This time last year, the Crypto business was all the rage. Fortunes were being made (on paper), infrastructure was being built with abandon, and the market seemed unstoppable. Now, with Q4 breathing down everyone’s neck, the blockchain is one of the year’s biggest disappointments.
How did that happen?
I published a piece in April, “Rockchain Not Blockchain,” that encouraged my colleagues in the newly rebounded music business to invest in crypto and help ensure sustainable growth. “This is not a time for complacency,” the AdAge op-ed read, adding, “by applying the technical breakthroughs of these networks, we can effectively organize data about music for the first time in human history and, more important, reinvent the way artists/rights-holders get paid and value themselves.”
Sadly, it hasn’t happened. It remains tough to find growth in the space despite non-stop conferences and power players like Andreessen Horowitz and Fred Wilson doubling down. More than helping artists, a lot of early adopters and successful investors are looking like scam artists.
One company that is doing big crypto things, however, is ConsenSys. They’re part agency, part incubator, part VC, and remain the largest company in the blockchain. They’re helping launch and finance a ton of interesting brands on blockchain, the only catch being a strict Etherium-only policy (the founder of ConsenSys is a co-founder of the Etherium platform).
One of the brands I’m most excited about is Ujo, ConsenSys’ music-centric currency. Tonight I’m sitting down with Ujo’s founder, Jesse Grushack, as well as Daniel “Dazza” Greenwood fromCIVICS.com and Law.MIT.edu. The talk, which I’m moderating, takes place at The Williamsburg Hotel ballroom at 5PM as part of Brooklyn Tech Week. I’m excited to get answers to the most pressing questions on the state of blockchain and the big opportunities coming down the pike.