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Key Talks: Interview with Mike Jarmuz

Bitcoin venture capital, financial inclusion, Bitcoin as a store of value, financial sovereignty, and emerging trends in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Mark Galkevich
September 13, 2023
Key Talks

Mike Jarmuz, VC LTNGventures, Angel Investing in BTC

In your role as a Bitcoin VC, you invest in companies and startups within the Bitcoin ecosystem. How do you identify promising projects in this rapidly evolving space, and what criteria do you consider when deciding to support a Bitcoin-focused venture?

At this point many things are coming inbound to us and that’s really because there is such a limited number of VCs dedicated to the Bitcoin ecosystem. You can probably count them all on one hand. Besides that, resources like Bolt.Fun and hackathons are great places to identify new projects at the earliest stages. Most of our portfolio companies fall between the pre-seed and series a area, with some exceptions. Personally, I don’t invest in ideas, so it’s good to see something built and a founder who can bootstrap. I also prefer to invest in post-revenue companies but we have invested in pre-revenue as well. At the earliest stages you don’t really have much to look at, so it’s really about the team. I prefer to invest later, when there is more of a product, some promising traction and maybe even some revenue.

Bitcoin's impact on financial inclusion is a topic of great interest. How do you see Bitcoin breaking down barriers to financial access and enabling individuals in underserved regions to participate in the global economy?

Bitcoin removes all barriers and friction between the inability for everyone on the planet to experience true financial inclusion. It also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Companies like Azteco are working to bring Bitcoin to every end of the Earth and make it accessible. They call it consumer Bitcoin. Other companies like Bitnob in Africa are also working to make Bitcoin and other financial services more widely available. Bitcoin is permissionless and that’s crucial for remittances and cross border payments. It should instant, cheap, easy, and not require the approval of a third party. This is just one of Bitcoin’s promises.

We often hear about Bitcoin's potential as digital gold. Could you elaborate on how Bitcoin can serve as a store of value and why it's considered an attractive option for preserving wealth?

On a long enough timeline Bitcoin will continue to be the best performing store of value, preserving purchasing power and as an alternative emerging asset class that is unlike anything the world has seen before. Already Bitcoin remains the best performing asset in it’s short debut.

Can you highlight any emerging trends or areas of innovation within the Bitcoin ecosystem that you find particularly promising?

The many David’s vs. the Goliath in terms of cross border payments and remittances. Many Bitcoin companies are banding together to provide rails in which people can send money globally and not rely on Wise/Western Union, etc. In fact the end user does not even need to know Bitcoin is involved. These funds are settled in local fiat currency. In the case of Pouch in the Philippines, there is a QR code at the register and when you say you would like to pay with Pouch, the store has no idea Bitcoin is even involved. At the end of the day, they receive Philippine Pesos in their bank account and have no idea that Pouch is a Bitcoin company. This is the future, moving away from focusing on Bitcoin and just leveraging Bitcoin to perform many magic tricks in the background, while the end user has no idea. You are seeing similar innovations in the Bitcoin world solving settlement risks between telecommunications companies and in the energy space.

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