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Musings of a VC in NYC

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Pier 76

For as long as I can remember, Pier 76 on the west side of Manhattan has been home to the west side tow pound. Some of my worst moments as a NYC resident have been there retrieving a car or a scooter, something I’ve done more than I want to remember. It was pure misery to have to go there and I think that was intentional. So over the last four...

ENS

ENS stands for Ethereum Name Service and it is a decentralized domain name system built on the Ethereum blockchain. You can get domains with the .eth extension by going here, connecting a wallet, and searching and purchasing a domain. I have purchased fredwilson.eth and avc.eth and a bunch of other .eth domains for my family. It does not cost...

Early Voting

NYC has a primary next week (June 22nd) in which parties will pick their nominees for Mayor, City Council races, Borough President races, and Manhattan will pick candidates for Attorney General. Because NYC is overwhelmingly Democratic, the primary is the main event. Most of the time, Democratic candidates prevail in the General Election in November....

Meme Investing

I remember when a friend of mine told me five or six years ago that he had bought some Dogecoin. I thought “what is he doing?” and dismissed it as something silly and or crazy. Dogecoin was initially introduced in late 2013 and 7 1/2 years later it has amassed a market cap of $43bn and is one of the most popular crypto assets in the world. It...

Funding Friday: The Wireframe Deck

I just backed this project. I love the idea of a simple deck of cards that can let anyone or any group design a website without any software or device. So many times, I have known pretty much what I want for a website for a project, an event, a new business, or whatever, but I am a terrible sketcher and I don’t know how to use the software tools...

Startup CXO

On Monday, a copy of Startup CXO, my friend Matt Blumberg’s new book, arrived at the USV office. I picked it up to take a quick look and thought “this a heavy book!” So I texted Matt, congratulated him on getting the book out, and then asked why it was so heavy. He replied “because it is 640 pages, there is a section on every C-level function...

Digital Asset Mining In New York State

Digital Asset Mining is shorthand for “proof of work consensus validation of public blockchain infrastructure”. Thankfully we have the shorthand. But it is important to understand what digital asset mining is. Public blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, store data securely but publicly in a cooperative ecosystem that is not controlled by...

Community Solar

We had a situation recently where a rooftop solar project on a building we own became too expensive (because of NYC Fire Department requirements) and it no longer made economic sense to do the installation. And yet we want to avail ourselves of solar energy to benefit from the economics of solar, to reduce our carbon footprint, and to increase the resiliency...

Funding Friday: Terra

I backed this project last week and think the idea is really great. You put a Terra device outside where you hear the sounds of birds in nature and you can then listen to those sounds indoors. There are also features that let you identify the species of birds and track their migration. The video is here for email readers. USV TEAM POSTS:Nick...

Scaling Ethereum

One of the biggest challenges for developers building on Ethereum’s market leading smart contract platform/blockchain are the high fees and slow transactions. These issues arise from the fact that the Ethereum blockchain’s current architecture is not particularly scalable. The Ethereum core developers have been working on these issues for years...

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