Podcast #8: Nick Tomaino on Coinbase, Bitcoin’s Future, and VC

What’s life like after Bitcoin for someone who worked for one of the scene’s biggest players? Can you move on to other things and still remain keenly interested?

Nick Tomaino used to head business development at Coinbase, the US’s most well-known and popular bitcoin exchange. These days he’s principal at Runa Capital — an early-stage investment firm with its eye on “deep tech”. That includes everything from A.I. and drones to regulated markets like fintech, healthcare and education. Nick himself is a big fan of open source projects and wants to look more at the blockchain space.

Did Nick Tomaino Leave the Bitcoin World? Why?

Nick tells Daniel and Jon why he chose to leave Coinbase for the VC world. Further to that, he elaborates on why some companies like Circle have also moved away from the bitcoin space in recent times. Perhaps the industry is stagnant, or there was too much venture capital chasing too few real solutions.

Listen to the episode to find out the details:

Nick also talks on one of our favorite topics at Automata — token crowdsales — but suggests expectations might be “inflated”. Find out why he’s still bullish on blockchain assets in general but warns crowdsales will cause “a lot of pain” for participants.

Runa Capital has only just established a footprint in the US. Nick tells us why the company is still also looking at the rest of the world, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, Singapore and Moscow. The nature of technology, he says, lets anyone start a company anywhere they like. Investors looking at Silicon Valley only are leaving overseas markets underserved.

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Show Notes

Runa Capital homepage
Coinbase homepage
Nick Tomaino’s blog TheControl.co
Subscribe to Automata podcast on SoundCloud

Podcast #7: Jake Brukhman of CoinFund Talks ICOs and Blockchain Token Investing

Blockchain tech and digital tokens have opened up whole new fundraising avenues for tech companies. The terms “ICO” and “ITO” (initial coin/token offering) are starting to appear everywhere. But how do you decide which are worthy of attention?

Jake Brukhman is a co-founder at CoinFund, an investment portfolio devoted entirely to the blockchain token space. Jake draws on his background in fintech and hedge funds in New York City to examine trends in a fast-changing environment.

Jake’s other co-founder at CoinFund, Aleksandr Bulkin, wrote a piece titled “Cryptoeconomics Is Hard” — because every new token is itself a new economy, with different attributes.

What CoinFund Looks for in Token Offerings

Jake explains to Automata hosts Daniel and Jon exactly what that means. He goes into depth about the kind of due diligence CoinFund undertakes when deciding what tokens to include in its investors’ portfolio.

The world of blockchain tokens and ICOs is transforming the startup space, he says, with companies now preferring to raise funds this way than through traditional VC channels. But is it the right way to do things? What about regulation? Don’t the SEC, IRS and CFTC have something to say about all this?

Listen to the interview and you’ll learn enough to sound knowledgeable at your next meetup. Beware, though, investing in blockchain tokens isn’t recommended for those unfamiliar with the industry’s trends. You’ll also need a stomach for volatility even more wild than the world of Bitcoin.

Jake also explains why the future is all about decentralized exchanges, social networks and insurance companies, and how they’ll all co-ordinate their separate blockchain economies to deliver better services.

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Show Notes

Total runtime: 26:23
CoinFund homepage
Cryptoeconomics Is Hard from the CoinFund blog
Link to this episode on YouTube
Automata SoundCloud Channel