Animoca’s Yat Siu bullish on TON partnership as Bitcoin sets strong foundation for 2024


Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu is confident that a number of investments and partnerships could prove fruitful in 2024 as mainstream institutional interest in Bitcoin (BTC) gathers steam.

Speaking exclusively to Cointelegraph at the Next Block Expo event in Berlin, the chairman of the gaming venture capital firm highlights some 70 investments made in 2023 that are expected to deliver results next year.

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Chief among these is a high-profile partnership with The Open Network (TON) blockchain, which was announced on Nov. 28. Siu confirmed that the investment involved the purchase of an undisclosed amount of Toncoin, which was then staked as part of the validator agreement:

“We actually think that’s a tool for mass onboarding with TON wallet. There are 800 million users on Telegram using TON. What’s not to be excited about?”

Siu also said that Animoca’s acquisition of the social casual gaming platform Gamee in July 2020 is set to capitalize on its growing presence as a gaming platform on Telegram. He adds that the acquisition was hampered by an inability to monetize games through the messaging application.

“There were no advertising and in-app purchases, and nothing was allowed in Telegram until recently with the integration of TON. So now they’re commercially viable,” Siu explained.

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu gives an overview of the GameFi ecosystem during a keynote speech at the Next Block Expo in Berlin. Source: Cointelegraph

While Gamee is not yet fully integrated into Telegram, the appreciation of its native GMEE token is a strong indicator of “GameFi excitement and its potential on Telegram.”

Animoca also has a vested interest in the wider performance of metaverse projects and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Siu says the NFT market is recovering thanks to long-term holders who placed value in the respective projects and the fundamentals backing them:

“Many of the classic speculators are gone, or there aren’t as many because they didn’t think they could make much money and because they all declared NFTs dead.”

He adds that the number of NFTs from various high-profile collections available to buy on the market is “typically now in single digit percentage.” This starkly contrasts with the bull market in 2021, where more than half of a given collection was listed for sale on NFT marketplaces.

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Macro factors also give Siu reason to be bullish as 2024 looms on the horizon. He points to the building anticipation around Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds in the U.S., the end of Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial and Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with American authorities as key reasons for positive sentiment going into the new year:

“Frankly, even the Binance chapter, to me, has been a wonderful conclusion. In some ways, we now have clarity for 2024.”

The potential approval of several spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024 adds to the strong foundation, according to Siu. The recent liquidation of $60 million of BTC short positions also alleviates downward pressure on the markets. 

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