As announced this week our firm has been moving ahead with leading the Seed Round into Neutronpay, which has established itself over the past two years as the leading Lightning Service provider in Vietnam.
Where we coming from – background & viewpoints
We have built a track record over the years to get engaged in markets and opportunities which are outside of the “mainstream narrative” – but where we see the huge potential due to our close-up observations, on-the-ground experience and direct interaction with the technology and people involved.
We are not just “investors” – we are entrepreneurs.
Being able to make our own risk-reward calculations has been key to make it from literally nothing to the position where we are now.
We decided to build our Tech startup in Vietnam back in 2013 – when apart from maybe two handful of Angels with direct ties to Vietnam nobody else believed in this market.
We decided to build Vietnam’s premier Bitcoin Exchange service back in mid-2013 [Bitcoin was trading at double-digit $ amounts at the time] – when nobody apart from a few hundred weirdos in & around Bitcointalk believed in the future of it.
And we did all of this without any financial or other backing.
Nobody told us that this was the right thing to do – in fact, almost everybody we met or talked to told us that it’s crazy what we are planning to do.
“Going to Communist Vietnam to build a Startup? Do they even have the Internet there yet?”
“Bitcoin? Isn’t that this tulip bubble Internet scam thingy?”
We thought we knew better, had the guts to go against the advice from “investment professionals” and we executed on it.
It is the “crazy bets” we have made in the past which went against the “mainstream narrative” – but where we *knew* that something is there, which ultimately puts us into the position to help others on their own journey.
We are not without battle scars (there are plenty!) and we have made a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions on our journey as well.
But we made those decisions (instead of keep pondering “what if…?”), we took action – and we learned our lessons from it.
If you want to make the right choices in life – *you* must feel it and be confident about it.
Don’t let anybody else tell you what you ought to do.
Be it your parents, be it some credentialized “experts”, be it the mainstream narrative.
And this is also where you usually can find the most upside – because almost everybody else is scared about being a true contrarian and going against the peer pressure put on them.
You need conviction – and the courage to act upon it.
Character & vision alignment over numbers & hype
So much for our general background – but why now Neutronpay of all things?
Some obscure “crypto payment processor” with Canadian-Vietnamese roots?
Haven’t Crypto Payments been proven to be not a really strong use case in the past & everybody is just out to speculate on random casino tokens?
First of all, we have known, observed, cooperated, talked and built stuff with the Founder Albert since about two years.
This was for us a sufficient time to build the trust needed to take our cooperation a step further.
We strongly prefer to work with people who do *not* give us any red flags and who work with a long-term vision in mind.
Who are able to do solid groundwork, who know what it takes to build a company with little means and are okay with doing humble, but highly focused work.
Who are looking to avoid the “quick opportunities” which end up compromising and diverging you from your true goals and pathway.
Who are looking to make decisions and build a company and network of partners which will compound over the years to come.
The total opposite of the glamour/glitz nonsense you read about in the well-known brand name Online Tech & Startup News Outlets, which are by and large fostering a culture of hyped-up nonsense and “fake-it-til-you-make-it” which unfortunately also left a strong mark on the Vietnamese Startup-Ecosystem.
Bullshit numbers and bullshit announcements just to impress & get into the headlines.
With often very little to show for it behind the scenes.
A very little talked about secret to achieve success:
Making up stories and being untruthful for achieving some short-term goals is the best way to disqualify yourself to work ever again with people who have a long-term outlook on how they handle their lives and business.
With these provisions, we found that Albert over the course of the two years we engaged with him fits our bill and has an aligned mindset when it comes to how to build your business and the relationships around it.
Furthermore we have been actively using his product, we have built some first integrations with our own services and we are looking to expand the partnership on a technological and business-expansion level.
We have deep experience in the space and we know:
His product works.
His product rocks.
It’s clean, fast and easy.
And it’s just the basic functions which it provides by now with many more advanced use cases to come which can evolve into a real technological edge.
We also know from talking with him over extended periods of time about the future of Bitcoin and how the network is going to evolve, that he has actually deep expertise on the matter and can see “where the puck is going”. And is accordingly building for it.
From what we can see many “Blockchain investors” fall for various bullshit narratives peddled by various “project teams” because they don’t have the experience, knowledge and capability to parse out the truth from a barrage of bullshit buzzwords.
If you can’t have an in-depth or high-level discussion (and this requires that you have a very solid understanding of the topic matter as well) with such a “project team”, then it’s simply a “stay away”.
The Bitcoin Future – built by Bitcoiners
Last but not least, we also agreed on the matter that the absolute majority (exceptions confirm the rule) of “VC’s” is toxic money for Startup Founders.
It’s the poisoned apple which tastes sweet for the moment – but often sooner than later proves lethal to your dreams and takes your soul.
It is a topic I hopefully will find the time to expand upon with a separate blog post in the near future, but for now:
We are luckily living in a time, where increasingly principled Bitcoiners have the means and capability to help fund other Bitcoiners to build out the infrastructure needed to advance the cause further.
Bitcoiners who put their own money on the line, their own skin in the game – and who are in it for the cause and for the long-term, rather to fulfil some “investment mandate” with other people’s money.
Get people on your team and on your board who strengthen your team – rather than weaken and distract from its original vision.
It’s the amount of hours logged in Bitcointalk & Bitcoin Stack Exchange and the amount of Satoshis stacked – rather than some “titles” & “credentials” from “reputable institutions” from a group of people who is mainly where they are due to their loyal service to the Cantillon Insider Club.
The business case – Bitcoin, Scaling and the Lightning Network
Last, but not least:
What is the business case for Neutronpay?
Bitcoin is rapidly moving to establish itself as the new World Reserve Asset.
More or less all the predictions made over 10 years ago in some obscure threads on Bitcointalk are turning now into reality in fast succession.
But we are also moving towards the era, where normal Bitcoin on-chain transactions will not be viable anymore for retail users.
You might like it or not – but it is the reality of where we are heading towards.
And while a variety of scaling solutions has been worked on and partially implemented – much more needs to be done.
There won’t be the “one-size-to-fit-them-all” scaling solution – – but a variety of them, many of them increasingly inter-operational.
Many of these solutions have different types of trade-offs and target use cases.
Besides various off-chain settlements, sidechains, tokenized Bitcoin, Bitcoin IOU’s etc which are all going to play (and are increasingly so) their role as well as further efforts to scale the transaction capacity of the Bitcoin main chain (e.g. via Taproot/Schnorr), batched transactions, increasing adoption of the Native SegWit transaction format, the Lightning Network has been discussed widely in the Bitcoin community as one of the ways to keep Bitcoin transactions fast & cheap, while also increasing the privacy of the transacting parties in the same turn.
The Lightning Network has its own technical challenges and drawbacks – but we also have seen tremendous progress made over the past two years in terms of protocol upgrades, bug fixes and general UI upgrades as well as adoption by exchange, wallet and other Bitcoin service providers.
As such, the Lightning Network has in our own eyes reached this critical mass of mindshare with the movers and shakers in the Bitcoin Ecosystem which – taken together with the progressing monetization & value increase of Bitcoin – will assure that within the coming three years massive additional resources will be deployed by players large and small into building out and integrating the Protocol across the whole ecosystem.
We believe that Neutronpay with its practical expertise built up over the past two years and the headstart in in-depth knowledge about the technology as well as the Network topography, transaction routing and liquidity management will be able to play a major role in our part of the world to build out this infrastructure.
We have been in a place ourselves many years ago where we had to suffer for the first couple of years bootstrapping our company from literally less than nothing.
It’s time for us to give something back to fellow Bitcoin entrepreneurs – and we believe that Albert and his team at Neutronpay are therefore a good bet.
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