Alexis Ohanian knows the tech world. The reddit co-founder invests in and advises over seventy tech startups and hosts a show, Small Empires, which explores the startup community. His new book, Without Their Permission, recounts the ups-and-downs of trying to launch a company.
The Daily Ticker picked Ohanian’s brain about some of the latest stories in the tech world. What does this tech titan have to say about Twitter, John McAfee, Bitcoin’s drug problem, and where to live if you want to become a tech billionaire?
Read on to find out.
1. The New York Tech Scene
Silicon Alley has minted its first billionaire! Bloomberg has outed Jonathan Oringer, the CEO of Shuttershock, as having a net worth of $1.05 billion. Is Silicon Alley now the place to be? “Yes,” says Ohanian, “I don’t even want to call it Silicon Alley because we don’t need to be in [Silicon Valley’s] shadow.”
“More and more founders are choosing to live in New York, and start their companies here,” he continues. Oringer is the first New York City tech billionaire but certainly won’t be the last according to Ohanian.
2. Twitter IPO
Twitter is set to IPO later this year (maybe as soon as Nov. 15th according to a Business Insider post today) and though some are bearish, Ohanian is looking forward to it. “I am cautiously optimistic about Twitter,” he says. “We learned a lot from the Facebook IPO and I think they’re going to get this one right and if they do it’s going to mean a lot more tech startups following suit and a lot more IPOs on the way.”
3. The Silk Road/Bitcoin Drug Bust
Silk Road, an underground virtual marketplace where users could buy a number of goods using bitcoin has been shut down by the FBI. The sites mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, is being charged with narcotics trafficking. The site, which did $1.2 billion in business between 2011 and 2013, had become a safe haven for drug sales. An undercover investigator reportedly completed over 100 drug purchases since November 2011. So what does this say about bitcoin?
“The most telling data for me was that a number of bitcoin markets did not notice a significant drop after the shutdown, which actually shows this is not a very material part of the bitcoin economy,” says Ohanian.
Watch the video above to see what Ohanian has to say about John McAfee and more!
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