(Image credits: A Golden Bear Market by Anndy Lian)
The value of a cryptocurrency can be influenced by various factors, including news about the cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, government regulations, and overall market conditions.
There are many different types of investments in the cryptocurrency space, and the popular specific investments can vary over time. In general, some of the most popular types of cryptocurrency investments include:
Ethereum: Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts, which are applications that execute automatically when certain conditions are met. It is also used as a platform for building decentralized applications (dApps).
Decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens: DeFi refers to financial applications built on the blockchain and decentralized, meaning that they are not controlled by a single entity. DeFi tokens are often used to access or participate in these applications.
Security tokens: Security tokens are digital assets representing ownership in an asset, such as a company or real estate. They are subject to federal securities laws and are often issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Stablecoins: Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are pegged to a stable asset, such as the US dollar, to reduce price volatility.
There are many different investment theses for cryptocurrencies. Some people believe that cryptocurrencies have the potential to replace traditional fiat currencies. In contrast, others think they will be used primarily as a store of value or a means of exchange.
Still, others believe that the underlying blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, from supply chain management to identity verification.
These Are Some Specific Investment Theses for Cryptocurrencies:
The use of cryptocurrency as a means of exchange: Some people believe that cryptocurrencies will eventually be used as a primary means of exchange, replacing traditional fiat currencies.
The store of value thesis: Some people believe that cryptocurrencies will eventually be used as a store of value, similar to gold.
The blockchain revolution thesis: Some people believe that the underlying blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries and that investing in cryptocurrencies is a way to get in on the ground floor of this technological revolution.
The “greater fool” theory: Some people believe that the price of a cryptocurrency will continue to go up as long as someone is willing to buy it at a higher price, even if there is no intrinsic value to the cryptocurrency. This is sometimes referred to as the “greater fool” theory of investing.
Venture capitalists (VCs) are investors who provide capital to early-stage companies in exchange for equity ownership. In the cryptocurrency space and especially after witnessing the fall of FTX, many VCs have started to be interested in investing in companies that are working on infrastructure and applications for the blockchain, rather than investing directly in cryptocurrencies themselves.
Some Specific Areas of Interest for VCs in the Cryptocurrency Space.
Blockchain infrastructure: VCs have invested in companies working on building out the infrastructure for the blockchain, such as companies that are developing new consensus algorithms or building out decentralized storage solutions.
New blockchains get good support too. Shardeum is the world’s first EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-based sharded blockchain mainnet.
With dynamic state sharding technology, the blockchain can linearly scale and increase TPS (transaction per second) with every node added to the network.
The network can maintain low gas fees indefinitely. It was co-founded by Nischal Shetty, a co-founder of WazirX, India’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.
They have raised $18.2 million in a seed funding round from more than 50 investors, including Jane Street and The Spartan Group joined this seed round along with Wemade and others.
Web3 solutions: Web3, also known as Web 3.0, is the next iteration of the World Wide Web, and it is built on blockchain technology. It is designed to be more decentralized, secure, and open than the current Web.
VCs are looking for projects that align with the core principles of Web3 and have the potential to drive its adoption and growth. This is another rising trend.
The Venom Foundation, a Layer-1 blockchain licensed and regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and Iceberg Capital, an ADGM-regulated investment manager, have announced a partnership to launch the Venom Ventures Fund (VVF), a $1 billion venture fund.
The fund aims to invest in innovative protocols and Web3 dApps, focusing on long-term trends such as payments, asset management, DeFi, banking services, and GameFi.
The VVF will be blockchain-agnostic, meaning it will not be limited to any specific blockchain and will invest in projects based on their potential regardless of the underlying blockchain. The fund aims to become the leading supporter of next-generation digital technologies and entrepreneurs.
I noted that the VCs in my network are also looking at blockchain applications.
VCs have also invested in companies that are using the blockchain to build new applications, such as supply chain management platforms, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, and decentralized identity solutions.
Interoperability and cross-chain solutions, for example, aim to enable different blockchain networks to communicate and interact with each other and are also one of the top investment choices.
When I showed this article to some of my friends before publishing, they asked me why didn’t VCs consider investing in crypto exchanges.
The truth is that most of the VCs who understand how the crypto market works would know that exchanges are facing tremendous stress from the regulators. Having a license does not necessarily mean good, honestly. There are new travel rules that will tighten how crypto moves.
The new rules may even force DEXs to new unknown territories where the realization of profits can be deemed a nuisance for many investors. The older existing exchanges usually have very high operating costs, overspending habits on marketing, sponsorships, and staffing.
Moreover, the valuation is way too high for a good entry point, in my humble opinion.
Therefore, I believe investing in blockchain infrastructure and applications will support the development and growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and potentially generate more sustainable returns for its investors in this bear run.
It is also important to note that VC investment in the cryptocurrency space is just one aspect of the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
There are many other types of investors, such as hedge funds, family offices, and individual investors, who may have different investment theses and strategies.
Having said this, there are still many opportunities in this volatile market. I commented in the South China Morning Post yesterday, “Gold may be a safe haven”, but there were many other [crypto] opportunities elsewhere for investors “to profit from price fluctuations.”
Take a recent market movement, for example. A fellow investor in Singapore reacted quickly to short bitcoin after the US report of 6.5% CPI inflation. He made money. During the same week, he noted that the resistance level had hit its low and would bounce upward soon.
He injected another $10m to long it. Bitcoin went over $21,000. He made money again. And when he heard rumors that PBOC might start to print more money as a stimulus, he sold his crypto holdings into Chinese A-shares as he saw a higher upside in the longer run.
As a licensed fund manager and a VC myself for over a decade, this is my humble note to all.
“Believe in the underlying technology, aim for community growth and ride on the right waves for the best crypto returns.”- Anndy Lian.
Not financial advice, of course.
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.