“Blockchain for me represents freedom,” said Viktor Fischer, managing partner of the Rockaway blockchain fund.
Fischer grew up in Czechoslovakia, which he describes as a communist country that offered little freedom until its dissolution in 1989.
“We could not travel abroad,” said Fischer at an interview during Crypto Bahamas. “We could not even get another currency.”
This upbringing informed Fischer’s interest in blockchain technology.
“It really allows everyone to access the same financial services,” Fischer said. “This is why I got passionate about it.”
Now he runs Europe’s largest blockchain and decentralized finance fund, the Rockaway blockchain fund, which has $120 million assets under management, according to its website. 
The fund offers exposure to leading crypto investments firms from Multicoin Capital to Framework Ventures as well as direct exposure to projects like solana, cosmos, uniswap and vega.
Traditional venture capital fundraising has started to slow amid a more challenging macro environment, but crypto fundraising remains on a tear.
Rockaway’s edge for getting into these deals is by getting in early and helping founders build, whether that’s running validators, providing yield, building smart contracts or even organizing hacker houses.
“We are basically engineers,” Fischer said. “We run the staking operation. We also have a yield fund, we provide liquidity into protocols, and it helps them to bootstrap, because then the TVL grows earlier and then they can use the money we lend them to basically bootstrap the operations.”
One example of Rockaway’s support is in the management of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
“DAOs don’t necessarily work, they are definitely not autonomous … So there has to be someone who puts in the calendar regular calls, basically tells the guys that there should be an update of a new version and when you are early, someone has to do it. And often, it’s not the founders because they have other priorities, like developing, like coding.”
Despite having an engineering approach to investing, Fischer doesn’t want to have to step in if one of the projects he invests in fails. A recent example of this is when Jump Crypto stepped in to backstop Wormhole, a cross-chain bridge, after it was hacked and lost $320 million.
Fischer explains that Jump Crypto’s support of wormhole made sense because it is a project within their own ecosystem, but it’s different for venture capital firms.
“We don’t want to bail out projects because I think it also sets a precedent,” Fischer said. “The founders need to be responsible and the VCs as well to make sure that there are no issues by hackers.”
“Once you bail them out, then what is their skin in the game?” he added.
Despite the security issues facing cross chain bridges, this is a key focus area of investment for Fischer alongside oracles.
“We think that right now, basically it [is] the era of cross chain bridges,” said Fischer, who recently invested in cross chain bridge Axelar.
He’s also closely watching the move-to-earn and work-to-earn trend as STEPN (GMT) takes off.
STEPN is a Web 3.0 game where players earn crypto by walking, running or jogging. Since the token’s launch in March, it’s surged 900% from $0.15 on March 9 to $1.44 on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap. But Fischer isn’t yet convinced on the business model.
“I spoke to someone who was using STEPN, and they told me for them to walk one mile was $500,” Fischer said. “But STEPN is a different business model, it’s basically just when you’re doing something, you get tokens, but there is no benefit on the other side that you are doing this work.”
Fischer instead looks to other players in the market like Helium, a decentralized wireless internet network, where individuals do work but this output is then of value to someone else. He highlights two companies doing this:
Hivemapper pays individuals to collect map data using a dashcam and in return receives HONEY tokens. The company aims to create a community owned map network where individuals will buy map credits using HONEY to then access the dataset.
RealityMaps is a 360-degree imagery dataset platform on the solana network.
Individuals submit high quality photos of urban areas and in return receive RealityCoin for their work once verified by the network.
Enterprise companies then use RealityCoin to access and pay for RealityMap data.
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