KR1 August Update 🌤️
Berlin Blockchain Week’ed out
We spent a full week at the Berlin Blockchain Week and this is what we found…
Three conferences in one week -Web3Summit, Dappcon and ETH Berlin Zwei (which we sponsored):
It was a long seemingly endless hot week in the late summer Berlin sun. Berlin feels very much like the heart of crypto and blockchain in Europe. Berlin is grungy and full of developers dressed in black hoodie, black jeans and black rucksack, and hacking squats everywhere. Why? Berlin is cheap to live, stable and very central in Europe. London definitely has a more establishment feel with a strong fintech developer and startup community through various factors, one of them being that the City of London is one of the worlds centres of capital. Berlin has the feel of positive youthful energy.
Last year was the first Web3 Summit, everything was new and shiny. This second year felt more like the second year at school. Reality about how much work there is to do, alongside with some brilliant work being done. We are still in the early phase of this new ‘crypto’ movement but whatever comes out of it we know one thing is for sure. This is the best chance for tech to improve what we have now; think finance, commerce, social by a x10 factor. So we are all in it together, to make it happen. KR1 is proud to have supported many of these projects from day one and looks forward to supporting many new ones. The vibe at Berlin Blockchain Week was positive and it was real, its not people running around shilling projects or ‘coins’.
August was a better to time to have the Web3 Summit than October — the energy and joy levels were higher in the sun on the banks of the Spree than shivering in the Funkhaus in October.
Polkadot, along with Cosmos or Dfinity, is going from strength to strength due to the development work going on with Kusama and Substrate. Polkadot could take Ethereums crown — this is real. We felt this last year and then we went straight to Ethereum’s Devcon and got blown away by the size of the Ethereum ecosystem, and had a sigh of relief that ‘Ethereum is going to be ok’. We think the same will happen this year. The Ether price and market are waay oversold right now. Polkadot is going to have a honeymoon period, how long we don’t know but we know some cool projects are working on the platform already. Long Dots.
Edward Snowden got video-linked in to the Web3 Summit and cut an Orwellian figure as he addressed the conference. You could almost have expected the ‘Thought Police’ to turn up half way through and arrest people. There were even a handful of riot police outside the conference hall! (didn’t have anything to do though, Web3 people are a friendly bunch).
Everyone in crypto was there and here is the kicker, it didn’t feel on a huge scale like Ethereum’s Devcons, everyone’s approachable. You could have a doner kebab with Ryan Zurrer or a coffee with Emin Gun Sirer in the Milchbar.
Nym’s Harry Halpin ‘Power to the people’ speech about freedom of data was one of the most passionate presentations we have seen. Wolfie Smith would have been proud. Long Nym.
The coolest way to get the Web3Summit was by eScooter along the Berlin wall. eScooters are EVERYWHERE is Berlin.
Web3 name confusion: The Web3 Summit is run by the lovely people at the Web3 Foundation but actually not run by Polkadot, Polkadot had it’s own dedicated DOTCon day a day before Web3 Summit. There were many non-Polkadot projects but many building on Polkadot too featured.
It’s been a while since we’ve announced new investments, as stated previously some rounds took much longer to finalize than we were used to.
Existing internet protocols leak sensitive data at both network and application levels — we are developing the infrastructure to prevent this data leakage and provide people with the best possible privacy.
We are excited to announce that we contributed USD $150,000 into Nym Technologies’ seed round. Nym is a cool new project we’re supporting, some parts of it spawned out of the Chainspace project, which we were advisors to before the Facebook acquisition.
Nym is a mix of old-skool 1908s technology and crypto so its very unusual. Mixnets were cooked up in the 1908s with some researchers and rebooted into blockchain with the Nym team. Nym was founded by highly regarded privacy, mixnet and blockchain researchers, who have a history of innovation in the early internet and well-respected publications in privacy and mixnet academia including Harry Halpin, Claudia Diaz and Ania Piotrowska. Another co-founder is Dave Hrycyszyn, who co-founded Chainspace and briefly joined the Facebook Blockchain team after Chainspace got acquired by Facebook earlier this year. The Nym project got started out of a 10-week Binance Labs Incubation program and features some previous work of the EU-funded Panoramix project.
As Nym is based on deep layer network privacy and its team history and quality we felt compelled to support the project.
“Power to the People!” Harry Halpin
We are also excited to announce we have invested GBP £70,128 into Alice Si Ltd. for 1,522,493 shares, representing 1.33% of the share capital. Although this investment was done last year and funds sent a while ago (it was first discussed in George’s end-of-year statement), we can only announce it now. We have always been impressed by Raphael, Areti and Kuba and the mission they are on.
Alice is fixing the broken social funding model with blockchain technology. Millions of dollars in social funding are wasted every year on ineffective social projects. This lack of transparency has made people lose trust in the system, making social funding stagnant. Small but effective social projects often struggle to scale because they don’t have enough visibility. Using smart contracts built on the Ethereum blockchain Alice solves these problems, providing social impact projects with the possibility to gain funding with a system that releases tranches of capital only once the project’s aims and targets have independently verified as complete. Alice’s mission is to help scale projects that are actually working in solving major social issues in our world.
Thats not all… we have some more exciting investment news coming in our September blog.
KR1 In the News
We were in Coindesk on the Nym round;
In addition, former investors in Chainspace such as Lemniscap and KR1 contributed to Nym’s private token sale in May, which raised $2.5 million.
“[Nym] ended up in the center of our venn diagram in terms of what technology we wanted to support,” said KR1 CEO George McDonaugh, adding:
“There are lots of projects talking about privacy but ignoring the elephant in the room, which is the network layer. You can build privacy applications but unless they’re built on a private network, you’re only going halfway. What Harry [Halpin] and his team are doing is … using blockchains to incentivize and create network-level privacy.”
And we got . mention in the Motley Fool on the best way to play the Bitcoin price;
So, if you want to play the Bitcoin price, buying the currency might not be the best way to do it. Instead, I think you could be better off investing in a company that has exposure to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry.
There’s a handful of companies that have exposure to cryptocurrency, most of which are listed in the US, although there’s one or two listed in London. One of these is KR1.
Listed on London’s NEX Exchange, KR1 bills itself as Europe’s leading publicly-listed investment company focused on blockchain and decentralised technologies. This business is tiny, with a market-cap of less than £10m and relatively illiquid, so it’s not suitable for everyone.
Meet us at
We will be represented at the Shangahi Blockchain Week.
In October 8–11th we will be at the annual Ethereum unicorn rally, this year in Osaka, Japan.
Message us on twitter @KR1plc if you want to meet us!
KR1 is Europe’s leading digital asset investment company supporting early-stage decentralised and open-source blockchain projects. Founded in 2016, KR1 has been a notable first investor in many key projects that will power the decentralised assets, platforms and protocols that form the emerging Web3 infrastructure.