Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands, expresses confidence in the upcoming year, citing a slew of investments and partnerships poised to yield positive results in 2024. During an exclusive interview at the Next Block Expo event in Berlin, Siu, who serves as the chairman of the gaming venture capital firm, highlights around 70 investments made in 2023 that are anticipated to deliver significant returns in the coming year.
A prominent focus in Animoca’s strategic initiatives is its high-profile partnership with The Open Network (TON) blockchain, announced on November 28. Siu reveals that the investment involved acquiring an undisclosed amount of Toncoin, which was then staked as part of a validator agreement. Siu sees this collaboration as a tool for mass onboarding through the TON wallet, leveraging the vast user base of Telegram, which boasts 800 million users.
Siu emphasizes the potential of Animoca’s acquisition of Gamee, a social casual gaming platform, in July 2020. While initially challenged by the inability to monetize games on Telegram, recent integration with TON has made them commercially viable. Siu notes that Gamee is yet to be fully integrated into Telegram, but the rising value of its native GMEE token signals growing excitement and potential in the GameFi sector on the messaging platform.
In addition to GameFi, Animoca Brands has a vested interest in the wider performance of metaverse projects and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Siu notes a recovery in the NFT market, driven by long-term holders who recognize the value in the respective projects and the fundamentals behind them. He points out that the NFT market has shifted from a speculative focus to one where high-profile collections have a significantly lower percentage of assets listed for sale compared to the 2021 bull market.
Siu also cites macro factors contributing to his optimism for 2024. Anticipation surrounding the potential approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S., the conclusion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial, and Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities are identified as key reasons for positive sentiment going into the new year. Siu views these developments, along with the recent liquidation of $60 million in BTC short positions, as factors alleviating downward pressure on the markets and setting a strong foundation for Bitcoin in 2024.
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