Comcast Ventures is betting on blockchain applied sciences in 2018 • TechCrunch

“In 2018 we’re doubling down on blockchain,” says Gil Beyda, managing director of Comcast Ventures, the funding arm of one of many world’s largest media and telecom firms.

For the enterprise capital arm of Comcast, an funding in blockchain isn’t opportunistic, Beyda insists. “Simply to be clear, if bitcoin had been at $15 as a substitute of $15,000 we might nonetheless be committing to this,” he stated.

Comcast Ventures has been blockchain expertise for months, pushed by Comcast and NBCUniversal’s long-standing curiosity in purposes throughout a number of of the corporate’s enterprise items.

In truth, inner experiments are already underway round superior promoting alongside Disney and Cox Communications that will likely be used to match knowledge units with out sharing client knowledge. Different experiments are underway purposes round royalty monitoring and power, Beyda says.

“Quite a lot of people try to determine how do you apply this consensus-driven immutable decentralized infrastructure and decentralized distributed purposes,” Beyda says. “We have now real-world purposes inside Comcast the place people try to unravel real-world issues with blockchain.”

Earlier this month, the corporate introduced a dedication to MState Development Lab, an accelerator program targeted on enterprise blockchain startups that’s additionally being funded by IBM and Impress, an accelerator, funding fund and bootcamp.

“In 2018, we are going to see a rising variety of enterprise blockchain use instances go mainstream from healthcare purposes to authorities, provide chain and retail to the true property and transportation industries. However for many of those use instances to succeed, blockchain startups want to have the ability to have interaction nicely with enterprise prospects. Our progress lab goes to assist make that occur,” stated MState co-founder and CEO Rob Bailey.

Bailey is chief government of MState program, which will likely be managed with help from the companions at Boldstart Ventures.

The $250,000 dedication that Comcast Ventures made to MState is just one in a collection of experiments that the fund is making an attempt because it wraps its head across the potential of blockchain for its companies and as a startup funding alternative.

The agency additionally has dedicated a couple of million {dollars} to a blockchain-focused fund as a fund-of-fund funding. And one of many agency’s portfolio firms, YouNow, is following the “when in doubt, ICO,” route.

Beyda says that Comcast Ventures is even discussing whether or not it should maintain tokens or cryptocurrencies itself.

“As a part of our transfer into blockchain applied sciences, we perceive it’s going to disrupt many several types of companies and it might even disrupt conventional enterprise companies, and we wish to get in there and perceive that,” Beyda says.

Comcast Ventures invests throughout totally different courses, committing wherever from $500,000 to $20 million within the firms it backs… and with its company father or mother, it could possibly speed up applied sciences and add scale to among the blockchain purposes which can be presently in improvement, Beyda says.

Particularly for Comcast, blockchain applied sciences round royalty monitoring, identification and digital rights administration all sound interesting.

Different leisure firms have already seen the worth in blockchain startups. Final Might, Spotify acquired the blockchain technology developer MediaChain to unravel its music attribution downside.

The worth of those purposes are utterly impartial of the worth of varied cryptocurrencies, says Beyda.

“No matter what’s taking place in cryptocurrency we predict that this expertise — like database expertise and web expertise had been transformational — this expertise will even have a excessive space of progress and adoption,” Beyda says.

Whereas the corporate intends to make blockchain a precedence, it’s not going to be overly aggressive in its experiments with the expertise.

“We’re going to take a staged strategy,” says Beyda. “We’re going to first attempt to make fairness funding in these applied sciences and consider what our token place could be shifting ahead. We’re simply making an attempt to know what are the implications in regard to governance and different points.”

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