OKX Ventures Crypto Investment Report in Mar.&Apr.

OKX Ventures
9 min readMay 19, 2023

Over the past month, the crypto industry has experienced significant growth, and OKX Ventures has witnessed many achievements in the major crypto community.

The successful completion of the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade resulted in a brief initial withdrawal spike, but the number of deposits and validators has continued to grow. Many users are also trying to participate in staking, and ETH deposits have far exceeded the number of withdrawals. LSD has also witnessed more new technological advances and directions, such as DVT, restaking, aggregated trading, and derivatives, which will allow LSD to expand further.

The ZK Layer-2 ecosystem is growing rapidly. Since zkSync was launched in March, the zkSync Era has been growing quickly, with TVL breaking through 100 million on April 10, just 17 days after the mainline launch. Currently, TVL exceeds 250 million, and the cumulative number of addresses in the zkSync Era has surpassed 500,000. The number of wallets interacting across chains peaked at 40,000 per day (on the third day of the Mainnet launch.) The Scroll test network has also exceeded expectations, with four million unique wallet addresses and over 500,000 transactions processed per day. StarkWare has released StarkEx V5.0, introducing multi-asset trading, support for ERC-1155 and ERC-20 token minting, and other features.

The Bitcoin (BTC) ecosystem is also growing rapidly, and the BRC-20 and Ordi ecosystems are receiving significant attention. There are already over 18,000 Ordi tokens with a market cap of over 630 million. As a result, new technological innovations, such as BTC scalability, sidechains, state channels, Rollups and client validation, are continuing to emerge. OKX, together with partners such as Unisat, will continue to explore technological advancements for the industry.

OKX Ventures has maintained its focus on the industry over the past two months and continues to be bullish on the ZK ecosystem, infrastructure, multi-chains, web3, etc. Our recent investments in Berachain, Taiko, Sei Network, Cetus and AlienSwap reflect this focus.

Berachain

Project Overview

Berachain is a Layer-1 blockchain based on DeFi. It is a high-performance, EVM-compatible blockchain built on the Cosmos SDK and secured by its novel Proof-of-Liquidity consensus. Proof-of-Liquidity allows users to stake a basket of blue-chip digital assets. Berachain creates a new interoperability layer between the consensus engine and the virtual machine, responsible for maintaining the “consensus collateral” chain native stablecoin and improving the efficiency of pledged capital. It also provides an increased level of witch resilience compared to traditional Proof-of-Stake (POS) protocols.

Project Highlights

Berachain has an innovative economic model, with three native tokens: BERA, which serves as a gas token, BGT, which functions as a governance token and HONEY, a consensus-collateralized stablecoin. Berachain’s “Tri-Token System” stems from the team’s belief that every decentralized economy has three main components that are essential to its operation. The first is the medium that both prices units of work and performs said work in the form of smart contract execution (gas), the second is the medium that organizes and reaches consensus in a democratic function and makes decisions about the future of the network (governance) and the third is the medium that conducts transactions through a common stable denomination (stablecoin).

Users can stake various Layer-1 tokens, stablecoins, blue chip DeFi tokens, etc. entrusted to validators on them and will be rewarded with blocks in the form of BERA, thus providing liquidity to the ecosystem while protecting the network.

The team aims to create inherently valuable assets for long-term supporters of the ecosystem by tying the token economics of the BERA and BGT tokens to the base layer of the chain and driving fees to stakers, while working to solve the problems facing token governance in the DeFi 2.0 era.

Berachain claims that every protocol built into it and running under proof of liquidity will have a vested interest in the future of the network, as their TVL will increase security and witch resistance while generating BERA fee Token rewards.

Taiko

Project Overview

Taiko Labs is working towards unlocking the potential of Ethereum for the masses by developing the Taiko ZK-EVM, which is a fully decentralized, Ethereum-equivalent ZK-Rollup. By implementing the Ethereum Yellow Paper specifications and decentralizing the proposer/prover from the beginning, Taiko can offer a superior developer experience without introducing additional trust assumptions. Additionally, as Taiko is Ethereum equivalent, all existing Ethereum tooling should work out-of-the-box, making any additional audits or code changes redundant.

So far, Taiko has held two successful testnets, with participation of over 2,000 proposers and approximately 200 provers. The project has a community of over 60,000 on Discord. Currently, the team is preparing for their next testnet (alpha-3) and targeting a mainnet launch in Q1 2024. Taiko is also actively growing its ecosystem and inviting builders and projects to deploy on Taiko and get in touch with the team.

ZK Rollups are designed to scale computation by executing, aggregating and proving transactions off-chain, while relying on Ethereum for data availability and proof of validity verification. However, the biggest shortcoming of the ZK Rollups currently in development is that they do not fully support the broad computation of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), but are primarily used for specific applications. This leads to results that break the compatibility of existing Ethereum Layer-1 smart contracts and dApps, making it harder to build new contracts that offer the same type of composability and better user experience.

Project Highlights

The classic blockchain trilemma states that between decentralization, security and scalability, you can only have two. However, an Ethereum-equivalent ZK-rollup allows users to choose all three without compromise. Taiko adds the missing part, scaling, to empower the Ethereum ecosystem while keeping the experience of its participants equivalent to what they are already used to.

Taiko is the first ZK-EVM network to announce Type-1, which prioritizes perfect Ethereum EVM equivalence, as opposed to ZK-proof generation speed. It has been hailed as the holy grail of Layer-2 scalability solutions because it does not compromise on security or compatibility.

Sei Network

Project Overview

Sei Network is a Layer-1 blockchain designed specifically for orderbook functionality, built using the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint core. It includes a built-in CLOB (Central Limit Order Book) module. Other Cosmos-based blockchains can utilize Sei’s CLOB as a shared liquidity hub to create trading markets for different assets.

Sei aims to become the infrastructure and liquidity center for the next generation of DeFi products in the Cosmos ecosystem. In the future, it will become the underlying infrastructure for DeFi trading, connecting the entire ecosystem. The ultimate vision is for Sei to become the Nasdaq of on-chain digital asset trading.

Compared to general chains like Ethereum and Solana, which are not optimized for any specific application, or application chains like Cosmos, which are optimized for dApps, Sei is a trade-off version of a blockchain that is designed specifically for DeFi.

Project Highlights

Sei Network is the first parallelized Cosmos chain, allowing for simultaneous processing of independent transactions, improving overall throughput and latency.

Sei Network implements a parallel order aggregation system and multi-level order bundling. This means that order aggregation processes for different markets (pairs) can run simultaneously while minimizing the cost of gas.

Sei Network optimizes the block broadcasting mechanism and increases the settlement speed to 600 milliseconds.

Sei Network includes a built-in native price oracle to provide high quality and reliable data feeds.

Sei Network is naturally Miner Extractable Value (MEV) resistant, cleverly avoiding MEV issues with the help of the “frequent batch auction” mechanism. Sei aggregates each order at the end of the block and executes those orders at the same price to prevent pre-trading.

Sei Network is developer-friendly. It is Cosmos eco-boosting, modular in design, and offers a degree of development freedom.

Cetus

Project Overview

Cetus is a Move eco-based DEX and liquidity protocol that uses an algorithm similar to Uniswap V3. It builds a centralized liquidity protocol and a set of ancillary features to provide DeFi users with an optimal trading experience and greater capital efficiency. At the same time, it uses the unique ecological features of SUI to create combinable features that differ from Uniswap.

Cetus now offers a complete product suite that includes Swap, permissionless liquidity pools and bridges.

Project Highlights

Cetus is the mobility substrate in the Move ecosystem, bridging the Aptos and Sui ecosystems to provide highly efficient token swap and Liquidity Provider (LP) services to users. The Cetus team has proven product delivery capabilities, strong inter-ecological Business Development and operational capabilities. OKX Ventures believes that Cetus has the potential to become a leader within the SUI ecosystem.

AlienSwap

Project Overview

AlienSwap is a community-based NFT marketplace and aggregator that has surpassed USD$50 million in cumulative transaction volume and 670,000 cumulative registered wallet users since its beta release a few months ago. It ranks third in daily activity and fifth in daily transaction volume on the Ethereum network. This round of funding will help AlienSwap scale up and grow into an NFT trading platform at the forefront of the blockchain.

Project Highlights

AlienSwap offers an excellent product experience and introduces many innovative features for NFT players.

First NFT Heatmap on the market: AlienSwap supports the industry’s first NFT Heatmap feature, which allows NFT traders to quickly discover the day’s top gainers of NFT collections, making alpha value discovery easier.

Order Book: To facilitate professional trading and bridge the trading gap between TOKEN and NFT traders, AlienSwap pioneered support for both Sweep and Order Book modes.

Professional Data Analysis: AlienSwap provides comprehensive professional trading data analysis. In addition to the Heatmap, players can freely view NFT historical price curves, order book depth, address holdings distribution, blue-chip index and other essential data to assist in trading decisions.

Optimized Gas Costs: AlienSwap has deeply optimized the trading contract layer, reducing gas costs to only 50% of Blur. Moreover, users can save 10–15% of gas costs through bulk purchases on AlienSwap, and there are no gas fees for canceling NFT listings.

OKX Ventures has a positive long-term outlook on the NFT market segment as an incremental market with the potential to attract billions of users in the future. We believe that the professional background, experience and innovative capabilities of the core team, along with the support of numerous professional investors, will drive AlienSwap to attract millions of new users to the industry, making it a leading NFT trading layer.

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About OKX Ventures

OKX Ventures is the investment arm of leading crypto exchange and Web3 technology company OKX, with an initial capital commitment of USD 100 million. It focuses on exploring the best blockchain projects on a global scale, supporting cutting-edge blockchain technology innovation, promoting the healthy development of the global blockchain industry, and investing in long-term structural value.

Through its commitment to supporting entrepreneurs who contribute to the development of the blockchain industry, OKX Ventures helps build innovative companies and brings global resources and historical experience to blockchain projects.

Find out more about OKX Ventures here.

About OKX

OKX is a world-leading technology company building the future of Web3. Known as one of the fastest and most reliable crypto trading platforms for investors and professional traders everywhere, OKX’s crypto exchange is the second largest globally by trading volume and is trusted by more than 50 million users.
OKX’s leading self-custody solutions include the Web3-compatible OKX Wallet, which allows users greater control of their assets while expanding access to DEXs, NFT marketplaces, DeFi, GameFi and thousands of dApps.
OKX partners with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including: English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, The Tribeca Festival, golfer Ian Poulter, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

OKX is committed to transparency and security and publishes its Proof of Reserves on a monthly basis.
To learn more about OKX visit: okx.com

For further information, please contact: Media@okx.com

Disclaimer

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE ANY INVESTMENT, TAX, OR LEGAL ADVICE, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED AN OFFER TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD DIGITAL ASSETS. DIGITAL ASSETS, INCLUDING STABLECOINS, INVOLVE A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, CAN FLUCTUATE GREATLY, AND CAN EVEN BECOME WORTHLESS. OKX IS NOT REGULATED BY THE FCA, THUS, PROTECTIONS SUCH AS THE FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE OR FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPENSATION SCHEME WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE. YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHETHER YOU UNDERSTAND HOW CRYPTO WORKS AND WHETHER TRADING OR HOLDING DIGITAL ASSETS IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR FINANCIAL CONDITION. THE VALUE OF YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS, INCLUDING STABLECOINS, CAN INCREASE OR DECREASE AND PROFITS MAY BE SUBJECT TO CAPITAL GAINS TAX. PAST PERFORMANCE DOES NOT INDICATE FUTURE RESULTS. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR LEGAL/TAX/INVESTMENT PROFESSIONAL FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

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OKX Ventures

OKX Ventures is an investment institution under OKX.com, focusing on exploring the best blockchain projects across the globe.