Posts from March 2020

Flow Playground

Our portfolio company Dapper (creator of Cryptokitties among other crypto games) has been developing a new blockchain designed for high throughput consumer experiences (like crypto games). That blockchain is called Flow.

Today, Dapper is opening up the Flow Playground so that developers can start building things on Flow.

The Flow Playground is the first taste of what building on Flow feels like: it is an interactive web environment where developers can write Cadence smart contracts and run them against the Flow Emulator being hosted by Dapper.

Cadence is the smart contract programming language for Flow and it uses resource-oriented programming concepts to deliver a faster, safer, and better user experiences when it comes to writing smart contracts.

Here are some screenshots of what it is like to develop in Cadence in the Flow Playground:

If you are a developer who likes to create fun consumer experiences and wants to build something on a blockchain, you should check out Flow and the Flow Playground. You can get started here.


Fan Shares

I’ve written a bit about “crypto adjacent” projects. These are projects that capture some of the aspects/behaviors/benefits of crypto without being full-on crypto projects.

One of these “aspects/behaviors/benefits” of crypto that I like is the fractionalization of ownership. I believe the broader that something can be owned, the better. I also like the idea of early ownership in something by the users. Imagine if all of us who created the content that made Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter what they are got ownership in these services for those contributions. I also like the idea of owning a piece of something that we care about and are passionate about.

Like a basketball player.

I’ve been following Spencer Dinwiddie‘s efforts to fractionalize his NBA contract and sell it in small pieces to his fans.

I like Spencer. He plays for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s fun to watch. He plays with a ton of energy. So the idea of “being in business” with him appeals to me.

Yesterday I got the opportunity to sign up for this offering:

Unfortunately, this offering is only available to accredited (ie rich) investors and is not broadly available to his fan base. That is in order to comply with the laws of the United States, as regulated by the SEC.

So this is not quite like Bitcoin where anyone can buy it and own it.

But it is a step in that direction and I think it is interesting. I want to hang around this rim and see where the ball bounces on this one.


Outschool can help your school prepare for unexpected closures

Our portfolio company Outschool operates a service that allows any teacher to teach a live class over online video. They offer over 10,000 classes by teachers on almost any subject you can imagine. Over 80,000 students have used Outschool to take classes.

Yesterday, Outschool announced that they intend to help schools that close due to the Coronavirus keep their students learning and teachers teaching. This is a post written by Outschool’s CEO describing how they hope to help.

The coronavirus is on everyone’s mind. With over 80K+ cases worldwide and more numbers reported daily in the United States it is increasingly becoming clear that schools need to prepare for potential shut downs for prolonged periods. We all hope it can be contained in many countries, or will turn out milder in impact, however, we have already seen some schools close as a precaution and many others prepare.

As well as helping families affected by unexpected school closures, Outschool has unique expertise that can help schools themselves prepare. I see it as our responsibility to offer that help now since the CDC has raised the possibility of “internet-based teleschooling”. In other words, it’s likely that many schools are seeking options to help their teachers continue instruction using online tools.

Our team and community have more expertise in how to run online group classes over live video than any other US-based organization, having had 80K learners attend over 300K class hours. We’re offering to quickly provide teacher training, webinars and resources on how to continue school online to affected schools and districts. This is not our core business – we want to help and will do this for free.

We have already begun partnering with schools in the Bay Area to help prepare them for any closures. We’d like to help schools anywhere that are already affected or are working on readiness plans. We can get started helping with as little as 30 mins on the phone with school leadership or key faculty.

If you are a parent or teacher please help us reach school leaders with this offer by sharing this link. If you are a school leader preparing for potential closure please reach out to me at [email protected] so we can start helping.

#Current Affairs

The Digital Marshallese Sovereign

I’ve learned over the years that many of the most important things start out looking like little things or even laughable things. So if you want to laugh at this news, that will make me very bullish on it.

The Marshall Islands announced today that they will be issuing a digital version of their national currency, The Marshallese Sovereign, built on top of our portfolio company Algorand‘s blockchain.

The Marshall Islands claims that theirs will be “the world’s first national digital currency.” I suspect it won’t be the last.