“I recently met with Delta Blockchain Fund and FINTECH.TV founder Kavita Gupta, who is also a visiting professor at Stanford University and a former executive at ConsenSys Ventures. We cover several topics, albeit related to one topic: blockchain and Bitcoin. Gupta discussed his 17-year experience in the fintech space, current and future plans for Delta Blockchain, and more”.
Gupta first heard of the term Bitcoin mining in 2013 while working at the World Bank in Cairo. That pushed her into mining, but “not very seriously.” However, the ICO craze of 2016 convinced her to leave her full-time job at the Eric Schmidt Foundation Fund, leading to the launch of Consensys in 2017.
In September 2021, Gupta founded the Delta Blockchain Fund, an investment fund venture that closed after receiving close to $50 million in commitments from a wide range of investors, he told CoinGeek in a phone interview. The fund features an entity known as the Delta Growth Fund, which focuses primarily on special purpose vehicles (SPVs). Gupta shared that she was probably the second female founder and the only woman of color, Indian, in this space.
“There is no shortage of money in this space today. This industry has more money than it should have. That was not the case a decade ago. There was very little money and if you were remotely involved in the crypto space, people would warn ‘oh, you’d go to jail,’” he said.
Regulations, scams and digital currencies
Can the digital currency industry regulate itself? When asked, Gupta pointed to a phrase: “The extremes of anything are bad.”
He expressed that self-regulation in any industry hadn’t worked in the past, but over-regulation without even understanding the technology and its usefulness wouldn’t work either. Citing an example of encryption, he noted that encryption was once considered a complete taboo, but today no app exists without that feature.
She said that India taxed digital currencies without even legally recognizing them as an asset.
“The Indian government is killing it by taxing it, leading to the largest [billion-dollar] brain drain in history in a span of two weeks in this industry. India should learn from countries like the UK and Spain, which have assigned a special status to cryptocurrencies,” he noted.
When asked how the industry can clamp down on the various scams occurring in ETH, Gupta responded: “Several vulnerabilities occurred in the past few months, including a recent scam where nearly $33 million worth of ETH was permanently locked up. Every time there is a tech boom, exploits happen, but the difference in this industry is that no one is trying to hide it and people are openly talking about it. Exposure of loopholes and scams in blockchain happens much faster than other technologies.”
He added that smart contract auditing and learning from past scams are essential and that companies like Quantstamp and Halborn are helpful in identifying loopholes and avoiding scams. “They do extensive testing and offer additional layers of security. The space will evolve as we identify where attacks are happening and why.
Which blockchain will last?
“There are over 10,000 coins,” I said, highlighting one of them, Bitcoin SV, and asking Gupta to share her thoughts on it. She said that her company [Delta Blockchain Fund] has not yet found any projects based on BSV. But, Gupta noted, she would be pleased and willing to consider one.
“If you know someone, send them to us,” he added with a smile.
Will only one of them last longer or forever? “The world is already multi-chain, it is no longer a monopoly,” he said
. She considers herself a big believer in Ethereum, but she did not hesitate to say that besides Ethereum, other blockchains are being used because of the lower gas fees compared to the very high fees on Ethereum. She believes that companies will choose a mix of blockchain companies and choose other blockchains based on which sector they are focused on.
“In the next three years, we will see a model of interoperable chains based on the different use cases that companies will implement. The future is not going to be a chain because different blockchains offer different benefits and entrepreneurs need it all: security, productivity, performance and low cost.
Bitcoin and Blockchain Education
Gupta teaches a course “Beyond Bitcoin” at Stanford University in California. Talking about his teaching experience, he indicated that the students had shown great curiosity about blockchain technology in the past two years.
“They are showing interest in pursuing careers in this technology and schools like MIT and Harvard already offer courses dedicated to blockchain and Bitcoin. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Ph.D. on Blockchain in the next year,” he said.
His only advice to young bitcoin investors is not to follow “WhatsApp advice” and to do your own research.
“This technology is for young people and for young people, and young people see the world in a very different way. They are digital and they expect and like instant returns and quick wins. It is about the mode of payment, but mainly about the inclusive aspect of it, and digital currency offers that,” Gupta recalled.
Gupta feels there is a shortage of female founders in this industry.
“It’s changing, not as fast as I’d like, but it’s happening. Delta Blockchain Fund has finally invested in a woman-owned company to be announced next week. Crypto still carries an image that it is about ‘crypto bros.’ In addition to investing, we have a research arm and publish articles related to extensive analysis of various blockchains, in addition to other relevant topics,” he revealed.