A new venture fund is looking to invest a cryptocurrency equivalent of more than $190 million in blockchain apps and startups, with a greater mission of making the Seattle area a hub for the emerging technology.
The fund comes from an alliance between investment group Reflective Venture Partners and blockchain company RChain Cooperative. RChain funds the venture, which will have a bankroll of 100 million in RChain’s cryptocurrency RHOC, which sports a current value of $1.91. That makes the dollar value of the fund approximately $191 million, but basing it on cryptocurrency creates an unpredictable variable. If the price of RHOC rises, the fund gets bigger, and if it goes down, so does the value of the fund.
The two companies say they plan to invest this year in twelve “blockchain-specific distributed applications” and the startups that build them. Investments will range in size from $250,000 to $3 million. Reflective and RChain will mentor the leaders of the companies and help them get set up within RChain’s ecosystem.
Although blockchain technology has largely been used to power digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, it could also enable new kinds of decentralized social networks, smart financial technologies, or ultra-secure medical record systems. However, the technology is still in its infancy, with kinks to work out before it can fulfill the almost limitless potential placed on it by prognosticators.
Reflective and RChain want to help blockchain grow up. RChain aims to further blockchain technology to a point where it can handle a greater volume of transactions than is possible today. The fund aims to advance an open-source platform that “addresses the deficiencies of existing blockchain architecture through speed, scale and versatility,” according to a press release.
In addition to working with blockchain startups, Reflective and RChain are building a shared blockchain work space. It is part of the companies’ greater mission to turn Seattle into a blockchain hub, the same way it has become a cloud hub in recent years.
Greg Heuss is Reflective’s managing partner. He has worked as an executive at a variety of Seattle-area startups and spent two years at Amazon as well.
RChain is the brainchild of Greg Meredith, a mathematician, software and former Microsoft employee. RChain claims that it will provide “content delivery at the scale of Facebook and support transactions at the speed of Visa.”