In this episode, we’re joined by a former Fidelity Investments VP, Matt Walsh, who started a public blockchain-focused VC fund, Castle Island Ventures. We discuss why Fidelity is so progressive on blockchain-enabled fintech, the opportunities CIV sees in blockchain infrastructure, and Matt’s predictions around regulation, exchanges, and blockchain powering the next wave of innovation. Show notes & links below; subscribe for future episodes!
Our Guest: Matthew Walsh, Managing Partner at Castle Island Ventures
Castle Island Ventures is an early stage venture fund focused exclusively on the blockchain / cryptoasset sector. Prior to founding Castle Island Ventures, Matt was a Vice President at Fidelity Investments, where he led a number of the firm’s blockchain initiatives. While at Fidelity, he led the creation, operationalization and the investment strategy of a private fund focused on cryptoasset investments.
Our Host: Abbey Titcomb
Abbey is the EiR & Head of Strategy at Onward Labs, a venture studio working with founders leveraging emerging technologies to solve the world's most pressing issues. She is also an Associate at Underscore.VC, a $85M early-stage tech venture firm with a community-centric model supporting the next generation of transformative entrepreneurs. Abbey is hyper-curious and tech-obsessed, with focuses in blockchain, artificial intelligence, and consumer tech as a whole.
00:49 - How Matt got involved in crypto in business school
01:50 - Scenario-planning for the future of blockchain & financial services while at Fidelity
06:02 - Being able to explore crypto at Fidelity because of support from the top, lack of career risk
07:50 - Early experiments with crypto at Fidelity
09:15 - Why Matt created Castle Island Ventures, started investing in blockchain companies.
10:35 - CIV's focus on public blockchains & infrastructure
11:45 - Why invest in these companies as an equity investor? Matt explains his skepticism around ICOs / the proliferation of native utility tokens.
14:07 - Market infrastructure -- custody, exchanges, *data* -- that's needed regardless.
16:10 - How CIV differs from other blockchain investors; investments they're looking to make.
18:39 - What kind of companies Matt's excited about
20:26 - The need for visibility into transaction volume on different chains
21:20 - What will be necessary for a Bitcoin / crypto ETF
24:07 - Centralized exchanges vs decentralized exchanges
25:56 - Matt's long-term view on blockchain & cryptocurrency as a whole
27:55 - How current web giants, whose businesses are built around data monopolies, will be disrupted by blockchain
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