LSE Report Reveals Dismal Performance of VCs in Bitcoin

A new report by Dr. Garrick Hileman and Danqing Ying of the London School of Economics reveals some interesting and noteworthy facts and figures about the state of the fiat-facing Bitcoin economy – that Tacoma Narrows bridge of finance that exists largely in the minds of government regulators and social media "experts" – from which, some highlights:

  • Investment by Bitcoin-related Venture Capitalists is down 41% quarter-over-quarter and down 63% since Q1 2015 as the strategy of farming likes and clicks reveals the full extent of its futility in this arena.1
  • The number of new bitcoin-accepting businesses added in Q3 2015 is a curiously round number of "6`000" compared to the comparatively more precise 12`936 from Q2 2014 and 10`360 from Q3 2014. In fact, all of the 2015 figures are even multiples of 6`000. What are the chances ?2 But even taking these platonically smooth numbers at face value, there was a quarter-over-quarter reduction in new merchants added by a whopping 50% and a year-over-year reduction of 42%.
  • Bitcoin purchases on Expedia are down 40% over an undefined period according to Connie Chung, Senior payments product manager at Expedia.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the "greatest potential for bitcoin adoption"
  • Bitcoin remittance firms are struggling for survival as they realise the true cost of delivering services to remote areas with poor infrastructure and political instability (not to mention the cost of their own internal fraud).3
  • Bitcoin ATM deployments have slowed by 54% year-over-year.4
  • China-based miners control over 50% of the Bitcoin network's mining power.5
  • The New York Department of Financial Services "BitLicense" scheme was a flaming disaster that drove out no less than 15 bitcoin-related businesses from the state and cost leader of the charge, Ben Lawsky, his political career.
  • Bitcoin price volatility in 2015 is roughly half what it was in 2014.
  • The total altcoin market cap remains less than 10% of that of Bitcoin.

  1. Furthermore, despite the widely accepted if logically dubious hyptothesis that "emerging markets have the most potential for Bitcoin because reasons," VC investment in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa saw ZERO new investments in the past 6 months. 

  2. The sources for these figures are surveillance state apparatus Coinbase and the ever-more-desperate BitPay

  3. Turns out that Western Union and Moneygram weren't quite as "usurious" and "oppressive" as children on Reddit made them out to be. Who could've predicted ? 

  4. Though it seems that firms like Lamassu are performing better than the beleaguered Robocoin

  5. And there appears to be little to no chance that American-led efforts at mining using cable boxes, light bulbs, and toasters will balance this equation. 

2 thoughts on “LSE Report Reveals Dismal Performance of VCs in Bitcoin

  1. Somehow I feel compelled to quote from 2013.

    To sum up : what we have so far are a few millions invested in hopeless start-ups that have no talent, no business model, aren't solving a problem and generally speaking don't exist other than as a tag on an orange calling it a potato. This constitutes no basis of future importance whatsoever. The story here is quite simply that unless we see billions of dollars pouring into viable Bitcoin companies within a year or two, the US and the English speaking world generally will have missed this boat.

    Nobody will care that the original paper may have been written by an American and the original discussion on the long forgotten original Bitcoin forum was carried in English. I can deal just as well with Russian investors, I can deal just as well with Chinese investors, Bitcoin is completely neutral from a cultural perspective. This neutrality means that cultures will have to compete. So far the US is losing this competition at this level. If things don't get fixed soon the only thing that we'll be able to say for sure about Bitcoin regulation will be that it won't be written in English, and it won't consider US interests or sensibilities.

    This is possibly the last chance to take those piles of fundamentally worthless US dollars and use them for something with any sort of future value.

    Turns out that neither not reading nor pretending to have not read offer any protection whatsoever.

  2. > scheme was a flaming disaster

    Bravo. Seriously. "Disaster" does not do this idiocy justice. Now, "flaming disaster"… I likes.

    > Sub-Saharan Africa has the "greatest potential for bitcoin adoption"

    Only because the Prince of Nigeria reads Qntra and posts comments.

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