Forkast.News is now Forkast Labs

VC names jump in on NFTs; Crypto investors brush off Evergrande

VC names jump in on NFTs meanwhile crypto investors brush off Evergrande

Well-known VC names validate NFT space.

Crypto investors brush off Evergrande concerns.

Korean lawmaker reveals crypto exchange data ahead of September 24 deadline. 

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, September 23.


Welcome to The Daily Forkast, September 23, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News covering all things blockchain.

Ok, so we already know the NFT space is on a roll. We’ve been talking about it for a long time, but the past few days have actually seen a number of large venture capital funds jumping right in the involvement of well-known names, including Japan’s SoftBank, GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and Singapore’s GIC Sovereign Fund – all give vital validation to the space. We’re going to find out what that means for the future and a whole lot more coming up.

Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

First up, Dapper Labs, the company behind the NBA Top Shot NFT series, is the latest to announce a hugely successful funding round led by two other participants in the US$250 million round include a16z, GV and GIC.

And that follows hot on the heels of SoftBank leading a USS$680 million round in French fantasy soccer game NFT startup Sorare.

Forkast.News, Monica Ghosh has more on what these moves mean for the rapidly growing space of NFTs.

Softbank is known for investing incredibly large amounts that send valuations soaring. Could this mean that investing in NFT companies is set to get more expensive?

One expert told Forkast.News that the NFT market is hot right now, with valuations inflated, but resources are looking for investments with high potential.

“Softbank is really just the start. I mean, SoftBank indicates how big the ticket sizes are now getting, but actually, we’ve seen VC moving into the NFT space for quite a few years. What we’re now seeing is far larger venture rounds, and I think that’s set to continue to increase in size.”

Yat Siu of Animoca Brands, which has previously invested in Dapper Labs, says SoftBank’s move will encourage a wider pool of investors to get involved.

“It used to be that those types of investments really came really from crypto native investors, and now with the advent of a SoftBank or GIC or other types of investors, these are the kind of investors that are not known to typically be investing in the crypto space. This is just the beginning.”

Gazmararian says that in terms of validating the industry, the numbers getting involved going from tens to hundreds of thousands is actually more important than SoftBank’s involvement.

Both agree that as the market is so new, there are still opportunities for VCs to find companies with lower valuations.

For Forkast.News I’m Monica Ghosh.

Meanwhile, news of developer China Evergrande Group resolving a scheduled payment has sent markets back into positive territory.

The crypto market was up across the board as markets opened Thursday morning Asia time. Polkadot and Solana saw the biggest moves, each gaining 17% over the past 24 hours.

And Forkast.News Lachlan Keller reports on the turnaround.

Bitcoin gained 5%, while Ethereum gained 9% and Cardano regained its third spot position, as Evergrande stepped back from its debt cliff.

However, one expert told Forkast.News that while one coupon payment being resolved is good news, many uncertainties remain, including the full details of that payment.

With regard to restructuring, he’s skeptical as to whether the Chinese government would consider turning Evergrande into a state-owned enterprise.

“Property is not going to be key to the to the next 20 years that the Communist Party in China. They want to switch this away from the property and they want to get into advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, and things like that. So it would kind of give a mixed signal to the market. And I’m pretty sure they’re not, you know, they’re keen not to do that.”

Sullivan also says he’s concerned over the news that China Estates has been selling down its stake, as historically Evergreen has had a lot of friends who would be willing to support it, which means investors should be wary of a dead cat bounce.

For Forkast.News, I’m Lachlan Keller.

And finally, with Korea’s crypto deadline looming, data is revealing more about the massive popularity of crypto trading in the country.

There are currently three types of exchanges in Korea – those that have met both the government-mandated requirements, those that have met only one of the two, and the rest which have failed to meet any.

Only four: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit have met all the new standards. And according to data from lawmaker Kang Ming-kuk, these four oversee more than US$50 billion worth of deposits or about 96.1% of total deposits in crypto in the country.

Now, between them, they have 12.5 million users, but Upbit remains a dominant player, responsible for 8.2 million of that total.

So here’s how it stands just one day before D-Day.

25 smaller exchanges meet one requirement being certified for their level of information security. Now, these exchanges cannot offer cash-to-crypto functions they operate instead token-to-token services.

Data from 18 of these show a little less than US$2 billion worth of deposits shared across 2.2 million users.

And thirty-something exchanges that fail to meet either requirement have already shut down or will close as of Friday.

Now, many have already raised a lot of noise here, denouncing authorities, saying their tactics have caused an exodus of users into just the dominant four, the big guys get all the glory while the little ones are forced into extinction.

Authorities have been unyielding so far, but we won’t totally be sure who will go dark after September 24 and who will make it to see the light of dawn.

More or less than 24 hours to that story. Stay tuned.

And that’s The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more visit Forkast.News. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.

Forkast+ Exclusive analysis

Rune Christensen

MakerDAO’s Christensen wants to make DAOs fun again. He’s not alone.

Projects are rethinking how to make DAOs more fun and less disappointing.
Dubai skyline

From Silicon Valley to Sand Dunes: Why Indian crypto firms eye Dubai expansion

Indian crypto companies flock to Dubai, escaping high local taxes and finding solace in the emirate’s favorable regulatory environment.

Delivered weekly on Thursdays

The Current Forkast

An unmissable weekly round up of the biggest stories in emerging tech from an Asian perspective, featuring commentary from Forkast Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Check out recent editions.