Christopher Calicott—Blockchain

Posted by on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Patrick Van Haren

Christopher Calicott, managing director of Trammel Venture Partners, an Austin based Venture capital firm focused on investing in highly technical seed- and early stage startups in three core technology domains:  Machine Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, and Cybersecurity presented on the emerging blockchain technology (see Youtube Video link from Future Thinkers – > 600,000 views) .

Blockchain has an opportunity to replace databases (tabular data).  It is a very secure, decentralized technology concept in which it is very difficult to commit fraud or human/bureaucracy error.  It also reduces the roles of intermediaries/bureaucracy when using the smart contracts version of blockchain called Ethereum.  That is because it reduces the roles of intermediaries and thus the opportunity for abuse through power or other forms, meaning that there is less opportunity for bias or fraud.

An implication of the technology is that the bigger the blockchain (data set), the more robust the data, and the higher the security of the information, or the more difficult it is to alter the data.  That is because a blockchain data set is built up in layers.  To make changes, anyone with a copy (the more people, the better) of the data must be convinced to make changes.  To make changes, the software requires that all the data ‘on top’ of the record must also be changed.  This is the role of the chain.  As more blocks of data are added, the chain gets longer.  This is the origin of the term ‘blockchain’.

Blockchain is financed by a transaction fee.  Any data must pay to be stored.  This small fee is then transferred to the ‘miners’ who store the data on their computers.

Chris shared a list of industries generated by for which Blockchain can be disruptive: Banking and payments; Cybersecurity; Supply Chain Management; Forecasting; Networking and IoT; Insurance; Private Transport and Ridesharing; Cloud Storage; Charity; Voting; Government; Public Benefits; Healthcare; Energy Management; Music/digital rights; Retail; Real Estate; Crowdfunding; Data and Transactional Industries.

Blockchain will slowly enable a move away from centralization in business or government.

Bitcoin, an application of Blockchain technology, is a stateless or non-fiat currency.  A coin can be created by anyone for any purpose.  These coins, if properly structured, can be better at storing long term value, and transferring value than many forms of money, especially those of poorly managed governments (high inflation situations).  Chris suggested that Federal Reserve Bank officials such as David Andolfatto see potential for Blockchain to stabilize the world in this way (as a central bank disciplining mechanism).  However, coins or tokens may cause an existential crisis when asking the question “What is it?”.  They are simply tokens that point to value you store somewhere. The total value of the tokens created this way is now $300,000,000,000.00

Chris then when on to explain the new business models that are emerging, and replacing now dominant new business models such as Amazon’s server concept (StorJ).  See video link above.

Trammell Venture Partners is focused on capital raising (currently in a $20 million round) for investment in startup companies as mentioned above.  They provide advice & coaching, governance and investor related services.  They are focused on companies in the very early stage and in are interested in those who might raise funds with their own coin issuances later.


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