Another exclusive guest, speaking for the first time in Korea! J. Michael Arrington.
Magazines like Wired and Forbes once named him one of the most powerful people on the internet, the Wall Street Journal named him a ‘power broker’ and Time Magazine featured him in 2008’s TIME 100, where he was accompanied by Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Rupert Murdoch — among others — in the ‘builders and titans’ section. Do we have your attention already?
Arrington is a heavily opinionated and articulate individual, known for shaking things up. Most of all, this Californian serial entrepreneur, blogger and investor is an observer of the key trends that shape what comes next, sourced up and ahead of the curve.
Although he’s got his law degree at Stanford, Michael describes himself as an ‘exceptionally average attorney’. He practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer for a few years and then went to work as head of business development at what seemed to be a ‘hot startup’ at the time. The Internet bubble crash ruined this party; it stopped the company, but it didn’t stop Arrington.
He started getting involved in many companies — separated all over the world — until 2004. He took some time for himself and got into blogging, which led him to found TechCrunch a year later; a blog covering the Silicon Valley technology start-up communities and the wider technology field in the USA and elsewhere.
In 2006 he landed the scoop that Google would acquire YouTube, which gave a huge credibility boost. As an extremely influential business writer, start-ups now desperately tried to grab his attention. After all, a positive write-up on TechCrunch would almost guarantee venture-capital interest.
Following his time at TechCrunch, he co-founded CrunchBase; a database for investors and entrepreneurs. Following the sale of TechCrunch and CrunchBase, Arrington founded CrunchFund, which raised $100 million over three funds.
Being a powerful voice in the technology industry for years, these days he is all over the blockchain space. He went from a crypto enthusiast to 100% crypto, right before the craziness starting at the end of 2017 .
“I’ve only been looking at crypto deals. This is what I think I’ll be doing the rest of my career.”
In late 2017 he announced his new hedge fund, called Arrington XRP Capital.“If they want to invest in a hedge fund, they have to convert to fiat and then the hedge fund will convert it into crypto for investments. With this, you can do a quick swap.”
The fund compels all limited partners to invest in Ripple’s XRP token. XRP will also be utilized for all fees and distribution transactions. When getting asked why he went for this particular token:
“We think XRP is a particularly useful currency because of the transaction times. I think it makes a lot of sense to denominate a hedge fund in a cryptocurrency, the only downside is the potential volatility against fiat.”
“I think investors are maybe heavier in bitcoin and ether than they should be. This market is overly reliant on bitcoin and ether, while we are a fund staking it’s claim on a solution.”
Next to his own fund, Michael is also on the advisory board of various projects, like Nexo, DATA, Propy, CNN and ælf. He is very optimistic about the space, as well as the future of it. He predicts a market cap of trillions this year, with institutional money flowing in sooner than later.
With his interesting background in both the VC and blockchain space, we certainly believe J. Michael Arrington will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to our ‘Equity vs Tokens’ panel.
Beyond Blocks blockchain conferences are disrupting conventional networking methods by dedicating our efforts to connect you with the biggest names in the industry, face-to-face. Join thousands of like-minded enthusiasts and attend the most anticipated blockchain summit in Asia. Next up: Seoul (July 17–18, during Korea Blockchain Week)
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Date: November 26-27, 2018
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