It’s been more than a decade since I first starting covering Bitcoin, and I feel like I’ve seen the ups and downs of crypto. From the Mt. Gox days through the ICO boom and the later NFT cycle, it’s been a fascinating ride: The web3 world that Bitcoin kicked off back in 2009 has been a tumultuous and absorbing financial and technological story.
My optimism for blockchain-based tech has also gone through ups and downs. Just as I worried for the viability of my index funds every time crypto prices went vertical, I’ve also wondered whether it was the final straw for Bitcoin and friends every time the web3 hype cycle imploded. But no matter how high the high, how low the low, or how fast the transition between the two, crypto has managed to come back in one form or another.
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At some point you give up trying to predict what will happen and when, and you must simply watch.
Investors are not playing the same game. The venture market by its nature is a wager-placing activity. VCs think up a thesis, find what they consider to be outstanding startups that fit their market hypothesis, fund them, and then try to help those startups become big. So long as some of the companies that they pick do well, they can earn back all the capital they invested and share in the profits.
The thesis portion of the venture game is sometimes hard to parse from the outside. Many investors are low-key when it comes to speaking publicly, so we have to watch their deal flow to get a taste of where they see the future going. Some investors, in contrast, like to make a bit more noise.
It’s often useful. Bessemer’s regular cloud reports discuss a portion of that firm’s investing thesis. And since the Bessemer documents are chock-full of useful data, and are often unsparing in their market diagnosis, are worth reading. It was with that vibe that I dug into the most recent a16z crypto market update.