VC Fund Head to Manage Cryptoasset Market RareBits
According to reporting by VentureBeat the co-founder of a successful VR/AR venture capital fund has left an active role at his firm to pursue a novel new investment in the crypto space. After successes in tech startups acquired in lucrative deals by Zynga and Google, Amitt Mahajan co-founded the investment fund Presence Capital, beginning with $10 million as the “world’s first virtual reality and augmented reality focused VC fund” boasting a portfolio of VR and AR innovators.
Now, however, Mahajan has left the management of Presence Capital to other capable hands to serve as CTO at a new venture he co-founded, the cryptoasset market RareBits. VentureBeat reports that Mahajan “doesn’t believe that crypto trumps VR” and that he’s still confident that the VR and AR industries will yield groundbreaking and lucrative developments —such as Oculus VR’s “Santa Cruz” wireless headset— but that for the time being he’s focused on the new and unprecedented market RareBits aims to serve.
According to its website, RareBits is a “marketplace where you can buy, sell and discover crypto assets”, an “emerging class of digital collectibles […] built upon non-fungible tokens that are provably unique and scarce on the Ethereum blockchain.” In other words, with RareBits, Mahajan seeks to create an online marketplace for the growing ecosystem of tradeable art, game items, and other collectibles represented as tokens on the Ethereum network.
Comparing the platform to existing websites such as Product Hunt, eBay, and Pinterest, RareBits allows users “to get insights on latest trends” in cryptoassets and provides them with an easy-to-use interface to buy, sell, or manage assets/tokens on individual wallets on the Ethereum blockchain.
“People are putting real money into this stuff,” Mahajan said. “They view it as an asset. The closest analogy to this is people buying rare Magic: The Gathering cards. We think we are on the cusp of something really big here.
The emerging crypto asset economy is a new and unheralded asset class, and while one day blockchain tokens may represent everything from votes to stocks to easily-transferable representations of real-world assets such as property or precious metals, at the moment RareBits is focused on the burgeoning craze of trading novel items from blockchain-based games, art, or other digital collectibles such as CryptoBots or CryptoKitties. According to VentureBeat, RareBits hosts more than half a million unique assets from 12 Ethereum-based games and dapps, and in its first month facilitated $100,000 in transactions. While RareBits’ peer-to-peer interface doesn’t charge any fees, Mahajan hopes that the platform can make money through advertising or developer services.