This is part 1 of a 2 part series offering the Concentric perspective on the state of the ill-understood, much maligned but potential laden Crypto ecosystem

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Crypto Economy is native to the internet. Like the internet, it is global, accessible to all, decentralised and unstoppable. Bitcoin, not the US Dollar, is the reserve currency of The Crypto Economy
  • Crypto itself can be thought of as programmable money. It allows for the rapid iteration of incentive structures and therefore new forms of organisation, like DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) as well as entirely new business models
  • Having gone unnoticed by the mainstream, a parallel financial system has been built by the crypto community over the last 10 years. It works, is in many ways superior to the traditional financial rails and is seeing increasing…


Every year we at Concentric update our investors on the progress of our portfolio. As part of our talk, we try to impress upon them the way we see the world and how that impacts our investment strategy. For the first time, we are publicly posting a segment from the day, titled ‘7 Heresies’, outlining a number of thoughts that may be contentious but which are instrumental in shaping our thinking and approach. Intended to stir debate and arouse passions, it certainly did so on the day!

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Heresy 1: Preference falsification pervades society

The technical definition for preference falsification would read; the act of misrepresenting what you want or feel under social pressure. In other words, it means lying to appease your audience. A notorious pop culture example would be the polls showing Clinton leading Trump in the last presidential election and, who knows, maybe even those showing Biden leading this time around. This phenomenon reveals preference falsification in action. …


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Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has proponents in high places. Somewhat predictably given it entails unlimited government spending, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are advocates. And whilst Donald and Boris are not ideologically wedded to MMT, it’s not like they are any better given the out-of-control deficits being run up right now. MMT would have us believe that governments can and should spend at will on all causes they deem desirable. Because governments have control of their currency, government spending should not be thought of as akin to a household budget. New money can simply be printed to pay for government projects and taxes manipulated to control the amount of money in the system and hence the inflation rate. …


Universities have been the fulcrum of our society for centuries. They have set cultural direction, uncovered great scientific advances, educated and enlightened many generations of lawmakers and policymakers. But as our society faces up to tackling potentially the biggest global recession since the Great Depression, just how well placed are these traditional institutions to help us reignite economic growth?

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It’s increasingly obvious that Covid-19 will have significant consequences across society and universities are no exception. With a two-year wait likely before there is a readily accessible vaccine and the inevitability of increased airport checks to control for biological hazards going forward, the friction introduced will mean a reduction in international travel. Many overseas students will be physically unable to return to their universities, or will no longer be able to afford the costs involved. A drop in the number of overseas students, who pay significantly more than domestic students and upon whom universities rely for a significant proportion of their revenue, will result in an immediate revenue crunch. …


In order to contribute to the developing African venture ecosystem, we are publishing in full an internal note determining how we at Concentric are thinking about our emerging Venture Capital Strategy for Africa

Africa was a continent unknown. Having returned from a 2-month sub-Saharan stint, I find the assumptions I had made, the prejudices baked inside to be almost completely incorrect. To be sure, sometimes for the worse, but also often for the better. Western eyes often regard it as a homogeneous block, as if ‘Africa’ is some vast united continent of people and culture. That could not be further from the truth. The differences between peoples and tribes, often more relevant than national affiliation, are vast, complex and stretch back aeons. But what is unmistakeable is that this is a continent, once riven by conflict, that is finally beginning to realise some of its potential. Nairobi in particular has real energy and there is a palpable sense of possibility, with entrepreneurs engaged and committed in tackling ‘real’, non-trivial, meaty problems. …


The UK govt has been unique in it’s response to Covid-19. We discuss why and try to extrapolate the implications, specifically as they pertain to the venture community

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  • The response of almost all other countries: immediate lockdown, shutting off of the economy
  • UK: have accepted the virus cannot be contained and that the vast majority of the population (c. 60%) HAVE to get the virus. ‘Herd immunity’ is the only thing that will protect us. Therefore lockdown will only happen closer to the peak of the virus (predicted to be 10 weeks away in the UK!) …

About

Alexander Mann

Venture Investor with Concentric

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