manage anything of value without using a bank or credit card. High levels of encryption protect the transaction by validating the parties involved and by preventing hacking, erasure or amendments.
Last summer, a milestone was reached when a blockchain-based venture capital entity known as the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to raise $150 million by issuing cryptocurrency units — also known as an initial coin offering (ICO) — instead of going down the traditional money-raising route.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently released a public statement about DAOs and ICOs, in which it found that some…