David Johnston, now a managing director at Yeoman’s Growth Capital (YGC), says as an economics and internet nerd, he was excited to discover the digital currency in 2012 and jumped right in.
“I put all of my money into Bitcoin, because why would you want any dollars?” Mr Johnston said.
“Dollars have inflation and Bitcoin doesn’t have that problem.”
Forging a career in Bitcoin and crypto
The Bitcoin investment worked our extremely well and allowed Mr Johnston to begin an angel investing group could BitAngels, which blew up to have 500 members around the world.
“We were investing in all those early stage Bitcoin companies and that was a really cool time because price was going up and people were starting to hear about it,” he said.
But at the end of 2013 came a major market correction and the tech geniuses behind the digital currencies began building. Ethereum was building, Factom was building and Bitcoin was continuing to develop.
“It got us into a lot of those early projects and we really had the pleasure to work with the early Ethereum guys and other protocols,” he said.
“So that went well and then in 2016 things started to pick up so I started a family office just dedicated to investing blockchain and made about 40 investments across the industry.”
This later morphed into an all-blockchain private equity company, which exclusively focused on deploying the technology into digitalising assets into mass adoption. The company is now Yeoman’s Growth Capital (YGC).
Massive Success! But what about the Bitcoin market crash?
The cryptocurrency bear market of 2018 and 2019 has not deterred Mr Johnston from steaming forward within the blockchain industry. In fact, he says the slow price movement has its advantages.
“It sort of focuses people on what they should have been focused on,” he said.
“What you see left are the serious projects that are signing up customers and getting more user adoption.
“And if you look at the industry from that perspective we’re doing pretty well.”
Mr Johnston uses the example of the number of blockchain wallets in existence, which has doubled in the past 12 months.
“I really like what groups like Stellar are doing to airdrop to 30 million people of their tokens (and) sort of pushing mass adoption forward,” he said.
“And then we’ve got all these big projects in the wings. You’ve got telegram with 200 million users. (If) they do their airdrop – it’ll quadruple the size of the ecosystem as far as number of users.
“And now we’ve got rumours of Facebook working for nine million! You know it doesn’t get much bigger or more mainstream than that.”
What comes next?
Mr Jonston believes cryptocurrency will “certainly” hit a billion users by the end of next year and we’ll start to see more actual usage of the system.
“I like to compare it to the dot com bubble. People all paid attention to price and meanwhile the number of Internet connections just kept on rising.
“So if you were watching that you were seeing what was really happening and you kind of filter out all the noise of the prices going up and down.
“Our whole goal for the fun is to focus on companies that actually are ready to scale that have customers and that can take this technology (forward.)
“So honestly I think it’s a pretty exciting time.”
The key to mainstream adoption
Mr Johnston says the key to on boarding more cryptocurrency users, is building simpler user interfaces.
“If you remember the Internet back when you typed in IP addresses to get somewhere as opposed to Google.com, (then) you know we really need to sort of have that interface moment,” he said.
“Maybe that will be this Facebook release of a stable coin where everybody’s got a messenger (and) they get a billion and a half users. It’ll just show up as you know a little dollar symbol and there you go.
According to Mr Johnston, one of the upcoming “megatrends” will be security tokens.
“So you can think about this is just an extension of the fact that all assets are going to be represented digitally,” he said.
“That should not be a controversial statement at this point.
“Your real estate is going to be represented digitally, your currencies and commodities are represented digitally. The equity in your company is can be represented digitally because there’s just so many advantages.”
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