Stay up to date on all things crypto and blockchain

Token Daily is a place to discover trending news and products in crypto and blockchain.

Deep Dive with Arianna Simpson, MD of Autonomous Partners

Arianna will be answering your questions on crypto product evaluation 3rd April 11am PT!

posted 8 months ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
Ben Tossell
What product has not been made yet that you'd love to see in this space?
2
Ben Tossell
I'll name some crypto products and I'd love to hear your thoughts on them:

- Coinbase

- Rare bits

- Aragon

- CoinTracker

- Delta
1
Arianna Simpson
@bentossell

Coinbase: Very long on this company. I have a number of close friends at the company and am continuously amazed at how hard people there work. They are growing at an insane rate. I would not be surprised if they end up bigger than Facebook.

Rare bits: Again, I may be biased because I am friends with the founders, but I think Rarebits is on the right side of a trend, i.e. the rise of digital collectibles on chain. Growing a marketplace business is very hard (chicken and egg problem exists in many cases) but tremendously powerful when you get it right. Many of the biggest companies out there are marketplaces.

Cointracker: I've been really impressed with the product so far. I've tested a number of tax products and I think their UX is the most pleasing / intuitive. I'm also a big believer in team-first, and the fact that the founders responded to me over email within 5 minutes, at 6pm on a Friday no less, is likely a positive signal for them.

5
soona
Thoughts on CryptoKitties?
1
Arianna Simpson
@soonaorlater I actually believe Cryptokitties are a widely misunderstood phenomenon. I believe gaming and non-fungible blockchain-based assets will be some of the first consumer applications that really hit mainstream. It's also incredibly cool that something like 25% of their user base are people who had never held ETH before - so it's a great onramp for non crypto-natives. I discuss this more in depth on Laura Shin's podcast Unchained, which you can listen to here: http://unchainedpodcast.co/unconfirmed-ep008-arianna-simpson-of-autonomous-partners-on-privacy-cryptokitties-and-crypto-regulation
3
Dennis Stücken
Hey Arianna, For the next couple of months/years, what are you most excited about in blockchain tech and the crypto scene?
1
Arianna Simpson
@dstuecken Infrastructure! Sounds boring, but until we solve things like security, scalability, and more, it'll be very hard to have a rich ecosystem.
1
Dennis Stücken
@dstuecken @AriannaSimpson Yep, totally! As a tech-guy I am also very excited about this 😊
0
Kartic Rakhra
What are your thoughts on governance of decentralized projects?
1
Arianna Simpson
@karticrakhra I think this is infinitely more complicated than most people realize, and it's going to be at least a decade before we have good models for how to effectively govern decentralized projects. I definitely don't have the answers yet!
0
Sam
Outside of Crypto, what are some of the companies/projects you are long on?
1
Arianna Simpson
@samkurtis I'm an investor in about 40 non-crypto companies, so a lot to list! Let's focus on consumer healthcare: Simple Contacts (https://www.simplecontacts.com/), Lively (https://livelyme.com/), and Stork Club (https://joinstorkclub.com/) are a few of my favorites.
1
Sam
@samkurtis @AriannaSimpson Thanks. What about the public listed companies?
0
jonathanmarcus
What strategies do you use to source deals early enough to get allocations for the top projects? Any answer in between "networking" and the entire "secret playbook" would be helpful :)
1
Arianna Simpson
@jonathanmarcus Hah -- unfortunately network is indeed the answer! I have a few investors with whom I frequently share deals, who have good deal flow and with whom I share a general view of the world. I am also in a number of Telegram groups -- only one has truly proven valuable so far though.
0
jonathanmarcus
@AriannaSimpson Thanks for the color!
0
Kevin Hayes
What are your thoughts on a centralized exchange having decentralized exchange components? (E.g. Bitfinex, Ethfinex, EOSfinex)
1
Arianna Simpson
@KHaaayes I have been spending a lot of time thinking about and exploring the universe of exchanges. Right now, I think the most interesting DEX project is 0x, because it enables a rich ecosystem of financial applications beyond just exchanges. When you talk to traders at major hedge funds who have quietly spun up crypto trading desks, I think we are far off from them moving over to DEXs. This is partly due to performance issues (which will eventually be solved) and partly due to compliance / regulatory issues (unclear how this piece shakes out). So the happy medium may be the ability to trade non-custodially on a centralized exchange. I'm advising a company called Commonwealth Crypto which is doing really cool work in this area.
3
Rafa
What is your view of state of internal corporate governance of crypto projects? Do technically solid teams have similarly strong operational strength?
1
Kevin Hayes
Thoughts on USD pairs being added to Bittrex? Will this further bitcoin decoupling?
1
Mihai
What kind of "picks and shovels" in crypto do you like best? And which ones would you need or like to see developed?
1
Dan van Eck
I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on Blockstack and Decentraland. Thanks!
0
Arianna Simpson
@ErlichLisztman I'm a big fan of Blockstack - cofounders Ryan and Muneeb are longtime friends and visionaries, in my opinion. I will forever be grateful to Ryan because he was the first person to tell me about bitcoin, many years ago! As for the product itself, I think they are super sharp and ahead of the trend -- it's becoming increasingly clear that we ought to have more control over our data. Candidly, my biggest concern is just that I'm not sure how much the average user cares about that, relative to cost or usability, for instance.
3
Charlos
How can a small time joe the plumber invest in crypto products safely?
0
Sam
I recall your younger brother is graduating soon. Congrats! What investing advice would you give him now?
0
Arianna Simpson
@samkurtis Thank you! I think the biggest piece of advice I have for new grads on investing is just to get started. As with most things, you learn by doing, so the sooner you start, the more you'll know later on. I would also say that most young people are too conservative. In your early 20s, you shouldn't be mostly in bonds or mutual funds - become more conservative as you get older, but when you're young, especially if you have a good education and no dependents, you can afford to take on a little more risk.
0
Kevin Hayes
Will the future of crypto payments be via a stable coin like Dai or through something volatile like Nano? Either way still seems like a tax nightmare.
0
Arianna Simpson
@KHaaayes For the time being, I am skeptical of most stablecoins. I think many teams are wildly underestimating how difficult it will be to maintain a stable price, and the fact that many bad actors will have a massive financial incentive to break the peg. I think it's more likely that most payments end up being done in something like a digital dollar. The idea of a tax nightmare is really dependent on the regulation that's in place at that time. For instance, there was a proposal to make any transaction under $400 exempt from tax reporting; something like this would be a huge help. So we'll really have to see how regulation evolves before we know how painful things will be.
2
Nat Robbins
Do you have any thoughts on WAX (Worldwide Asset Exchange)? Especially given your thoughts above regarding gaming and non-fungible blockchain based assets.
0
Sar Haribhakti
Some people argue that we have been conditioned to not pay for software. Some argue that is mostly true (especially for social networks, productivity tools and other random apps we use) but point to subscription services like media (WSJ, NYT etc) and entertainment (Tinder, Spotify, HBO, Netflix). Using decentralized apps would require everyday people to pay up in some form to use the product. Do you think a massive shift in consumer behavior is possible for mainstream adoption of dApps?
0
Arianna Simpson
@sarthakgh I actually think a lot of the reason people don't pay for software products is the friction that is required in signing up and entering cc info. If we can reduce this friction, I think more people will be willing to pay (I know i would be).
1
Sar Haribhakti
Do you think requiring people to buy tokens to use products will accelerate us to a world where cash rich people and poor people use different services? Right now, regardless of your willingness to pay, we use the same social networks and same (ad based) entertainment/media products.
0
Sar Haribhakti
Do you believe a consequence of data aggregation moving from siloed apps to shared protocols would always put the UX of decentralized products a few steps behind of UX of centralized apps in the long run?
0
Arianna Simpson
@sarthakgh No, I don't necessarily think this is a given. I think the crypto ecosystem has not historically put beautiful or intuitive user experiences first, but that's more a function of the folks building products, than any inherent shortcomings in how decentralized products need to be designed.
3
Rafa
Are you concerned about insular culture of crypto founders and the some of the funds who invest in them? Not only diversity, but also groupthink.
0
Arianna Simpson
@intjr I'm always a fan of increasing diversity. I do think there's a tendency toward groupthink (much more so on the part of investors than of founders) but depending on your investment strategy, that might not be a bad thing, especially if you are doing something like momentum trading. My focus is always on finding the areas that are overlooked, and because I'm very long-term oriented, I can afford to look wrong for a long time.
1
Kevin Hayes
Thoughts on dapps/tools that require you to use their token for access when it may not be totally necessary (e.g. Raiden Network RDN token). RDN isn’t required but is the most advantageous way to use the system. Will these stand the test of time?
0
Arianna Simpson
@KHaaayes This is an interesting point to consider - I haven't fully reached a conclusion on what I think happens here. I think the smart projects figure out a way to make it more appealing to hold or use the token than any alternative, and that can work well. Will Warren of 0x talks about some changes they made to incentivize this here -- great episode, worth a listen: http://unchainedpodcast.co/will-warren-of-0x-on-why-decentralized-exchanges-are-the-future
1
Steven Zheng
Why do you think women are getting left behind again in crypto?
0
Arianna Simpson
@Dogetoshi Crypto is at the intersection of a number of fields that have historically been male-dominated: finance, computer science, cryptography, economics etc. That said, there ARE many awesome women doing great work in the field. Find and support them! And encourage others to get involved.
1
Erik Torenberg
Thoughts on Privacy coins?
0
Arianna Simpson
@eriktorenberg I'm a big fan of privacy coins. I think there's a strong need / desire for financial privacy, and at this point it's clear that bitcoin doesn't quite cut it in that respect. The idea of having a Swiss bank account in your pocket is very appealing... I shared a few other thoughts on the topic a few months back: https://www.coindesk.com/privacy-blockchain-headed/
3
Johnny Chin
@AriannaSimpson what do you think the future of security should look like when there's a swiss bank in everyone's pocket?
1
Erik Torenberg
Thoughts on Stablecoins?
0
Kevin Hayes
Thoughts on Tether? Can exchanges detangle themselves from this without bringing the house down? Is there a better alternative?
0
X