Boris Wertz on De-Fi and The Future of Finance

  
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It’s always a pleasure to talk with someone who is at the intersection of technology trends, and today our guest Boris Wertz is at the forefront of investing in crypto and has been for the last five years. Through his position as an early investor in Dapper Labs, creators of CryptoKitties and NBA TopShot, Boris has been an early believer in the power of blockchain and crypto and he’s now setting his sights on climate change investing and the creator economy.

Boris’ Background:
Boris Wertz is founding partner of Version One and one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America. Born in Germany and based in Vancouver, Boris takes a wide-angle view to find great companies all across North America with a focus on the pre-seed and the seed stage in marketplaces, enterprise SaaS, crypto, healthcare, energy, climate.. He is a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz and is well-respected for his uncanny ability to find the next generation of leaders. Before becoming an investor, Boris built an online marketplace for used and out-of-print books in 1999, selling the business to AbeBooks.com where he became COO and led a team of 140 people doing $250mm in platform revenues. After AbeBooks.com was sold to Amazon, he moved into investing, first as an angel and now with his own fund Version One which launched in 2012.


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In this episode we discuss:

03:27 The growth of DeFi as an industry

04:48 How negative associations with the early ICO market has affected DeFi

07:01 The opportunity Boris saw in 2017

10:32 The speed of innovation the crypto space

12:14 How big the market for Ethereum can grow

13:52 Valuing crypto platforms and protocols

15:04 How Uniswap.com works and its power

17:10 The lending mechanic in Ethereum

19:58 New platforms like nexusmutual.io and opyn.co

23:42 How DeFi compares and competes with another Boris portfolio company, Coinbase

28:28 Has Boris bought any TopShot packs personally

30:39 Selling his Cryptokitties investment to his LPs

32:30 The future of cryptoart

34:33 What value means with today’s meme-investing

35:47 How his team decides on what is worth investing in

38:50 Addressing Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger’s crypto critique

41:08 Working with LPs as investment thesis evolves

44:02 How portfolio company silviaterra.com is working to fight climate change

45:34 Investing while remote

46:43 Boris’s favorite podcast: Invest Like The Best

47:22 Boris’s favorite newsletter or blog: stratechery.com

47:51 Boris’s favorite tech gadget: Google Pixel

48:21 Favorite new trend: The creator economy

49:34 Favorite book: Albert Banger’s forthcoming book

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Podcast production support provided by Agentbee.Agency