The SEC Speaks On Tokens

Yesterday the SEC issued a report of investigation finding that DAO Tokens are securities under U.S. law. This report sent shock waves across the crypto sector leading to roughly 10% declines in the major cryptocurrencies. I must have received a dozen or more emails from people saying that “ICOs are over.” I don’t think ICOs are over. I think regulatory clarity is going to be good for the crypto sector long term and while this report does not give us total regulatory clarity, it does give us some very valuable insights into what the SEC is thinking about tokens. Specifically, we now know that:
  1. The Howey test is the regulatory framework through which to evaluate whether a token is a security.
  2. A token that return profits to holders will be considered a security.
We likely know a lot more regarding jurisdictional issues and what the SEC is going
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Zemanta – From SeedCamp to Outbrain

In the summer of 2008, I attended the SeedCamp in London and the winner of that class was a company called Zemanta, out of Ljubljana Slovenia. I was taken with everything about Zemanta; a small team (three founders), out of a place that I had never been to and had barely heard of, winning the SeedCamp with a really smart blogging tool that I just had to have on my blog. USV invested in a seed round that summer that was led by the SeedCamp folks and Eden Ventures. Zemanta was USV’s first European investment. Today, we have ten out of sixty-seven active portfolio companies (~15%) based in Europe. The seed investment in Zemanta led to a nine year journey with Bostjan and Andraz, who founded Zemanta along with Ales. The blogging tool is amazing. It recommends links and images in real time as you type into your
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Comment Policy

Our portfolio company Disqus, the company that makes the comment system we use here at AVC, released a new feature last week. This new feature allows a blogger/publisher to put their comment policy above the comment thread. You can see it here, at the end of yesterday’s post, above the comment thread. For those of you who use the Disqus comment system on their blogs and/or publications, here is a knowledge base post detailing how to use this new feature and containing some advice on how to set a comment policy. As always, we encourage comments here at AVC. But please be nice or leave. It makes everything so much better.

SegWit2x Update

I posted last week about the debate between the SegWit2x Bitcoin update and the threat of a soft fork. Since then a number of important things have happened. BIP91 locked in on Thursday and and yesterday BIP91 enforcement was activated. That means that SegWit is now active on the Bitcoin network. This is a big deal because the most contentious protocol change in the history of Bitcoin, the introduction of SegWit, has finally happened. The SegWit2x road map is not complete yet, as the next step will be to introduce a block size increase. Jeff Garzik, who has been leading the SegWit2x implementation, has a good interview up on Coindesk explaining all of this and more. Bitcoin has a lot of great things about it. As Jeff says in the interview, it is by far the most secure blockchain. But it’s developer community has had a hard time finding
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Video Of The Week: Mesh Networking For Wireless Connectivity

Daniela Perdomo, founder and CEO of our portfolio company goTenna recently gave a talk at the New York Times about how mesh networking can improve wireless connectivity in urban environments. It’s a short talk (~7 mins) and explains how mesh networking technologies can (and will) solve urban wireless connectivity issues in the coming years.


Albert Wenger — July 21, 2017
Homo Deus by Yuval Harari (Book Review)

Funding Friday: Token Filings

Public market investors who like to buy into IPOs have Edgar, a database of SEC filings that they can browse through to learn important information on upcoming IPOs. Investors in token offerings have not had the same thing. Until yesterday. AVC regular William Mougayar has launched which is essentially Edgar for Tokens. Yesterday we got Coindexter. Today we get TokenFilings. The crypto community is building stuff that makes this sector more interesting every day. Reminds me of what the Internet used to be before the big guys took over.


Nick Grossman — July 19, 2017
Getting Help


Our former USV colleague Jonathan Libov finally took the covers off a side project he’s been working on since he was at USV. It is called Coindexter and it’s “a collaborative library for long-term investors in decentralized, blockchain networks.”
You can contribute to Coindexter, like a wiki, or dive into research areasthat interest you. Feel free to ask a question if there’s something you’re looking to learn.

Check it out if you are into token/crypto investing.


Albert Wenger — July 19, 2017
Uncertainty Wednesday: Continuous Random Variables (Cont’d) Nick Grossman — July 19, 2017
Getting Help Bethany Marz Crystal — July 18, 2017
The Creation Story of Women in VC