Q&A with Spencer Bogart
1. Who is Spencer Bogart?
General Partner at Blockchain Capital. Bitcoiner. Husband. Resident of San Francisco. Snowboarder.
2. What are you currently working on and what are your plans for 2018 onwards?
Investing in the blockchain and crypto ecosystem. Bitcoin, and perhaps crypto more broadly, is a mega-trend that will take many years to play out, I’m dedicated to the cause.
3. How’d you come across Bitcoin?
Morning meeting discussing financial markets and someone mentioned Bitcoin when it hit parity with $1. I was frustrated that two people on our team had heard of Bitcoin and I knew nothing about it. Down the rabbit hole I went.
4. In your wildest dream, what you think Bitcoin could be capable of achieving?
An economic fabric that allows people to transact with one another and fosters a new regime of economic cooperation regardless of race, religion, gender, or wealth.
5. What are Bitcoin biggest challenges on survivability?
Fungibility. A Bitcoin needs to be worth a Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin should be fungibile with one another. I think it will be much more challenging for Bitcoin to meet its potential if the value of every Bitcoin is contingent on every prior holder and payment.
6. Out of the coming developments for Bitcoin, which excites you the most?
The layering of Bitcoin. We spent much of the first decade making improvements to the base protocol and exploring the boundaries of what we could and would be willing to do at the base layer. It’s now accepted that Bitcoin will scale in layers to improve throughput and functionality. I think this goes far beyond the Lightning Network.
7. If you were to launch a cryptocurrency what features it will have, why?
Privacy because of the potential risk around fungibility of non-private assets (ones with a complete tx history for each coin).
8. What cryptocurrencies/blockchain projects have a legitimate vision/use case?
The “legitimacy” of each project is a subjective analysis. I’ll sidestep the question by suggesting that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that’s the frame people should use for assessing industry projects. Applying the “a bird in the hand” idiom to crypto, each project validated in the wild with real money is worth 1000 whitepapers.
9. What is your take on ICOs?
Obviously, the vast majority of ICOs have failed to prove themselves to-date and while I’ve mostly stayed away from that space, I do think there’s value in crowdsourcing funding and, as a theme, that won’t go away.
10. What is your take on “Bitcoin Maximalism”?
It’s fine — in many ways, I suppose I fall in that bucket. That said, Bitcoin obviously doesn’t have some pre-determined destiny to capture this winner-takes-most market. Pragmatically, however, I think Bitcoin has a better chance of surviving (and thriving) over the next 10 years than any other coin, by a long shot.
11. Some studies suggest that Bitcoin mining is highly concentrated in a few players, long term is this a threat?
I can come up with plenty of reasons on both sides of this debate. Obviously if I thought it was a major issue, I wouldn’t have so much conviction in Bitcoin. That said, I can’t altogether dismiss this risk vector either. The best answer is empirical evidence: Historically, mining has been highly concentrated at times yet the Bitcoin network continued to function as intended. We can’t necessarily extrapolate this historical evidence to all future events but it’s a good basis for discussion.
12. What the future of consensus mechanism for Bitcoin and top cryptocurrencies will look like in the future?
13. What the future of exchanges looks like in your opinion? Beyond DEX.
Programmatic — cryptoassets present the first time that we could natively program assets, I don’t yet know what types of incredible things people will build with this functionality, but I am highly confident that people will build incredible things.
14. What is the future of Privacy cryptocurrencies?
It’s yet to be seen if privacy is a bolt-on feature or something that requires a chain dedicated to the issue. If the former, then privacy coins are superfluous. I think that’s the most likely outcome because, ultimately, there’s many avenues for improving privacy in something like Bitcoin including private layers built atop the base chain, mixers, and client-side solutions (like Wasabi wallet, for example).
Thankful to Spencer for his time and insights, an honor for me to share a Q&A with him.
See below my favorite writings by Spencer on Medium:
The Long Game in Crypto: Why Decentralization Matters
The future of crypto hinges on a critical, yet-to-be-answered question about the role of decentralization in a…
A Uniquely Opportune Time to Invest in the Broader Bitcoin Ecosystem
As announced earlier this week, I recently left my position at Needham & Company to join Blockchain Capital and pursue…