Because of the success of Bitcoin, most people still believe that blockchains will only ever be useful to build new kinds of currency. The truth, however, is that their usefulness is actually much broader. They’re part of a larger technological trend that we all now call web3.
Modern blockchains are fully programmable—like a PC , a smartphone, or a computer in the cloud. The best way to think of a blockchain is as a new kind of computer with a unique capability: it allows programmers to write code that makes strong commitments about how it will always work. Bitcoin, for example, is a program that makes a strong commitment that there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins. But that’s only the simplest example. In the last few years, we’ve begun to see hints of what is possible starting with the emergence of DeFi and NFTs.
Every new kind of computer needs its own operating system, its own platform, and a set of tools that make it easy for developers to build new things. Personal computers have been powered by Mac OS X and Windows; smartphones have been powered by iOS and Android; and cloud computing has been powered by Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud. The companies that built those platforms—Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft—have become four of the most impactful and valuable companies in human history.
Alchemy is building the operating system and developer platform for web3.
In the same way that Apple and Amazon built platforms that help developers build on PCs, smartphones, and the cloud, Alchemy is building a platform that helps developers build on modern blockchains.I have personally known Alchemy’s co-founders, Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau, for 15 years. We all met at Stanford as undergrads studying Computer Science. There’s no question that they are brilliant. But more importantly, they are more ambitious, mission-oriented, and focused than almost any other founder I’ve met. As an investor, I’ve been in close touch with Nikil and Joe for the past four years, and they’ve consistently impressed me with their ability to move fast; recruit a world class team of former founders, product leaders, and engineers; and build Alchemy into the leading developer platform in the space.
In the past year, Alchemy’s growth across all relevant metrics has been staggering, and they are now—far and away—the leader in the category. Their platform now powers the majority of the leading companies and protocols in web3, including Aave, Axie Infinity, Dapper Labs, Flow, OpenSea, and many others. Alchemy powers over $45 billion annually in web3-based transactions for tens of millions of users across multiple blockchains worldwide—a number that is growing quickly.
We’re at a very unique time in the evolution of web3. The space is finally graduating from its infrastructure phase. With the help of companies like Alchemy, it is now capable of supporting real-world applications for mainstream audiences. Those applications then, in turn, stress the infrastructure and drives it to evolve and get even better. This year, the developer flywheel has begun to spin with full force.
We’re at an inflection point that will lead into an even faster pace of innovation and growth in web3. Alchemy is at the center of that. It’s the layer in the stack that bridges the gap between the raw infrastructure and the web3 developers who will build the killer applications for this technology and take it mainstream.
We’re beyond excited to be partnering with Nikil and Joe and help them on their mission to bring the power of web3 to the nearly five billion people who have access to the internet worldwide.