RRE is hiring a Head of Community -
RRE is hiring one lucky and talented person to lead RRE’s efforts around community, research and content. We’re looking for someone who is insanely passionate about digital media, a natural community organizer and a life long overachiever. This person cannot follow the traditional VC…
RRE is hiring a community manager and we can use your help in finding our next team member.
BusinessInsider summarized a post by Brad DeLong at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth asking the question:
Placing a floor on the value of bitcoins is… what, exactly?
This is an excellent question. Bitcoin can be turned into neither jewelry nor battery, so what the hell is it good for? Ah, but we’re thinking in bricks and mortar when we pose the question like this when we should be thinking more digitally. What’s the value of HTTP? Or MasterCard’s processing network? Have you ever tried wearing HTTP as a bracelet or replacing your Tesla’s battery with MasterCard’s routing technology?*
Perhaps Bitcoin is actually an asset and not an ordinary commodity. According to Wikipedia an asset in the financial accounting sense is defined as:
In financial accounting, an asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash (although cash itself is also considered an asset)
That sounds like Bitcoin to me. It sounds like an intangible asset that can be owned, can be controlled to produce positive economic benefit (for instance, in moving value nearly instantly across borders) and can be converted into cash.
But what type of asset is Bitcoin and what does a Bitcoin “represent value of ownership” in? I believe the answer might be equity; a Bitcoin represents discreet ownership in the Bitcoin technology and network. The Latin root for equity is aequitas which combines the notions of equality, justice and fairness and, appropriately enough, was personified and depicted on coins.
This brings us back to our original question. What is the price floor of Bitcoin? Well, what is the price floor of equity? Zero. To the extent that Bitcoin as a technology provides value it has value—just like HTTP or MasterCard’s network technology. If no one uses it, it can be worth $0. However, to the extent Bitcoin’s technology provides value better than competing alternatives (such as cash, credit, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.) it will likely have a premium value. Bitcoin’s equity value should thus be (theoretically) tied to its value purely as a technology asset unlike traditional stock equity in a corporation as I don’t think Bitcoin will be paying cash or stock dividends anytime soon. Just like a stock there is a fixed amount of Bitcoin outstanding with periodic new issuances. The analogy of Bitcoin as equity can be taken too far, but I think it at least helps us in answering the Bitcoin price floor question.
But what about a ceiling? What happens when the value of Bitcoin exceeds its asset value? Just write up the extra value as goodwill and stick it on your balance sheet ;-)
*Ed: Bitcoin engagement ring anyone? Has this been done yet?
Bitcoin $1,000 -
What can drive the value of Bitcoin up in both the near and long-term? The BitLicense.
New York’s top financial regulator is looking at issuing a “BitLicense” for businesses that conduct transactions in virtual currencies like bitcoin.
Allowing Bitcoin to operate in a more stable regulatory environment will be absolutely critical in Bitcoin’s development from fringe technology to mainstream phenomenon.
At RRE we recently invested in a Bitcoin exchange called ItBit. The team there has created an institutional quality exchange with strong compliance standards including KYC and AML. We’d welcome further guidance by regulators with open arms as we believe ItBit is one of the startups best positioned to meet and exceed regulatory standards. A BitLicense would certainly be a fantastic development for them and the rest of the industry.
See more here:
Three major announcements today that go a long way in realizing the SMB dream of fully moving to the cloud:
1) Dropbox For Business
Dropbox finally delivers the features you need to legitimately use Dropbox in anything larger or more formal than a small team. Segregated work vs personal, remote wipe, auditing, admin tools and more. Huge, huge huge.
2) Amazon Virtual Tape Libraries in the Cloud (aka Gateway-Virtual Tape Library (Gateway-VTL))
Remember when SUN bought StorageTek (tape storage vendor) for $4.1BN in 2005? Now that’s just a damned feature on AWS. No more silly changing tape drives for SMBs that can hardly afford an IT guy.
3) VDI done right by Amazon (aka Amazon Workspaces)
VDI has traditionally required an unbelievable amount of very expensive hardware and consulting to implement really well. Now it is just a few clicks away on AWS. VDI for the masses. Massive.
Today is the biggest day ever in the evolution from on-prem to cloud for SMBs. I love it.
Schlaf Notes: I'm joining RRE Ventures! -
After two exceptional years of seed investing at Lerer Ventures, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be joining RRE Ventures in September as a Principal focused on Series A investments.
RRE has been at the center of New York’s start-up community since the early 90s and now manages…
This feels appropriate today -
Just feels like a good day to resurface my favorite individual web comic strip of all time.
Achewood § May 8, 2002
ESPN Is Killing 3D Broadcasts By the End of the Year -
ESPN will kill ESPN 3D by the end of the year. The ill-fated 3D sports channel that started as an experiment in 2010 won’t be broadcast in any dimensions soon. This is huge news considering the significant investment that TV manufacturers and broadcasters have put forth in an effort to bolster the struggling tech.
TOTALLY didn’t see this one coming! Oh wait, I did. I hate 3D TV.
I guess I won’t be able to watch ESPN 3D on ESPN MVP anymore either.
I can’t definitively tell you if Bitcoin is going to radically change the world in the way that other technologies in recent memory have such as TCP/IP, the World Wide Web, peer-to-peer software and social software. However, I do know that if Bitcoin, Ripple or one of their crypto-currency progeny do change the world, 2013 will be looked upon as they year it all started, much like how the year 1849 is forever associated with the California Gold Rush. So here’s to all you Bitcoin entrepreneurs: you’re the Bitcoin 13ers!
Apple & NFC -
HOW WILL APPLE LEVERAGE NFC?
This is the billion dollar question.
My guess is that Apple will focus on creating a new security and authentication infrastructure on the phone, and in the cloud. This infrastructure has both software and hardware components, and will change the way other “apps” interact with customer data, and customer sensitive information. For example, today apps that require location must adhere to policies consistent with “location services“. Think about extending this type of control over your credit card information, name, address, e-mail.. what apps get access to which data? Now also think about this new service which can identify you are who you say you are (identification) which will be present with AuthenTec capabilities.
This is the paradigm which must be broken. Don’t think of NFC in terms of payment, it is just another radio.. actually it has 3 parts.. the radio, controller, and secure storage.. each of which can take on very different roles in a new Apple architecture. Why transfer data view NFC/ISO 14443 @ 424kb/s when Bluetooth V2.1 is 2.1 Mbit/s and Bluetooth V4/V3 is 24Mbit/s… (60x faster).
Handset manufactures (Apple, Google, Samsung, …) are flipping the NFC value equation. From a SIM based SWP approach to an multi functional embedded approach with integrated consumer authentication. I’m amazed that there is not more press here. The implications are tremendous.
This post is just spot on. Tom Noyes is crushing it right now on his blog. I totally agree—my instincts tell me that between the nightmare that is authentication (isn’t it fun typing usernames and passwords on mobile phones?! See my previous post), Apple’s purchase of AuthenTec and the lack of a value proposition for NFC for payments, Apple is most likely to deploy NFC along a security and authentication vector. I don’t know if it is the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6, but that timing feels about right.
VC Seed Investing Signaling Risk Fact or Fiction? -
So this is pretty interesting:
the data shows that companies that receive seed funding from larger, multi-stage venture capital firms attract follow-on funding at a higher rate than companies that are just funded by seed or micro-VCs. Let’s let that sink in for a moment as this flies in the face of most of the anecdotes on this topic to-date.
It really is amazing what happens when people bring data to a discussion that was purely theoretical previously. So after all that hoopla about VC funds being bad guys for making seed investments, it turns out the opposite is true. Well at least now I have a pretty simple and easy response the next time an entrepreneur asks me about signaling risk—I’ll just send them a link.