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Dragonfly Capital’s Haseeb Qureshi Discusses DeFi, NFTs, The Metaverse And More – Forbes

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Haseeb Qureshi, Dragonfly Capital Managing Partner, discusses DeFi, NFTs, blockchain gaming, the … [+] metaverse and more.
Featured prominently throughout Chinese and Japanese culture, the dragonfly is a creature symbolizing change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. No other technological innovation embodies change more than the crypto industry, as crypto projects and startups attempt to transform individuals’ relationships with their finances, incumbent institutions, online communities, and digital identities.
Dragonfly Capital aspires to be a steward for this societal and technological change, supporting nascent projects bringing crypto to the masses. First launched in 2018 with a $100 million fund, Dragonfly launched a second $250 million fund and continues to grow.  Dragonfly has invested in some of the industry’s leading DeFi protocols, layer one smart contract platforms, and infrastructure providers. Dragonfly was an early stage investor in Compound, MakerDAO, Avalanche, 1inch, Amber, Matrixport, Anchorage, BitGo, and Coinbase, amongst other portfolio companies.
Haseeb Qureshi is the Fund’s Managing Partner, and just one conversation with him demonstrates how deeply he thinks about the space and its development. Haseeb has a background as a professional poker player, which he pursued for five years until the age of 21 before learning how to code and becoming a software engineer at Airbnb.
While working at Airbnb, Haseeb quickly discovered a passion for crypto and subsequently worked at Earn.com which was later acquired by Coinbase. At that point, Haseeb met notable investor and technology thought leader Naval Ravikant, joining Metastable Capital as General Partner en route to launching Dragonfly Capital. 
In fact, Naval has now become an Advisor to Dragonfly, noting “Haseeb is a rare independent, first-principles investor. He’s technical, insightful, and assembles his own uniquely pragmatic view of where the space is headed. He’s one of my first calls when I’m trying to understand a new project, and I’d back him in anything he does.”
Beyond the financial freedom and incorruptible non-state digital monies offered by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Haseeb sees tremendous value in mainstream crypto use cases spanning NFTs, DeFi, blockchain gaming, and the metaverse.
“Profile picture NFTs are the first digital-native way for people to flex their wealth, which is a big part of the human experience,” said Haseeb. “Before NFTs, the only way someone could flex online would be to post a picture of their Tesla. But NFTs are so much larger than just this initial use case. NFTs are a system for global property rights, in a way that is open and transparent. It is like the world’s biggest instance of Minecraft where everyone can bring their collective imagination to build something new.”
All asset managers in the crypto space must decide whether their investment mandate covers equity, tokens, or both. Each presents its own challenges that fund managers must consider. Equity possesses little to no liquidity until an IPO or exit but confers stronger investor rights and protections, whereas tokens have a much faster timeline to liquidity but must be managed as volatile public market positions. Furthermore, token investments are subject to the cyclical nature of the market as the majority of crypto assets have historically exhibited strong correlation to Bitcoin’s halving cycle, with higher market beta. 
“Most tokens back in 2017 added more friction and made things worse, but in 2021 we have arrived at a better way of using tokens as an accelerant for growth,” commented Haseeb. “We are now beginning to understand quantitatively how to use tokens to align user incentives and optimize growth, similar to how early stage tech companies approach growth marketing.”
Compound was the first DeFi protocol to popularize “yield farming” (also known as liquidity mining) in which protocols programmed additional rewards for users into their supply schedules as a user acquisition strategy. Other protocols quickly followed suit.
“Early on, protocols would shoot out 10,000% APYs for two weeks, with their tokens rising in price rapidly but then quickly collapsing,” said Haseeb. “Uniswap had a proposal for yield farming incentives, but the proposal was shot down as the community determined the program would not materially change liquidity or impact net demand relative to the next best platform. Aave did a similar analysis and launched only a limited program for liquidity mining.”
Haseeb views the novel Play-to-Earn blockchain gaming model as a similar user incentive mechanism to liquidity mining. Axie Infinity is the first blockchain game that implemented Play-to-Earn as an incentive model where users own their in-game assets and earn financial rewards for playing the game. Axie Infinity has generated over $185 million in revenue in the last 30 days, second only to the ethereum protocol itself and beating out all other EVM compatible platforms such as OpenSea, dYdX, Metamask, Aave, MakerDAO, and others.
“Play-to-Earn is similar to liquidity mining but it appeals to a very different user. The vast majority of users are in developing countries where they are using these games to fund their lives, doing it as a job,” said Haseeb. “In gaming, power laws dominate, where a small portion of users spend the vast majority of the money. The most successful games will find high value customers.”
Gaming, NFTs, and crypto networks are core components of the quickly emerging metaverse. The metaverse is an enigmatic topic, and there is a lot of debate over what the metaverse ultimately will look like. As users interact with virtual worlds, communicating, playing video games, producing creative collaborative content or corporate work, the metaverse will be communal hubs for borderless coordination.
In Haseeb’s view, the metaverse is a “loose confederation of open virtual ecosystems that connect to each other and are freely traversable. Using NFTs, all digital assets and items will be ownable in the metaverse.” Companies like Facebook announced major plans to develop the metaverse, understanding this is a big trend they want to get ahead of. 
NFTs, DeFi, gaming, and the metaverse are all key domains the crypto economy is actively growing. Dragonfly Capital aims to play a role in accelerating these ecosystems as well as stay ahead of newer emerging trends within crypto.

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Metaverse Crypto Index Fund Launched by Matthew Ball, Multicoin, and Bitwise – Decrypt

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There's a wide array of crypto builders working to bring the metaverse to life, whether it's via platforms, tools, assets, or infrastructure. Now one of the leading voices around the metaverse has launched an index fund focused on crypto assets tied to the next-generation internet.
Today, writer and venture capitalist Matthew Ball announced a partnership with Multicoin Capital and Bitwise Asset Management to launch the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index. Bitwise has also made an associated fund available to qualified purchasers.
"We developed the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index Fund because, prior to today, there was no easy, expert, and methodologically diversified way for investors to have broad-based exposure to bona fide metaverse-focused crypto assets," Ball told Decrypt.
"To this end, the Index doesn't exist to time Event A or Market Conditions B. It exists so that investors can participate in what we believe is a multi-trillion dollar transformation, which will unfold over the coming decade," he continued. "If blockchain is relevant to the future of the metaverse, and our approach is sound, we believe the opportunity is significant—today, tomorrow, next month, and so forth."
The index will feature up to 40 crypto assets chosen by the partners, but a list of included assets was not provided to Decrypt by the time of publication. Bitwise's associated fund is available to qualified purchasers with a $100,000 minimum investment.
Ball described the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index as a "rules-driven index that combines the best of institutional indexing approaches with special adaptations to the crypto and metaverse spaces. That includes various risk screens, such as analyzing liquidity, developer activity, tech and regulatory risk, and "relevancy to the metaverse," said Ball.
"The ultimate goal is to curate the crypto assets that will be outsized contributors to the creation and success of an open metaverse," he added.
The metaverse refers to a future version of the internet that many believe will be built on blockchain technology. It's expected to be a more immersive and interactive experience that people navigate via 3D avatars and use for work, play, shopping, and socializing. It may also use NFT assets for user-owned items like avatars, apparel, and virtual land.
Ethereum-based games like Decentraland and The Sandbox are seen as early examples of the metaverse.
Facebook also showcased its own vision for the space and even rebranded its parent company to Meta last fall. However, it's not entirely clear whether Facebook's plan is for an open platform that is interoperable with others.
Ball is a leading writer on the metaverse whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Economist, and Bloomberg. His book, "The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything," is due out from W.W. Norton in July.
He's also a managing partner at EpyllionCo, which has invested in crypto startups such as Dapper Labs and Mirror, as well as a venture partner at Makers Fund. Ball is also behind the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF, which focuses on metaverse-centric stocks and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
"Our objective was the creation of a diversified, balanced, and expertly-designed crypto Metaverse Index," explained Multicoin Capital co-founder and managing partner, Kyle Samani.
"This required a similarly capable team," he continued. "Matthew Ball is the definitive thought-leader in metaverse strategy and investing. We specialize in crypto assets and are one of the preeminent crypto investment firms. And Bitwise Asset Management is the proven leader in crypto indexes and index funds."

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Meta's losses show the metaverse's costly risk – Insider Intelligence

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Facebook parent Meta launches startup accelerator with India’s IT ministry in metaverse push – TechCrunch

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Meta Platforms is looking at India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem as it bolsters its bet on the metaverse. The social juggernaut has partnered with the Indian IT Ministry’s startup hub to launch an accelerator in the country to broaden innovation in emerging technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality, officials said Tuesday.
MeitY Startup Hub and Meta’s effort, called XR Startup Program, will work with 40 early-stage startups and help them in research and development and developing workable products and services. Each startup will also receive a grant of over $25,000, the American giant said.
The program, supported by Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund, will initially hand pick 80 startups to attend a bootcamp. It will also help startups with finding customers, inking relationships and raising funds, Meta said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns.
The XR Startup Program is the latest of Meta’s growing participation in the South Asian market’s upskilling efforts. The firm, whose Facebook and WhatsApp services identify India as their largest market by users, partnered with Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in the country, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators in the country.
The program — to be implemented by four Indian institutions, including IIT Delhi — will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories including education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism, the American giant said.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
Meta’s interest with working with startups in India is also not newly found. The company has backed three startups in the country, including social commerce platform Meesho and online education group Unacademy.
3 views: Is the metaverse for work or play?

“India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India, in a statement.
“For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”

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