Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), is investing aggressively in blockchain technologies and has consequently formed a team of five dubbed ‘The Blockchain Crew’ who are charged with the responsibility of spearheading the strategy. The team is headed by Gil Beyda, the managing director of Comcast Ventures.
Last month Comcast Ventures joined Boldstart Ventures and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) in a fundraising round for mState, an accelerator which makes investments in startups involved in the building of enterprise blockchain solutions. Comcast Ventures also recently invested in Blockchange Ventures which invests in startups which have used existing centralized protocols to build distributed ledger technology.
The VC arm of Comcast is investing in a variety of blockchain seeds with a view of not only generating a return eventually but also assist its parent firm in accelerating the learning curve with regards to the tech. Newly appointed, Beyda is now tasked with coming up with strategies outlining how Comcast can benefit from blockchain.
At the moment ‘The Bitcoin Crew’ meet several times in a week and during these meetings trends in blockchain are discussed as well as what impact such trends might have on Compact. In the future Comcast Ventures will also collaborate with other firms.
“We’ll be working closely with them, but we need to develop this expertise ourselves first before we can see how that plugs and plays with some of these other sectors and verticals,” said Beyda.
Comcast Corporation has also invested in blockchain other than via its venture capital unit. It has for instance joined a consortium known as Blockchain Insights Platform which boasts of Cox Communication and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) as its members. The consortium intends to apply distributed ledger technology in giving its members enhanced accuracy with regards to the targeting of adverts to customers. This will be done without the members sharing customer data that is sensitive with each other.
The Xfinity Home program of Comcast and Comcast Labs have also been using the blockchain technology in IoT devices. Through the project Comcast has conceived a way of privately connecting devices such as automated locks and cameras in the homes of its customers and the homes served by competitors safely and securely.