A crypto fund that just raised $450 million offers bull case for web3

Episode 70 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block's Frank Chaparro, and Variant Co-Founders Jesse Walden and Spencer Noon.

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Variant — a venture capital firm founded on the idea that the next iteration of the internet is going to be defined by decentralized, user-owned networks — has raised $450 million to be deployed across two new funds.

In this episode of The Scoop, Variant co-founders Jesse Walden and Spencer Noon reveal how they plan on allocating the capital — and why Variant remains bullish on the long-term future of web3.

According to Walden, the technology powering the emerging web3 industry will only improve from here:

“In the history of technology, technology doesn't get worse and disappear — it gets better and more pervasive. And that's happening at an exponential rate in Web3, because this is all software, it's all open source, and there's just tons of talent jumping in... So the tech is working, and again, I think that means it's only going to be more pervasive.”

Although web3 is still in its infancy, the Variant co-founders believe elements of it are already disrupting their centralized equivalents. For example, Walden describes how certain distressed lenders recently prioritized paying back loans to DeFi protocols over other counterparties:

“DeFi protocols were the only protocols that got paid back by some of these institutions that blew up … the transparency and sort of enforcement of these smart contracts can actually have better outcomes than the alternative, which is opacity and sort of trust in the wrong parties.”

During this episode, Chaparro, Walden, and Noon also discuss:

  • Why ‘blockspace’ will become a massive market over the next decade
  • How zero-knowledge proofs lead to exciting new use cases
  • The growth of the Web3 creator economy

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Chainalysis & IWC Schaffhausen

About Chainalysis
Chainalysis is the leading blockchain data platform. We provide data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 60 countries. Backed by Accel, Addition, Benchmark, Coatue, Paradigm, Ribbit, and other leading firms in venture capital, Chainalysis builds trust in blockchains to promote more financial freedom with less risk. For more information, visit www.chainalysis.com.

About IWC Schaffhausen
IWC Schaffhausen is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Known for its unique engineering approach to watchmaking, IWC combines the best of human craftsmanship and creativity with cutting-edge technology and processes. With collections like the Portugieser and the Pilot’s Watches, the brand covers the whole spectrum from elegant timepieces to sports watches. For more information, visit IWC.com


© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Davis Quinton covers topics ranging from digital assets to financial markets as a Podcast Editorial Fellow at The Block. When the global pandemic disrupted his progression through law school in 2020, Davis discovered the digital asset space for the first time. Davis started at The Block in early 2022 and works closely with leaders across divisions to produce content for The Block’s flagship podcast, The Scoop. He previously held positions at Wells Fargo and Finsbury Glover Hering. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi.