Market MakingVenture CapitalAbout Us

Venture market update | 12.09.23

Sep 12, 2023
/Table of contents

Marketing Batman

📉 Market context

💡 Bitcoin price remains unable to surpass the $26,000 mark. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are experiencing their lowest trading volumes in a quarter since 2019. Concerns have arisen regarding derivatives in liquid staking due to Lido's increasing dominance. The Stellar project's token saw a nearly 5% increase following an announcement from its administration. Shibarium has now exceeded 600,000 unique wallets, and a SHIB Whale transferred $38 million. A co-founder of MakerDAO has proposed the use of Solana's code to create a new blockchain.

Bitcoin (BTC) surged to nearly $26,000, reversing Monday's decline when it dipped below $25,000, its lowest in three months. This rally resulted from a short squeeze as bearish derivative positions unwound.

Open interest in futures and perpetual swaps trading on major platforms like Binance, Bybit, OKX, and Deribit dropped from $5.05 billion to $4.8 billion as short positions were abandoned due to the shift to positive funding rates.

Monday saw Bitcoin and altcoins fall due to concerns about potential selling pressure from the troubled crypto exchange FTX. Despite the recovery, Bitcoin's price may remain capped without immediate bullish catalysts. ETF optimism has faded, with attention now on FTX's impending altcoin holdings liquidation.

Some analysts maintain a bearish bias as long as Bitcoin stays below its 50-day moving average.


Investment products related to Ether experienced outflows of $4.8 million last week, contributing to year-to-date outflows of $108 million. This makes Ether the least favored digital asset among Exchange-Traded Product (ETP) investors this year.

In the broader crypto investment product landscape, which includes offerings from asset managers like Bitwise, Grayscale, ProShares, and 21Shares, there were significant outflows of $59.3 million observed last week. This figure marked a substantial increase compared to the $11.2 million outflows seen the previous week, and it has resulted in a total of $294 million in outflows over the past month.

Notably, Bitcoin investment products experienced the most significant outflows, totaling $68.9 million last week. Conversely, short bitcoin funds saw substantial inflows of $15.2 million, representing the largest weekly inflow for this product since March.

Even blockchain equities did not escape the prevailing negative sentiment, with an additional $10.8 million contributing to the fifth consecutive week of outflows. On a more positive note, XRP investment products continued their positive streak, attracting minor inflows totaling $0.7 million over the past week.

Regionally, Germany led the market in terms of outflows, totaling $20 million, while the United States witnessed outflows of $12.3 million.


Ethereum transaction fees have dropped to levels last seen in 2022, as on-chain activity slowed down due to reduced NFT sales, meme coin trading, and decreased use of Telegram bots.

The average fee for Ethereum transfers is now around $1.83, and token exchanges via Uniswap cost approximately $4.17, according to Etherscan data—levels not seen since November 2022, following the FTX collapse.

With reduced demand for gas on the Ethereum network, it has entered an inflationary phase, a rarity since the Merge in September 2022.

In the past week, Ethereum's supply increased by 4,092 ETH tokens, valued at approximately $6.6 million. Ethereum's on-chain activity had surged at the start of 2023, driven by increased NFT trading volumes and meme coin hype. However, supply growth has slowed down since then, with a slight uptick recorded in September.


On September 4, 2023, the XLM exchange rate experienced a significant increase of 4.57%. This surge coincided with a cryptic announcement from the Stellar blockchain development team, stating, "Something cool is coming in 10 days." The nature of this announcement remains undisclosed, but it had an immediate impact on the price of Stellar's native token, XLM, causing it to rise from $0.1185 to $0.126 within a day. Over the last six months, XLM has appreciated in value by nearly 50%.


ApeCoin, the Ethereum-based token associated with Yuga Labs' Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, hit a new all-time low on Sunday. Currently trading at $1.16, it has seen a 7% decline in the past few days and a significant drop of over 42% in the last month.

When ApeCoin was launched in March 2022, it soared to as high as $26.70, riding the wave of enthusiasm for "blue-chip" NFT collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which were seen as luxury symbols in the Web3 space. However, as the NFT market has cooled down compared to the exuberant times of 2021 and 2022, ApeCoin has faced intensified downward pressure compared to its monkey-themed predecessor. The token's 42% decline in the past month has outpaced a 21% dip in the floor price (the price of the cheapest NFT listed) for Apes.


In other news, Rune Christensen, co-founder of MakerDAO, has proposed the utilization of Solana's codebase to construct a forthcoming appchain dedicated to the DeFi lending protocol.

💸 Venture market: what’s new?

In August, fundraising in the cryptocurrency sector experienced a significant decline, reaching its lowest point in several years. This decline coincided with a stagnation in the crypto market and heightened concerns among investors regarding the potential future regulations in the crypto space. Consequently, these circumstances have contributed to a reduction in overall investment activity within the cryptocurrency industry, with only a select few projects attracting substantial investments from venture capital funds.Below are the four most significant fundraising facts from August:

  1. Investment activity fell to lowest level in more than two years in August
  2. Crypto startups raised $349.3M (50.4% MoM), while the number of funding round slightly increased compared to July
  3. Blockchain Services attracted the largest amount of funds last month
  4. US-based startups lead in terms of funds raised despite regulation uncertainty in the region.

You can also explore the most notable raises of this week.

  • 💡 Bankai Ventures Leads $25M Funding Round for Zeebu's On-Chain Invoice Settlement Platform
  • Fundraising: $25M
  • Round participants: Bankai Ventures

Zeebu, the innovative blockchain-based settlement platform for the telecom carrier industry, has successfully raised $25 million in a presale funding round, surpassing its hard cap target of $15 million. The round saw participation from several strategic investors, including Bankai Ventures.The market's enthusiasm for Zeebu's groundbreaking on-chain invoice settlement platform and loyalty token, which aims to revolutionize the telecom carrier industry, is reflected in the overwhelming response from investors.Zeebu's loyalty token, designed exclusively for the telecom carrier sector, offers unprecedented benefits to merchants and customers alike. It eliminates the need for conventional and expensive traditional banking channels and intermediaries, enabling faster transactions while enhancing margins. The goal is to create a seamless and efficient experience for all participants through a dedicated blockchain-based settlement platform.

Website || Twitter

  • 💡 Pantera Capital Leads $16.5M Investment in ZK-Powered DEX Brine Fi at $100M Valuation
  • Fundraising: $16.5M
  • Round participants: Pantera Capital, The Spartan Group, Elevation Capital, StarkWare, Goodwater Capital, Upsparks, and Protofund.

Brine Fi, a decentralized exchange (DEX) that operates on the Ethereum scaling solution StarkWare, has announced the successful completion of an investment round led by Pantera Capital, raising $16.5 million and achieving a valuation of $100 million, according to a press release issued by the company on Thursday.

Powered by StarkWare, Brine Fi is a non-custodial, decentralized order book that prioritizes user privacy by utilizing zero-knowledge proofs. This technology allows traders to place significant orders without concerns about front-running or causing panic among other traders. The platform also boasts rapid trade execution. It was launched for traders in May and has recently been handling daily trading volumes ranging from $3 million to $4 million.

Website || Twitter || Discord

  • 💡 Animoca Brands Raises $20M for Metaverse Project Mocaverse
  • Fundraising: $20M
  • Round participants: CMCC Global, GameFi Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Liberty City Ventures, Aleksander Larsen and Gabby Dizon.

Animoca Brands, a venture capital firm focused on the metaverse and gaming, has secured $20 million in funding from a consortium of prominent Web3 investors. In recent years, Animoca Brands has established itself as a major investor in NFTs, blockchain gaming, and metaverse-related ventures, with support from notable entities such as Singapore's state investment fund, Temasek. Animoca Brands' primary objective with the Mocaverse project is to offer Web3-native tools that empower users to create gaming and entertainment products. One noteworthy project in development is Moca ID, an NFT collection designed to enable users to construct on-chain identities for active participation within the Mocaverse ecosystem.The funding was raised through the issuance of Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs), each priced at approximately A$4.50 ($2.90) and set to convert into ordinary shares after a six-month period automatically.

Website || Twitter || Discord

🧠 Exploring Crypto: "Tron (TRX): Project Development History and Blockchain Overview”


TRON is a first-layer blockchain based on the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm. The network enables developers to deploy smart contracts and decentralized applications within the Tron Virtual Machine (TVM) environment.

The platform is fully compatible with Ethereum, as TVM utilizes the same programming language, Solidity, with minor modifications. This feature simplifies the transfer of applications between blockchains.

TRON features a three-layer architecture and uses an account-based accounting model. The network boasts a claimed throughput of 2000 transactions per second, with new blocks generated every 3 seconds.

Tron (TRX) serves as the native token of the platform and is used in various scenarios within its ecosystem, including staking within the DPoS framework and rewarding block producers.

Founders and history of TRON:

The development of the TRON blockchain is spearheaded by the Tron Foundation, founded by Justin Sun in July 2017 in Singapore. Previously, Justin Sun had been a representative for Ripple in China.

In the same year, the organization conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) and raised 15,000 BTC, which was approximately $70 million at the time's exchange rate. This amount was equivalent to 40% of the presumed TRX emission, which was initially represented as ERC-20 tokens.

In March 2018, developers introduced the TRON testnet, and the mainnet was launched on May 31st.

In June, the Tron Foundation acquired BitTorrent for $120 million. Subsequently, they launched an analog of the IPFS protocol called BTFS based on the company's developments.

Justin Sun faced criticism for aggressive marketing and eccentric statements that influenced TRX prices. There were also discussions within the community regarding the high centralization of the project itself and allegations of the team copying ideas from competitors. Notably, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin mentioned plagiarism in the platform's whitepaper.

In December 2021, Justin Sun announced his departure from the Tron Foundation. He emphasized that he was stepping away from active project management but would maintain ties with its community.

In January 2022, the TRON team completed a governance reform. Control of the blockchain platform was transferred to the decentralized autonomous organization, Tron DAO.

How does TRON work?

Three-tier architecture

Like Ethereum, the TRON blockchain utilizes an account-based model. Each account consists of a cryptographic pair, comprising a public and private key.

Within the network, there are three types of accounts:

  1. Standard accounts: These are regular accounts used for standard operations.
  2. Token accounts: Designed for token storage.
  3. Contract accounts: These accounts belong to smart contracts.

Accounts possess various attributes such as bandwidth, energy, and more. Key holders can manage the native cryptocurrency and tokens of different standards that are held within these accounts.

The TRON platform features a three-tier architecture, which includes:

  1. Core layer: The core layer.
  2. Application layer: The execution layer.
  3. Data storage layer: The data storage layer.

The core layer includes several modules responsible for tasks such as smart contract execution, account management, and consensus. To encourage the development of decentralized applications (dApps) on the network, developers have added support in TVM for instructions written in Solidity and Java. They plan to integrate other programming constructs in the future.

The application layer enables the deployment and execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Developers can create various dApps and custom wallets based on TRON.

TRON's data storage layer utilizes a graph database structure and comprises three components:

  1. Blockchain storage: Implemented using Google's LevelDB library, it offers high performance and supports arbitrary byte arrays, single operators like get, put, and delete, batch put and delete operations, bidirectional iterators, and data compression using the Snappy library.
  2. State storage: Allows full TRON nodes to store information about all blocks that can be added to the main network for a certain period. This ensures the target block generation speed, even in the case of blockchain fragmentation, as nodes can quickly find the longest chain and switch to it.
  3. gRPC remote procedure call framework: Developed by Google, it supports single requests, streaming, and metadata transmission. This solution allows the integration of various services and lightweight clients into the system.

Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) Mechanism:

The platform relies on the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm. Transaction validation and block creation are handled by so-called "super representatives" (SRs) who are elected through a voting process.

Any account that manages a TRON node can apply to participate in the process, but they must pay 9999 TRX, which is burned. At any given time, the system can have up to 27 SRs, and this list rotates periodically.

SR elections occur every six hours. Participants who accumulate the most votes gain the right to generate blocks, with a reward of 32 TRX per operation.

Accounts that vote for the chosen candidates also receive rewards. As of September 2023, the estimated yield for delegation is 3.47%.

A special resource called TRON Power (TP) is used for voting. Users acquire TP by staking assets at a 1:1 ratio.

All accounts have the right to vote for SRs, but each new vote by a user cancels out their previous ones.

There are three types of nodes in the TRON network:

  1. Witness nodes: These are run by SRs and are responsible for block production and making proposals to change network parameters dynamically.
  2. Full nodes: They broadcast transactions and nodes and provide an API.
  3. Solidity nodes: They synchronize blocks with full nodes.

Tron Virtual Machine

The Tron Virtual Machine (TVM) is a Turing-complete virtual machine developed to support the TRON ecosystem.

Similar to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), compilers translate smart contracts written in Solidity into bytecode that is readable and executable by TVM. TVM processes data through opcodes.

TVM accesses information stored on the blockchain and invokes external data interfaces through the Interoperation layer. When the operation is completed, its status is recorded in the distributed ledger, and users can request the result through an API.

Unlike the EVM, transactions and smart contract operations on TVM do not require mandatory fees in TRX. Instead, if there is a sufficient amount of Bandwidth and Energy, these resources can be consumed: Bandwidth for transaction execution and Energy for interactions with smart contracts.

The current state of the TRON platform:

The network has more than 7500 nodes, and approximately 182.28 million accounts are registered. Since its launch, the blockchain has processed over 6.34 billion transactions. The project's ecosystem ranks second in terms of Total Value Locked (TVL) in smart contracts, second only to Ethereum.

Due to the burning mechanism of TRX, the cryptocurrency's supply is under pressure. At the time of writing, the annual inflation rate is estimated at 4.49%.

According to Messari, as of the first quarter of 2023, the average daily number of transactions on the blockchain exceeded 7 million, and the number of active addresses reached 2.29 million. Analysts estimated the average staking assets to be 44 billion TRX.

The network is popular in terms of activity related to stablecoins. Relevant transactions dominate the total volume of operations executed with TRON smart contracts, and the total value of the corresponding tokens exceeds $43 billion.

Flagship applications of the TRON ecosystem:

As of the beginning of September 2023, the TRON ecosystem is home to 17 protocols, according to DeFiLlama. Despite the relatively small number of applications, the blockchain ranks second in Total Value Locked (TVL), trailing only Ethereum.

In terms of locked liquidity volume, the largest projects are:

  1. JustLend lending protocol ($3.34 billion).
  2. JustStables stablecoin issuance protocol ($1.33 billion).
  3. stUSDT RWA protocol ($0.69 billion).
  4. Decentralized exchange SunSwap ($0.5 billion).

These four protocols account for 99% of the total TVL in the ecosystem.


The TRON platform is compatible with EVM and offers more efficient transactions compared to Ethereum. The blockchain ranks second in terms of Total Value Locked (TVL) in the ecosystem, but the majority of liquidity is concentrated around four protocols, some of which are developed by the project's core team.

🌏 Conferences

Conferences are a great opportunity to grab the attention of the whales in the crypto industry, spread the word about your project and win some funds! A quick line-up of the upcoming conferences below!

MoneyLIVE Asia👥 Conference🌐 Singapore, Singapore📆 Date: 12 Sept 2023

TradeTech FX 2023👥 Conference🌐 Paris, France📆 Date: 12 Sept 2023

Global InsurTech Summit USA👥 Conference🌐 New York, United States📆 Date: 26 Sept 2023

Global RegTech Summit USA👥 Conference🌐 New York, United States📆 Date: 28 Sept 2023

SmartCon 2023👥 Conference🌐 Barcelona, Spain📆 Date: 02 Oct 2023

CoinAgenda Global Conference👥 Conference🌐 Santa Monica📆 Date: 03 Oct 2023

Blockchain Economy Dubai Summit👥 Conference🌐 Dubai, United Arab Emirates📆 Date: 04 Oct 2023

ETHMilan👥 Conference🌐 Milano, Italia📆 Date: 05 Oct 2023

Zebu Live👥 Conference🌐 England, United Kingdom📆 Date: 05 Oct 2023