Elijah Kim, Entrepreneur in Residence, shares highlights from the Crypto LA event that took place in the BCG Digital Ventures’ Manhattan Beach Center. 

I had the recent pleasure of co-hosting the LA crypto community at DV’s Manhattan Beach Center alongside DV Partner, Sid Shah, DV Partner and DVolution Founder, Mike Schwartz , CryptoOracle Founder, Lou Kerner and DNA Co-founder, James Glasscock. Attendees at the event came not only from all over the West Coast, but also all from walks of life—from established tech vets like Eric Jackson, Caplinked Founder and member of the Paypal mafia, all the way to day trading crypto enthusiasts who otherwise exist far outside the tech world. What ultimately brought everyone together, however, was the common interest and passion for blockchain technology.

The event kicked off with a Q&A session between Sid Shah and Mike Schwartz on the topic of DVolution and its impact on the blockchain community. We then switched gears to the main event, which was a fireside chat between Lou Kerner and James Glasscock, who shared various perspectives on the current state of cryptocurrencies—a hot topic as of late, and easily the most popular blockchain use case.

James opened up by sharing how he was introduced into the crypto space by longtime friends Brock Pierce and Scott Walker (his co-founders at DNA), which led him to finally start investing in 2013. At the time, Bitcoin was trading at $1,000, which was then only a few months after it had dropped to $200 (vs. its all-time high at 100X that at near $20K just last year). Nonetheless, he got into crypto–not as much to make money, but mainly to learn about it. As he immersed himself more deeply in the space–and despite the drops in price–he started to invest more.

Lou then shared a fun tweet from 2011: “I can’t believe I sold all my bitcoin at 6 cents, it’s now 80 cents!”

The HODL attitude Lou and James share pushes them to explicitly suggest others to not just look one year or five years out, but 10 to 20 years out.

James was also proud to endorse the open source community values present and the passion it has unlocked. This lead to James co-founding DNA, a group of 20 die hard crypto evangelists with a mission to grow the crypto community. At DNA, they look at over 100 opportunities a month, selecting just a couple to support by leveraging capital, expertise, operational resources and beyond.

When reviewing applicants, they specifically look for:

  • Unique, game-changing tech
  • Light house or structural competitive advantage
  • Use of token crypto economics
  • Use of management team advisors
  • Decentralized governance
  • Those who have a head start in the system

Rather than looking for the winners, they tend to focus more on disqualifying the weakest ones. Beyond that, community is critical. The best tech doesn’t result in a win, particularly if nobody knows about it. Not only do you need the broad community to support by investing, you also need the developer community to embrace the vision and develop products around the emerging platform. Unlike the field of dreams, if you simply build it, they will not come.

See the full event below:

If you’re located in Los Angeles or Berlin, join our Meetup groups for more events like this.