Science Strikes Back: Blockchain
July 2, 2020 | Abree Murch
Our “Science Strikes Back” series introduces some of the most exciting, forward-leaning venture investment sectors in deep tech. Our Deep Tech Fund co-invests alongside established deep tech venture firms in companies taking on the toughest and potentially most lucrative technological challenges. Our point of view is that the need has never been higher for scientific thought and innovations tackling hard problems. Click below if you want to be notified when the fund opens in July 2020.
Deep Tech Focus #3 – Blockchain
Defining the Space
If you merely equate blockchain with Bitcoin, you’re missing the infinitely bigger innovation that underlies this core technology. Blockchain is an innovative, distributed shared ledger technology that enables transactions and tracking of asset ownership.
To unpack that:
- Distributed and shared means that anyone can access it, but no single user controls it.
- Transactions can mean sales agreements, exchanges of records, and more (see below).
- Assets can be anything—yes, cryptocurrencies, but also securities, contracts, medical records, contracts, escrow, digital identifies, and more. Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded/exchanged on a blockchain network.
- A blockchain stores data in blocks that are linked together to form a chain. Blocks record and confirm the time and sequence of transactions, which are then logged into the blockchain.
- The participants in the system collectively keep the ledger up to date.
- At a predetermined point, the transaction is permanently locked into the chain; the ledger can only be amended according to strict rules and by general agreement.
- As the number of transactions grows, so does the blockchain.
Applications and Benefits
Blockchain technology can be applied in nearly every industry.
- Education: credentialing
- Energy: decentralized transfers
- Financial exchanges: trading, contracts, escrow
- Government: profiles, data
- Healthcare: records, compliance
- Insurance: verification
- IP/digital rights management: verification, smart contracts
- Legal: smart contracts
- Networking, IoT: communication, monitoring
- Retail: P2P security, tracking
- Supply chain: tracking, delivery
- Travel: ID, document storage
The benefits of distributed ledger tech include:
- High reliability and security
- Greater transparency
- Faster, more efficient transactions
- Increased access to trade
- Global reach
- Elimination of intermediaries and their fees
Innovations in the Wings
- Blockchain will be more widely accepted as its advantages and uses grow more apparent to various industries.
- Computer processing of blockchain will grow more efficient, and energy consumption will be reduced.
- Cryptocurrency will offer companies and consumers cheaper and more flexible means to transfer money.
- Blockchain will be used by more companies and increasingly individuals to record, access, and protect data without it being corrupted.
- Some intermediaries may find themselves disrupted.
In Our Portfolio
AVG Portfolio Companies in the Blockchain Space
These are just a few of our portfolio companies putting blockchain technology to work:
- Algorand develops next-gen blockchain tech centered around a novel, more scalable, faster, and more efficient consensus protocol based on proof-of stake.
- Everynym is a decentralized, blockchain-based digital-identity solution that gives users control of their own identity at all times.
- Molten empowers media artists and businesses with a complete blockchain infrastructure to directly publish, license, and monetize their content (text, audio, image, video, VR).
AVG’s Deep Tech Fund invests in a venture portfolio of companies on the cutting edge of innovation. Our point of view is that the need has never been higher for scientific thought and innovations tackling hard problems. Do you want to be notified when the fund opens in July 2020? Click below.