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E779: Brian Armstrong Coinbase & Tim Draper: crypto matures, ICO v VC, fiat end, bitcoin resiliency

This Week in Startups

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Published on Nov 17, 2017
Filmed at DFJ Summit 11/16/17: Brian Armstrong, Coinbase & Tim Draper, DFJ on the state of cryptocurrency's maturing market: ICOs as new funding vehicle, disruption of VC, the end of fiat, rise of open source, & the continued dominance & resiliency of bitcoin


0:01 Thank you to Walker Corporate Law & Wordpress for supporting TWiST, visit them at &

0:30 Introduction to fireside chat at DFJ Summit November 16, 2017. Guests: Brian Armstrong, Coinbase & Tim Draper, DFJ. Moderated by Jason Calacanis.

1:55 Brian talks about his first project, getting people to watch videos and paying them in Bitcoin.

3:12 Will the next Facebook be cryptocurrency-based? Brian explains exciting trend that could happen with incentivising user-generated content by cryptocurrency.

3:58 Jason talks about Tim Draper’s “superpower” as an investor. Tim explains his process behind investing, importance of transformative opportunities, & betting on the upside.

9:07 Should you be investing in ICOs by founders with zero track record? Are they scams? Brian explains the bubble, need for regulation, and potential of ICOs.

12:57 Thank you Walker Corporate Law for supporting TWiST. Visit them at

14:07 Jason asks Tim if he is concerned about the current state of ICOs and raising large amounts of money on only a white paper. Tim explains why too much money is detrimental to a company.

16:24 Tim describes the benefits that ICOs have for investors, and how government regulations have made it difficult for companies to go public.

19:23 Jason voices his disagreement on accredited v. nonaccredited investor qualifications, and proposes an idea. Tim likes it.

21:45 Jason ask Brian if it is safer to store digital currency in a server, or in cold storage. Brian compares the two, and shares what he does personally.

23:45 Do you know who your buyers are? Brian explains the regulation behind Coinbase.

25:03 Thank you to Wordpress for supporting TWiST. Go to to save 15% on a website.

27:27 Will Bitcoin move from being a store of value to something else? Tim explains why he won’t sell his Bitcoin. And the inefficiencies of government-issued currency.

29:23 What are the chances of the U.S. launching its own cryptocurrency? Tim explains why country-based cryptocurrency is a bad idea. Brian believes digital currency will soon be as stable as fiat currencies.

30:41 Is Bitcoin in a vulnerable position, due to miners in China having majority compute power? Brian thinks most digital currencies will move away from mining. Tim explains the resilience of Bitcoin thus far.

33:25 How manipulated is Bitcoin? Brian explains that market cap for bitcoin is too large to be manipulated by a small number of people.

35:38 Jason presses Brian: Bitcoin or Ethereum, which do you prefer? Brian shares the story of his first love, Bitcoin … and why he’s now more interested in Ethereum trajectory.

38:29 Jason and Tim talk about the structural change about to occur in Venture Capital. And the rise of lawsuits against ICOs.

42:52 Should all startups use ICO rather than raise VC money & dilute ownership? Brian explains what he would do. “Right now today, I would go with traditional investors.” Tim explains entrepreneurs should figure out use/purpose of a coin before an ICO.

46:45 Brian & Tim talk about how people working on protocols/foundational pieces of technology can participate in the upside through coins. It’s a fundamental shift -- developers are leaving big tech co’s to work on open source projects.

50:18 Jason asks his final question: What will the price of Bitcoin be in 10 years?
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