Firstly Happy New Crypto Year (still ok to say that?)!
We would like to wish you all a drama free and insanely great 2018. We wanted to thank all the early investors for their support and thank the entrepreneurs working on amazing decentralised projects — we are here to support you both on the journey.
We’ve been under the radar for 2017 as we wanted to move as quickly as we could securing our top position here in the UK and across Europe in helping support the decentralisation movement. We made many investments in organisations focused on decentralisation in 2017 — which was a lot for a first year! See our investments to date here.
It feels like 2020 is within touching distance and that the future is really here with self driving cars being tested, AI seemingly already in everything, and smartphones connecting everyone everywhere. There is a technology category that is also part of the future, but also its own asset class which makes it very different, and that is ‘Crypto’ or Blockchain. We at KR1 have been dedicated believers in this new technology since 2011 and we continue to support projects that bring the benefits of decentralisation to the world. Blockchain has the ability to solve key issues that have blighted humanity since the dark ages such as trust in transactions, free frictionless movement of value and assets, as well as fix the broken internet that we have. No matter what gets thrown in the way of the Blockchain train, or what technical issues occur, we are going long and taking a position that Blockchain will be a major force for positive social and economic transformation.
Our mission is to be the best crypto investors in the UK and Europe, supporting great ideas and brilliant people and so this brings us to what KR1 have planned for 2018! We believe this will be the year of Ethereum as a raft of projects go live on the platform and many new ones emerge. We are also keeping VERY close eyes on other emergent platforms such as NEO and RChain and we have invested in both. In 2018 mainstream institutions will support Bitcoin and Ethereum heavily, altcoin speculation will be rampant with mini cycles of boom and busts. Generally they say to look into the future you need to look back at the past and 2017 was pretty volatile and combined with the inevitable onset of further attempts at regulation, we expect a dampening of the bull market later in the year or even next year.
So as Craig David says let’s ‘re-rewind’ — we incorporated in March 2016 with our fellow cofounders Rupert Williams and Jeremy Woodgate — who were responsibel for seed funding the BTL juggernaut onto the TSVX market — and we were the first investment company globally to focus on the Ethereum token economy. We believed in the future of smart contracts and crypto, having been participating in the space personally for a few years. We started with our first KR1 investment in SNGLS, SingularDTV, in November 2016. George sat up all night and participated in the ICO finger at the ready. This eventually turned into much more. Another token sale that we participated in was Golem, a decentralised marketplace for idle computer power, this continued our remarkable start. Subsequently we did one of our few equity investments (paper!!?) and invested in Meinhard and his Berlin-based team at SatoshiPay, a beautiful, efficiently designed ‘no login one-click micro payment system.
Things really changed in February on a cold evening with Melonport. We were excited to find such an incredible team in Mona El Isa and Reto Trinkler solving the issue of costly and centralised asset management. We believed from day one the team could do it. Melonport is building a decentralised asset managed protocol and we offered to fund them. We were the first people and institution to support them and we were off and running. It’s interesting to look back and see the vision of the Melonport founders Mona and Reto had, as they initially, were going to launch with Polkadot, given that it solved the cross blockchain issue of assets being tranfered between different platforms. Amazing to see how far both have come in that short amount of time!
In April we invested in Cosmos. Cosmos is important as it allows value to be sent from one blockchain to another, technically it’s a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains. It’s needed for the walled cities of each blockchain to work with each other. We’re very excited to see it near the rollout phase this Spring.
In June we met gaming legend Jez San who was building Funfair. We were thrilled to find out he was based in Camden Lock, London, so we went to lunch with him next to his office and once we saw their fate channels tech and the games played live at light speed (off-chain, on-chain settled and verified), we offered our support!
Jez is a gaming legend and Jeremy Longley a coding hero so who were we to say no to that! Again we were the first investors in — really exciting times!
We also participated in FOAM, a proof of location protocol for blockchain based in New York. We see this technology opening up entirely new business models in the future. We really liked Ryan and backed him and his team, we went to the first New York Token Summit as sponsors.
We met some incredible people and word started getting out about ‘the crypto guys in the UK’. Some great new alliances were made.
In June we met the great guys Ingemar and Mikael at iXledger, we endorsed their great vision for a decentralised marketplace for insurance products and supported them on their mission. London is after all the global home of insurance. iXledger is a peer-to-peer platform that facilitates improved customer service, fuels new efficient business models, drives faster transactions and reduces risk through data access and collaboration.
We spoke at Crypto Finance London in July, probably one of the first crypto conferences in London that wasn’t focused on Bitcoin. Keld outlined KR1's mission. We met a lot of exciting new projects and people there.
In July, with the fantastic service provided by Bitcoin Suisse we entered the OmiseGO token sale. We knew Vitalik Buterin and other extremely credible people were big supporters of the project + team and the token mechanics sat perfectly with our strategy. Clearly, this was exactly in line with market sentiment and with the token hitting unicorn status, we knew we’d secured the funds to up our game and to increase our participation in more great projects.
In August we had a great first meetup where we had Ted, the CEO of Kik/Kin, Jez from Funfair, George from Melonport, Aventus and Etch present. It was a great evening and we will soon continue hosting meetups in London. The legendary Tech journalist and good friend Monty Munford hosted the evening.
We are really excited to be seed funders and early supporters of Vo1t, a digital asset custodian. We’ve been watching and helping Vo1t from day one and we know Vo1t is going to be a global player in secure digital custodianship this year.
Pavel and Neeraj from Bluzelle were coming through Europe with Kenetic Capital and we clicked straight away on their vision on a decentralised database platform for dApps. We are keen supporters of the project and we are sure it will be received well.
Jason Goldberg, a Web 2.0 legend, came to talk with us and, again, we were thrilled to be able to hear about his Simple Token project and were excited to support him from the get-go. Simple Token is a powerful platform that is essential in the picks and shovels period we are in and we’re looking forward seeing many exciting new projects launching on it in 2018. We were really impressed with the project scope and possibilities. We were in!
RChain was very interesting to us as we have been involved in Synereo before and were especially keen on the underlying technology of the platform. So when Greg Meredith moved to focus on the RChain platform we jumped in and took the chance to support it.
Melonport’s M-0 conference in Zug, Switzerland brought the brightest and best in the crypto community for a private conference on the state of the blockchain. Mona, Reto, and team put on a great two-day conference. Keld spoke on the panel ‘Future of Asset Management’ alongside Joey Krug from Augur & Pantera, Ryan Zurrer from Polychain, Andrew Keys from ConsenSys and Satoshi Kobayashi. There was a great discussion on what the community felt was the future of decentralised digital fund management.
In October, George gave a presentation at the London South East Technology Investor evening to an eager and curious established investor community.
Ethereum Devcon 3 — Devcon assembled three thousand developers and hodlers to Cancun, Mexico. Everyone was pretty excited to get straight into the discussions of where Ethereum was and what was coming down the pipe. Appropriately, Devcon 3 was three times the size of the previous Ethereum Devcon and we saw some brilliant presentations and met great people. Who knows what the next Devcon will bring?
We had an ad-hoc Mexican dinner (assembled in a few hours!), which ended up with 22 amazing crypto people attending!
Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin — Keld was a Battlefield Judge and interviewed onstage with Zoe from Neufund and a Techcrunch journalist. Keld had quotes picked up by Techcrunch such as ‘Investing in open source projects is a mind-shift for investors’ and ‘Crypto is a Religion’.
George was interviewed for IG TV in December — watch him on the video below.
George was also on the Vox Markets podcast on Jan 2nd talking decentralisation and the token economy.
Kryptonite1 #KR1 and Alan Green on Feedback #FDBK Petrofac #PFC and Prairie Mining #PDZ
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That was quite a ride for 2017!
Whats in store for 2018?
We will be sponsoring the Techcrunch Zug Meetup with Melonport in Zug, Switzerland on 29th January.
Pathfounders: Crypto, 27th March 2018, we will be sponsors to a great event hosted by the legendary Mike Butcher!
As a quick shill — don’t forget that KR1 shares can be super tax efficient as you can put them into your UK ISA and means no tax on the uplift. Yes, no tax to pay on crypto profits through that! Paper shares may seem old skool, but they are unhackable, can be super tax efficient and give you unprecedented exposure to the best crypto projects in the world.
2018 will be an immense year for Crypto and we will be supporting some huge projects we can’t yet talk about! 😉
Thanks to all!
Keld and George
Douglas, Isle of Man, UK
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