Last year, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said that cryptocurrencies make up a small part of his investment portfolio. His startup capital firm, Seven Seven Six, has since invested in blockchain infrastructure business QuickNode and participated in a $5 million investment round for Bitcoin rewards app Lolli.
But where does Ohanian’s cash go?
In Ethereum, at least in part.
“I do believe Ethereum [has] the most to prove, or at least the most potential to show something in the next year or two,” Ohanian said this morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” with Andrew Ross Sorkin. “NFTs are only the beginning of what’s being created on top of the Ethereum blockchain, and that’s where I’m putting a lot of my money.”
Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain, which is primarily used to create and securely deal with digital money, the Ethereum blockchain includes smart contract code that eliminates intermediaries and allows individuals to build apps on top of the blockchain. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and decentralized finance are two of the most common applications (DeFi).
Over the last year, both sectors have experienced rapid growth. According to DeFi Pulse, almost $60 billion in tokens are floating about in Ethereum DeFi protocols, up from around $1 billion a year ago. NFTs sold for approximately $2 billion, with a large portion of that coming from the Ethereum network, where they first emerged.
Though Ohanian is deeply invested in Ethereum, the technologist is open to whatever arises and believes the US should step carefully to allow similar blockchain inventions to flourish.