Speaking on ‘Investment opportunities in Defi & NFT’ at the AIBC Summit in Dubai on March 21, 2022, the Chairman of BigONE Exchange Anndy Lian said he firmly believed in the importance of community to the long-term success of DeFi and NFT projects.
“There is a lot of hype in the crypto market around DeFi and particularly NFTs right now. But one essential factor that sets the projects apart is the strength of their community. I think that community aspect needs to be clearly laid out when seeking VC investment,” Lian said.
While in the world of startups you traditionally started with a product or service and then sought to find and acquire customers in the DeFi and NFT world, these rules have changed. Indeed, during the ICO boom days when a white paper and a founding team with advisors was enough to gain funding, in 2022 that’s certainly no longer the case.
While a strong project team is still essential just as important is a clear vision of what the project is aiming to achieve together with real utility, said Lian. “There’s a lot of talk about projects being community-focused but what does that mean? It’s certainly true that building a community cannot just be based on a series of airdrops otherwise the community will soon disappear once the incentives dry up. I believe there needs to be along with an engaged community, a sense that the community has a real stake in the startup through its governance and its tokenomics,” Lian added.
As the current controversy over the purchase of Crypto Punks IP by Yuga Labs, which is currently reported to be in funding talks with A16z at $5B valuation, the role of VC investment in this space comes with both opportunities and risks, Lian observed. While Yuga Labs has now acquired a dominant position in the NFT market, and top VC interest along with that, there remains the challenge of keeping diverse communities onboard.
“In the long term, particularly as regulation in crypto starts to make an impact, its important to consider how a DeFi, NFT or even a meme coin project will continue to deliver value on behalf of its customers, and for its community,” said Lian, who is also a Kishu Inu Foundation council member.
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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”.