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Are VCs looking for the next big crypto star in 2023?

Illia Polosukhin of Near Protocol believes that VC capital will flow back into early-stage startups next year, as more companies will adopt crypto and Web3.

Welcome to Forkast Forecasts 2023. In this series, leaders, innovators and visionaries in blockchains share their industry predictions for the year ahead.

Illia Polosukhin

Illia Polosukin is the cofounder of Near Protocol, a layer 1 smart contract blockchain network. Illia is an engineer with previous experience in big tech firms like Google.

He is also a cofounder of Unchain Fund, a blockchain-based project that has raised more than US$4 million to support Ukraine with humanitarian aid.

Predictions for 2023

Smart money will flow into early-stage startups

“All of the smart VCs who have been capitalized pretty well from raising their own funds will be deploying capital into the early stage startups because the maturity of those startups is like in two or three years from now. That’s exactly when we’re going to be recovering. I’m not even talking about crypto, I’m talking about the global market as well.”

Startups will adopt crypto and Web3

“There will be a lot more early-stage startups who are thinking how to use this technology but not as a crypto startup, but as a startup that uses crypto or Web3. The idea here will be like, [companies] will be building biotech [products] and use blockchain for either incentivization or communication or for opening markets. You’re building an education startup and you will do incentives to onboard your first users.”

Decentralized social media platforms will become more popular

“The biggest trend is social. Between whatever’s going on with Twitter and the social networks, they have been trying to get out of this state where they need to censor and police everything because if they don’t, they get sued by the government. But if they do it, they get outrage from the people. So moving social [networks] to a censorship-resistant place where the community is doing the moderation… that [is a] trend we’re already seeing.”