In the crypto world, distinguished institutional investors are always making forward-looking investments that foreshadow the next boom in the industry, which is why their investment targets have remained at the center of the spotlight. ViaBTC Capital, a crypto institutional investor founded just last year, boasts equally perceptive insights. StepN, a Move2Earn application it invested in last year, has become a successful example of gamified Web3 projects. Apart from applications, ViaBTC Capital has also been focusing on infrastructures. Since the beginning of 2022, we have prioritized investments in crypto categories that include new public chain infrastructures, Ethereum 2.0, new storage, and development tools.
The significance of investing in infrastructures
As Web3 applications such as DeFi, GameFi, SocialFi, and NFT flourish, blockchain ecosystems have also grown more diversified. New applications continue to drive up the market cap of the crypto world. Meanwhile, Web3 applications have kept on breaking the record set by Web2. For instance, projects including Compound, Uniswap, Synthetix, dYdX, Axie, and STEPN cover such categories as finance, trading, derivatives, games, reality, etc. Developers of decentralized applications (DApps) are going beyond blockchain infrastructures. They are obsessed with the development and innovation of DApps that yield high returns within the short term. This has led to problems such as high costs and difficult cross-platform operations, as well as terrible user experiences. As a result, institutional investors and users have adopted a wait-and-see attitude and are reluctant to embrace the blockchain space.
Always committed to ViaBTC Group’s vision of “being the infrastructure of the blockchain world”, ViaBTC Capital believes that only the constant progress of blockchain infrastructure could enable the advancement of blockchain in the long run. At the moment, underlying blockchain technologies and frameworks face many challenges, such as expensive gas fees, poor interoperability, difficult verification of data & index, and complicated development process.
The infrastructure portfolio of ViaBTC Capital
Among over 20 projects invested by ViaBTC Capital, 70% of them are infrastructure projects (tools included).
ViaBTC Capital focuses on infrastructures related to Ethereum, including Arbitrum (one of the most trending Layer 2 scaling solutions), Flashbots (an MEV infrastructure), Aurora (a NEAR-based EVM-compatible protocol), etc. These infrastructures provide more solutions for the scaling of the Ethereum ecosystem. Arbitrum, a Layer 2 infrastructure of Ethereum, has facilitated the extensive growth of the entire Ethereum network, enabling exponential improvement in terms of the speed and lower cost of transactions. Flashbots strives to build an efficient, democratized MEV market, which plays a critical role for Ethereum and even the whole crypto ecosystem. Aurora, a NEAR-based smart contract compatible with EVM, facilitates Ethereum’s scaling efforts and allows users to benefit from lower transaction costs.
Other infrastructures like DeFiYield (an innovative tool for managing digital assets) and BlockVision (a startup focusing on Web 3.0 data infrastructure) have also attracted much attention. DeFiYield features professional security protection, a huge Audits Database, and REKT Database. The project allows users to manage their digital assets and data on multiple chains/protocols in one stop with ensured asset security. DeFiYield is likely to become an essential infrastructure tool for all crypto users. BlockVision offers a series of APIs to make building and running blockchain queries more concise, straightforward, and accessible. It also features a development suite and visual statistics designed for developers, which makes development significantly easier. BlockVision now supports multiple chains, covering Ethereum, Arbitrum, BNB Chain, Optimism, Polygon, Fantom, and Avalanche.
ViaBTC Capital’s continued focus on infrastructure investments in 2022
New public chains: The multi-chain universe has gradually arrived, and there will be vast growth prospects and huge market demands for new public chains. Meanwhile, Ethereum and EVM-compatible chains are also making fast strides. New public chains such as Solana, Avalanche, and Terra are all rising stars in the industry. ViaBTC Capital will continue to keep track of the progress of the new public chains, as well as their innovations in terms of the underlying architecture, consensus mechanism, and user demands.
Ethereum 2.0: ViaBTC Capital believes that Ethereum may reshape the global financial system and become a platform for all decentralized applications in the future. As Ethereum upgrades to PoS, the Beacon Chain, Sharding, and Docking will all play vital roles. At the same time, infrastructures, facilities, and tools that focus on ETH 2.0 may stand out, and plenty of outstanding developers and projects will emerge, serving the whole ETH 2.0 ecosystem.
New storage: Storage, an essential part of infrastructures, meets the demand for data storage of infrastructures and ecosystem projects. Driven by the boom of NFTs, GameFi, and new public chains, the market demand for decentralized storage solutions will see exponential growth. As such, the market urgently needs more established, efficient decentralized storage solutions that come with low costs and fast responses.
Development tools: Development tools involve multiple dimensions, covering node deployment, validation, smart contracts, APIs, data index & access, etc. According to Electric Capital Developer Report (2021), the number of monthly active developers in 2021 exceeded 18,000, setting a record high. Along with the advancement of the multi-chain universe, the deployment of more DApps, and the introduction of more complex applications and contracts, the market will become more demanding for developers. We can therefore predict that developer-friendly development services will have great market prospects.
Though ViaBTC Capital’s portfolios cover multiple categories, the projects it invested in share certain common characteristics: they are ecosystem-friendly & visionary, with infrastructure potentials and advanced technologies. ViaBTC Capital will keep track of blockchain infrastructures in the long run and is heavily invested in the sector in terms of manpower and technology. It has provided innovative ideas for the improvement and revolution of blockchain infrastructures while offering constant assistance to first-class developer teams and quality projects. Such assistance is not limited to funding. Instead, ViaBTC Capital focuses on all-inclusive post-investment services, covering resource support, institutional resources, consultation about technology and business model, etc. In the meantime, it provides in-depth incubation services in terms of marketing, helping tech teams overcome their marketing shortage.
ViaBTC Capital respects developers who are committed to their ideals and provides them with substantial help. It is moving towards building the next generation of cutting-edge crypto infrastructures. ViaBTC Capital aims to create the building blocks for blockchain advance, and its investment in infrastructures might be how ViaBTC Capital paves the way for the blockchain industry.
* The above cannot be relied on as investment advice.