- Animoca Brands has become the largest validator of the TON blockchain in 2023, leveraging Telegram’s vast 800 million user base to promote GameFi adoption.
- The company made about 70 strategic investments in 2023, significantly focusing on the blockchain and gaming sectors.
- Co-founder Yat Siu emphasized the potential of Telegram’s user base to drive mass adoption of the TON wallet and the Gamee platform.
Animoca Brands, a prominent player in the blockchain and gaming sectors, has taken a significant step by becoming the largest validator of the TON blockchain in 2023. This strategic move leverages the expansive user base of Telegram, estimated at 800 million, to foster GameFi adoption. Yat Siu, the co-founder of Animoca, shared his insights and expectations for the future in an exclusive interview at the Next Block Expo in Berlin.
Animoca Brands made around 70 strategic investments in 2023 in a year marked by active investments. These are poised to yield fruitful outcomes in 2024, mainly as Bitcoin’s growing institutional interest serves as a solid foundation. The noteworthy partnership with The Open Network (TON) blockchain, announced on November 28, stands out among these ventures. Siu revealed that this partnership entailed purchasing an undisclosed amount of Toncoin, which is now staked in their validator agreement.
Siu expressed enthusiasm about the potential of this collaboration. He pointed out the massive reach of Telegram’s user base as a gateway to mass adoption of the TON wallet. This excitement is further fueled by the growing viability of the social casual gaming platform Gamee, which Animoca acquired in July 2020. The platform’s integration with Telegram, enhanced by the recent TON incorporation, opens new commercial avenues previously limited by the lack of in-app purchases and advertising.
The gradual integration of Gamee into Telegram, coupled with the rising value of its native GMEE token, underscores the burgeoning interest in GameFi and its potential within the Telegram ecosystem. Animoca’s appeal extends beyond GameFi to encompass the wider metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) projects. Siu pointed out the resilience of the NFT market, buoyed by long-term holders who value the underlying fundamentals of these projects. This is a marked shift from the speculative frenzy of 2021, where a significant portion of NFT collections were listed for sale.
By looking ahead to 2024, several macro factors contribute to a bullish outlook. These include the growing anticipation around Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds in the U.S., the conclusion of high-profile legal proceedings in the crypto space, and a $4.3 billion settlement involving Binance with American authorities. According to Siu, these developments provide clarity and positive sentiment as the new year approaches.
Furthermore, the recent liquidation of $60 million worth of BTC short positions alleviates downward market pressure. This combination of strategic partnerships, market resilience, and favorable macro conditions sets the stage for a potentially transformative year for Animoca Brands and the broader blockchain and gaming industries.