Alex Fauvel: Bitcoin is a tool you can use to do whatever you want

Alex Fauvel is a technologist and entrepreneur with a passion for Bitcoin – and Bitcoin SV (BSV) in particular. His Two Hop Ventures, based in the Netherlands, is a fund that invests in companies that are building “on BSV and BSV only,” Alex says. “We are not interested in any other technology – other than what Satoshi created.” The fund has given itself 18 months to raise money from investors, and is aiming for 40 million Euros to invest in a portfolio of around 15 companies. 

Two Hop wants to invest in businesses that work in the infrastructure layer, rather than consumer apps. “There’s much more value there,” Alex says. Although, in the end, value on Bitcoin may migrate to consumer products, for the moment “users don’t trust it” – so, for now, consumers shouldn’t even be aware of the technology behind Bitcoin-powered services that they’re using. 

It’s the opposite to the trend in Internet companies like Amazon which started as a consumer business but now makes its largest profits from infrastructure, in the form of Amazon Web Services. 

“What we’re really looking for at Two Hop is something that the Internet cannot do, that people aren’t even necessarily aware of, but they need desperately,” Alex says.

Alongside the venture fund, Alex is also Director of a BSV-based business called Pixel Wallet, which has a technology that conceals user data in pictures stored on the blockchain. It provides a solution, Alex says, to “the problem of encryption eventually being broken through the passage of time”. Alex is thinking in terms of the next hundred years, during which time computing power will become ever greater. 

The technology behind Pixel Wallet uses the ‘random’ quality of a photographic file to hide the blockchain information within a much larger data set. Steganography, as the encryption process is called, has the equivalent function of data masking techniques that are used by the credit card industry, but it’s “data masking on steroids”.  

“To legally own a digital asset is very, very difficult right now,” Alex says, “and that technological problem is not likely to be solved by technology. It’s more likely to be solved by law.” To get Pixel Wallet going, “we’re trying to convince BSV startups that this is possible, this is compliant and this is in their best interest.”   

Alex’s background is in technology, having studied mechanical engineering at UCL in London. But he says he’s “always wanted to get into business”. He became interested in Bitcoin while still at university in 2013: “I was just absolutely fascinated by it – because no-one knew how it worked …everything about it was unknown.” It’s “a tool …you can use to do whatever you want with.” 

Today, he’s just as enthusiastic and has a big vision of Bitcoin’s potential: “it’s something we interact with …and it shows us what we are, how we interact with one another.” As to where we should look for big breakthroughs in the use of Bitcoin technology, Alex points to replacing remaining paper requirements: “I’m quite shocked at how paper-based business is still”. 

Hear more from Alex Fauvel in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

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