Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Bets on Crypto Infrastructure

Photo Credit: Juergen Hasenkopf / BPI/Shutterstock
July 25, 2018
Updated 1mo ago

By Jacqueline Corba

Bitcoin has risen back above the $8,000 mark for the first time since May. And Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who discovered the cryptocurrency's potential six years ago, thinks it has more room to go.

"It's pretty well proven now, and Ethereumーbecause of smart contractsーit allows you to program money essentially in a way that is, I think, meaningful," Ohanian, now general partner at venture capital firm Initialized Capital, told Cheddar's Hope King.

"There are enough smart people starting to build real things on this, that I think those are two pretty strong contenders."

Ohanian's company was one of the first investors in Coinbase, taking a stake in the digital currency exchange in 2012.

Before crypto got trendy, Ohanian said he was looking for the best brokers between fiat and crypto. He found one in Brian Armstrong.

"[Armstrong] was the leader of it in terms of having the mind to build the storage to keep it secure," noted Ohanian. "We made the investment in it early, and these other deals have all been around the same idea of how do we make a bet on infrastructure."

Initialized Capital is also investing in CoinTracker, which lets users fill out tax forms for crypto investments, and investment platform Coinbundle. By investing in the infrastructure, Ohanian is setting up a long-term play.

Still, one of the biggest hurdles in this emerging market is attracting consumers.

But Ohanian said once a wallet can act as a browser on your mobile phone the market will really take off.

"We're looking for things like picks and shovels. It's going to come down to the experience."

For full interview, click here.