What is your background briefly?
I started my career at an e-book start-up whose product eventually culminated in the Barnes & Noble Nook. So hardware is my original background and starting point. I joined HTC and helped launch the world’s first phone to ship with Android, the HTC Dream. I also founded the Vive VR project at HTC and from that launched Presence Capital, a venture fund specializing in VR/AR startups. Before leaving HTC briefly I led the $300 million deal for HTC to acquire a stake in Beats Electronics from Dr. Dre in 2011. Prior to returning to HTC, I was part of Horizons Ventures, Li Ka-shing’s venture fund, while I was there I served as a board director and observer for fifteen companies globally including Improbable, Sentient, 88 Rising, and Blue Vision Labs. I’m a big believer in people being able to own their own digital identity, assets and data and the smartphone is the perfect place to start. It can empower and educate users to wrestle back control from the world’s largest tech companies, so that’s why I returned to HTC and started the EXODUS and then started Proof of Capital.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
Yes absolutely. Smartphones and other hardware, everyone pretty much has a smartphone, so it’s a great place to start not only the education process about the privacy and security that blockchain and crypto can offer users, but also the adoption of that technology.
So the marrying of my hardware background with my investing background, thrown in with the philosophical ideas of crypto and blockchain is the perfect mix.
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
The view and mission is a broader one – to allow users to eventually take back control and own their own data. We are on a journey from the current internet (Web 2.0) to a decentralized internet (Web 3.0) and big companies will have to adjust to this reality.
We are in a crisis of giving away our data and digital identity for cheap endorphins and surrendering all our power to the big data monolithic cloud companies that mine that data for artificial intelligent agents and for advertising revenue.
People should own their own data – crypto and a decentralized web will allow users to protect and secure their own data, but also monetize it if they are happy to do so. This movement will revolutionize how we manage peoples data.
Users owning their own data is a big step, which is why owning your own crypto keys on a smartphone is the best and most natural educational step towards that goal.
The EXODUS is the first smartphone built for Web 3.0, and allows you to own, hold and use your crypto assets in its Zion Wallet.
Why did you get involved with this fund?
I started this fund to help the mass adoption of blockchain and crypto technology. I believe we are heading towards a fully decentralised internet and want to support founders and entrepreneurs helping to fulfil and build that vision.
Why do you think it is such a powerful idea?
Being able to own your own digital identity, assets and data I believe to be a fundamental right. We are so far down the technological age and no one has yet defined digital property. Blockchain and crypto is a chance to do that and founders need the right investors who understand the mission.
The partnership of @opera with the @htcexodus forms a new standard for the #Web3. Charles from Opera explains why it is special and provide some insights to the world of #crypto. Watch the video here –> https://t.co/GnP2XIxlAK pic.twitter.com/kyazlXA6jM
— Phil Chen (@philchen913) April 20, 2019
How can people find out more about you & your work?
You can check out the fund’s website at https://proof.fund/
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
We want to bring the standards and interactions for this new internet (web 3.0) and bring mobile and hardware know-how to our portfolio companies.
Blockchain will redefine computing and create a new framework based on trust, privacy, security, and identity.
— HTC EXODUS (@htcexodus) April 23, 2019