Y Combinator (YC) has just announced a new China division and its chief believes blockchain will bring long-term advantages to startups, according to a report
The Silicon Valley-based seed investment firm, which has incubated notable startups including Reddit, Dropbox and crypto exchange Coinbase, officially announced its entry into the Chinese market in a blog post on Wednesday alongside news that Lu Qi – a former chief operating officer of Baidu – will be in charge of the new arm.
In an interview with local media outlet 36Kr, Lu commented today that YC China’s main goal will be to focus on startup incubation, talent training and research and development, as well the creation of a non-profit research lab.
Lu also discussed blockchain, saying he believes its core features of data encryption and digitization of trust mean it has long-term potential in business.
He added that the technology is especially interesting for its provision of different types of incentives.
“At present, the incentives already in the market are usually financial, such as equity and bonds, but blockchain technology may bring innovation in the long-term incentive mechanism,” he said, adding:
“Blockchain technology will lower the threshold for entrepreneurship in [the above] areas.”
Although it’s not yet clear how much of a focus YC China will take on blockchain technology and related startups, the accelerator has already been active in the space. In addition to incubating Coinbase, YC also backed a crypto investment management startup called CoinTracker that raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round in April, as reported by CoinDesk.
In a startup event last September, YC president Sam Altman called out the initial coin offering market as being in a “bubble,” but doubled down on the firm’s commitment to integrating blockchain as a way to “democratize access” to investing.