Mumbai: Brock Pierce, founder and managing partner of Blockchain Capital and chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Pierce pioneered the market for digital currency in games and has raised more than $200 million for companies he founded. A faculty at the Singularity University, Pierce is also the founder of IMI Exchange (the world’s leading digital currency marketplace for games), ZAM (one of the world’s largest media properties for gamers) and IGE (the pioneer of digital currency in online games). In an email interview, Pierce—who was a speaker at the two-day SingularityU India Summit ((held on 7-8 April in association with INK, which hosts events like INKtalks, a platform for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas and inspiring stories)—spoke, among other things, on why companies would want to invest in blockchains. Edited excerpts:
Many governments including India remain non-committal and neutral to bitcoin. Is it that governments fear that a cyrptocurrency could destabilize a highly regulated banking system?
Bitcoin is still very early in its development so I would expect governments to be non-committal.
We have had instances of the bitcoin ecosystem being compromised—the Mt. Gox episode being a case in point. What are the measures that stakeholders need to put in place to make bitcoin secure?
The bitcoin/blockchain protocol has never been compromised. Businesses building applications on top of it run the risk of making mistakes.
More than bitcoin, it is the underlying technology—blockchain—that is showing much more promise. Besides companies, governments too are warming up to the potential of this technology across sectors. What, in your opinion, is the future of blockchain?
The blockchain is going to change everything more than the internet has. It’s the second most important technology, second only to artificial intelligence (AI).
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How do you plan to use blockchain in the venture capital sector?
We intend to disrupt and democratize the venture capital industry by doing the following: by creating the first liquid venture fund, allowing access to a broader group of investors, investing in the new economy of start-ups doing ICOs (initial coin offerings) and showing these start-ups how to do it compliantly.
Through Blockchain Capital, you also believe that you are “democratizing" access to an asset class traditionally only available to elite institutional investors…
Historically venture capital funds have only allowed elite investors in. Our ICO is going to allow small investors from all over the world to participate.
Bitcoin and blockchain start-ups face competition from big firms like Accenture, IBM and Microsoft in this space. Your thoughts.
These large incumbents are generally working with many of our start-ups so we are pleased to have them working in the space.
Do you have plans to invest in Indian bitcoin and blockchain companies too?
Blockchain Capital has a global investment mandate so it is very possible that we make an investment in India at some point.