Variant Fund is a venture capital firm that describes itself as “a first-check crypto fund investing in the ownership economy.” Jesse Walden and Li Jin, co-founders and general partners at Variant, join Unchained to discuss the ownership economy, issues with web2 and web3, NFTs, the future of work, and more. Highlights:
- where Li and Jesse met and how their backgrounds as investors + founders led them to the crypto space
- how Li’s investing niche, which she describes as the passion economy, ended up intersecting with crypto
- why Li believes that web3 platforms will be better for creators than the current web2 ecosystem
- why Jesse was so inspired by Bitcoin after working in the music industry for so many years
- why Jesse believes that NFTs are the “port of entry” for the mainstream adoption of crypto
- what other use-cases exist for NFTs outside of the JPEG or PNG meme (and why Jesse is so excited about music NFTs)
- why Li believes that web3 tools can help fix the issues inherent to the “gig economy”
- Li and Jesse respond to criticisms of web3 coming from Jack Dorsey and Moxie Marlinspike
- how Variant Fund thinks about investing in crypto projects
- what token allocation Variant Fund targets when investing in crypto projects
- why mainstream platforms are experiencing backlash for integrating with NFTs and crypto
- what trends in NFTs, DAOs, and the ownership economy Jesse and Li think will pop in 2022
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- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ljin18
- Substack: https://li.substack.com/
- Li Jin on the creator economy
- The future of the creator economy
- What the creator economy is doing wrong
- How to fix the “gig” style economy for creators
- How the creator economy could power universal basic income
- What labor should look like in Web3
- Building the middle class of the creator economy
- Web3 is the “golden age” of content
- Transitioning to Web3 from a non-tech perspective
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessewldn
- Website (no blogs since 2020): https://jessewalden.com/
- Random Tweets
- Music NFTs x Sound XYZ
- Commoditizing a compliment
- NFTs make the internet ownable
- Product vs. Protocol
- Leadership in the ownership economy
- How DeFi crosses the chasm
- Crypto’s Business Model is Familiar. What Isn’t is Who Benefits
- Narrative Economics
- Progressive decentralization
- Layers of blockchain computing
- Variant Fund Twitter
- Variant Fund website
- Mirror Blog (Feb 2021 article on NFTs)
- Variant Fund + Atelier joining forces