WNSF: E. David Ellington Funding the Blockchain Revolution to Build More Momentum

Interest in new blockchain technologies has exploded in the last year as the possibilities for applications keep rapidly expanding. One way to understand the blockchain revolution is through a technical discussion – something we did early in our What’s Now: San Francisco series with Brian Behlendorf. This month we looked at the financial side of blockchain – how those with money are wading into the space and how the revolution can get funded better and really scale up. The conversation was led by E. David Ellington, the founder of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society (SVBS), which has a simple three-word mission: Fund The Revolution.

The Silicon Valley Blockchain Society is a relatively new invite-only network that’s growing gangbusters with chapters now expanding through the United States, Europe and Asia, including in New York, Los Angeles, Rome, Amsterdam, and Tokyo. Ellington describes the Society as Davos meets Bloomberg meets McKinsey meets Blackstone. The Society brings together leaders of the business, tech and academic communities in monthly sessions to talk about the strategic implications of blockchain – kind of like Davos. The Society has developed trading tools and ways to understand the whole cryptocurrency landscape and more easily invest – kind of like Bloomberg. And they are developing an advisory capacity to help large corporations and governments figure out tailored strategies towards blockchain. Ultimately they want to create a fund of funds that would let institutional investors get their feet wet and scale up their investments in the new space.

Ellington is in a great position to help explain the current state of play on the financial side of blockchain and what could be done to improve it. He’s a successful entrepreneur with a long history in the Valley who was CEO of NetNoir, an early portal play in the first Internet era, the co-founder of GridSpeak, an early big data company, and a former Trustee and Chairman on the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System, helping steer a US$20 Billion pension fund. We had a expert audience, including those with insights into the financial side of blockchain, including some from Ellington’s network, as well as those who deeply understand the technology.