IOSG’s eighth Old Friends Reunion, one of the most influential blockchain events in Asia, came to a successful close on Dec. 19 in Shenzhen, China. The two-day event, featuring a scaling summit and a “Metaverse Carnival,” attracted an audience consisting of founders, developers, investors and corporate leaders from the decentralized economy’s top 150 projects. 

Over 2,000 attendees were onsite. Guest speakers included Eli Ben Sasson from StarkWare, Chang-Wu Chen from imToken, Harry Kalodne from Arbitrum, Alex Gluchowsk from Matter Labs, Benjamin Jones from Optimism, Zachary Williamson from Aztec, Kain Warwick from Synthetix, Sandeep Nailwal from Polygon, Kieran Warwick from Illuvium, Gabby Dizon from Yield Guild Games, Jiho from Axie Infinity, and many others.

Dec. 18: Scaling summit

The focus of the scaling summit was to share insights and discuss how the industry as a whole can successfully implement solutions. The first day was co-hosted by StarkWare, imToken and Arbitrum, and supported by partners MatterLabs, Optimism, Aurora, Aztec, Polygon, Celer, xDai, deBridge, Hop Protocol, Chainlink, the Graph, Synthetix, ChainNews and Cointelegraph. The flagship event presented 15 solid panels and keynotes about rollups, cross-chain bridging, EVM, scaling DeFi, MEV, game-focused chains, layer-two solutions, DApps, and investment, bringing together industry-leading keynote speakers to share thoughts and ideas on the current market landscape and what the future holds for 2022 and beyond.

Jocy Lin, the founding partner of IOSG Ventures, gave a keynote speech titled “Scaling and the Metaverse: The Beginning of the Web3.0 Era.”

“Our investment principle is ‘Three Rights’: Invest at the right time, contribute to the right directions, and partner with the right teams.’ We strive to find the most visionary founders in the industry early and help them construct and create the best possible protocols to realize their aspirations. It is also critical for us to go with founders of robust leadership and community management skills.”

Jocy continued, “From infrastructure to the application layer, our main focus areas this year include layer-two scaling, cross-chain, DeFi, GameFi and SocialFi.

“For layer two, IOSG thinks highly of the future of modular blockchain. Not to be too forward, but layer-two solutions are very likely to replace 80% of the transaction volume on layer ones in the coming year. Our investment logic on layer two is further leading rollup layer-two, middleware (cross-chain bridges) and DApp ecosystem opportunities. The key to solving the scalability problem is to separate  the execution layer from  data availability.

In the past two years, we have been investing in infrastructure projects such as Starkware, Aztec and Arbitrum. Going forward, we will be investing in other middleware such as cross chain infrastructure and data platforms that make it easy for developers to deploy on layer twos. We will also be investing in a new generation of DApps that are enabled by the unique advantages of layer-two tech.

For DeFi, Ethereum is still the most diverse DeFi ecosystem. While this year, the whole market has been getting more mature on Ethereum, IOSG thinks that future innovations will still happen on layer-two DeFi protocols based on primitives. Besides, multi chains’ primitives, opportunities and financialization of NFTs are new areas to explore.

The most critical being the three characteristics of decentralization, composability and permissionless-ness. Derivative CEXs will gradually be replaced by DEXs in the future.

​​We have seen a lot of success with aggregators in Web2, and as Web3 users hit the 100-million mark, Web3 aggregators will become very important as well. The most important reason why IOSG invested in 1inch/Matcha is its efficiency and user experience.

For GameFi,  first of all, we think the core of GameFi is not games, it is a fundamental shift from a centralized supply of entertainment to a decentralized, collaborative and democratized paradigm of producing and consuming fun.

Guilds are the first stop for Web2 players to enter GameFi. At present, the market is quite fragmented by local guilds.

In gaming, we invest in visionaries who strive to revolutionize the means of production by empowering and incentivizing individuals to make meaningful contributions for their community.

SocialFi is one of the hottest topics in crypto this year. We see an opportunity for Web3 SocialFi in the predicament of Web2. Ownership is the key to today’s issues. In the booming era of ownership economics, we have invested in social token/NFT issuance platforms such as Roll and JennyDAO, which allows direct tokenization of social influence. Recently, we have been focusing on projects that boost the creator economy. IOSG invested in platforms such as MintSongs, Pianity and CreatorNFTs. We believe that Web3 social platforms will soon take off. We are the seed investor of Galaxy, and we continue to explore in this direction, whether it is infra, middleware or application layers.

Data Analytics is the last direction we shared, and it’s also one of the most undervalued markets. We predict that the market size of the crypto and blockchain data service market will experience exponential growth by 2025. 

In the public chain market, we heavily support Polkadot because we believe it will be the layer-zero meta protocol that has interoperability in the heterogeneous blockchain world.”

Dec. 19: Metaverse Carnival

Old Friends Reunion also brought the concept of the Metaverse to the stage, integrating more than 15 keynotes and panels to delve into how things go “meta” and dive deep into the innovations on specific metaverse “lanes.” Supported by our friends M7e,  Axie Infinity, Illuvium, YGG, Aavegotchi, Roll, Flow, Big Time Studios, Alethea AI and MetaverseLabs, the Metaverse Carnival gathered industry decision-makers to debate the latest industry trends and different angles on identity, SocialFi, the creators’ economy, crypto arts, GameFi, DAOs, investment and any further progress on empowering the ecosystem’s growth. 

Moreover, IOSG partnered with Dragon City (the largest plot of real-estate in Decentraland) to build up a virtual Old Friends Reunion event site for participants who were not able to come onsite to explore and have a good time together. 

There was also the “New Adventurer” crypto art exhibition co-hosted by IOSG, BCA and SuperRare to share the charisma of NFTs and modern art with the audience.

IOSG’s eighth Old Friends Reunion is the leading annual conference and expo focused on blockchain development and mainstream adoption. It is not only a reunion, but an open-to-community, informative and thought-provoking event presented by the world’s foremost innovators, change-makers and prominent leaders in the blockchain ecosystem. The ebbs and flows of the world can never keep the blockchain enthusiasts from moving forward; they are together to share, to shine and to always lead the rebound. We’re looking forward to the next meetup in 2022!

About IOSG Ventures

Founded in 2017, IOSG is a thesis-driven and community-friendly early-stage fund. We befriend founders and believe in long-termism. As a first-check crypto fund investing in the future of Web3, IOSG is committed to finding decentralized economy entrepreneurs and giving them their first start-up capital.

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