Appearing on CNBC’s SquawkBox, Alexis Ohanian, founder of early-stage VC investment firm Initialized Capital and social web aggregator Reddit, said the cryptocurrency market downturn spurs development by getting people to focus on building technology.
During the interview on Thursday, Ohanian talked about venture investing trends, from shared electric scooters to Bitcoin. As an early investor in Coinbase, Ohanian says the cryptocurrency exchange has had significant growth in spite of the tough market.
“They still make money as long as people are trading. Trading numbers have declined obviously this year but, long term, I think they’re continuing to secure themselves as the trusted resource for getting fiat into crypto.
And I’m personally really happy with the fact that there has been a tough year in all these cryptocurrencies because it gets people focused on the things that matter, which is building the software that is actually going to hopefully make all these things tremendously valuable in the long term. There were a lot of charlatans and scenesters that have been in the mix, and this is a great way to shake them out.”
Ohanian says the space draws talent and innovation. The players moving forward will be people who are committed to the technology – not speculation.
“There are still people pitching us really impressive blockchain-based companies, but they’re far more serious – and in far fewer numbers now – but they’re far more serious than what we used to see a year ago, and that’s good.
I think the people who are going to be working on crypto now need to be thinking 10 years down the road and not about just trying to make a quick buck and buy a lambo.”