The Defensibility of Middleware Protocols

Interoperability of state and value is likely to place downward price pressure on layer-1 blockchains that have no monetary premium, while enabling strong middleware protocols to achieve cross-chain, winner-takes-most dominance in their respective services. While not a perfect mapping to traditional use of the term middleware, these protocols can be thought of as anything sitting just below the interface layer (i.e., the applications the end user interacts with), but leveraging the lower-level functionality provided by layer-1 blockchains and interoperability protocols.

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Crypto Hedge Funds Vs. Venture Funds

Cryptonetwork founders, unlike those starting traditional equity businesses, now have to think about the fund structures of their investors. This is because the liquidity of cryptoassets brought the hedge fund model, which carries an active trading bias, to early-stage tech investing, a field historically dominated by venture capital. If you’re raising money for a cryptonetwork, each model has pros and cons depending on your goals, but understanding how they operate is key to making good decisions about how to structure financings.

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Maker Investment Thesis

Credit has greased economic wheels for millennia, and Maker is the world’s first 100% software-based, community owned and operated credit facility. As a family of smart contracts operating on Ethereum, the system offers secured loans of equal cost to anyone in the world. The by-product of loan generation is dai, a stablecoin collateralized using on-chain rules and assets.

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Funding Cryptonetworks

When we invest, we think in terms of funding teams, and funding networks. Funding teams provides the financial capital to build the service. Funding networks supports growth by capitalizing the whole community. They’re very different kinds of investing, but both are essential to long-term network success.

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The Cryptoeconomic Circle

Cryptonetworks are online micro-economies organized around a specific service, and regulated by a cryptoeconomic protocol. The cryptoeconomic circle is a model I like to use to think about how value flows through different participants in these economies.

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