We recently connected with James Wo, the founder and CEO of Digital finance group, an investment company that supports Web 3.0 applications and blockchain or DLT enabled platforms.
Where spoke about the various products and services that his company supports. He also discussed the long-term effects of CeFi, DeFi and NFTs on the digital economy.
Our conversation with James Wo is shared below.
Crowdfund Insider: Please tell us something about the DFG and what you are currently working on.
James Where: The Digital Finance Group (DFG) is a global blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm founded in 2015 with over $ 1 billion in assets under management. We focus on discovery and value creation by our investment and research team through analytical research based on the most impactful and promising global blockchain and Web3.0 projects that will bring a paradigm shift to the world.
Crowdfund Insider: How does your company innovate with the DFG’s focus on CeFi, DeFi, NFTs and Web3.0?
James Where: Most of the time we innovate by supporting projects that will create profound changes in these sectors around the world. We have seen companies around the world migrate their systems and methodologies to more efficient solutions advanced by Blockchain, CeFi, DeFi, NFTs and Web3.0.
For example, we are the parent company of Matrix, a virtual asset trading platform being developed in one of the safest and most forward-looking regulatory agencies in the world, the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, we are avid supporters of developing and building breakthrough solutions like DeFi and Web3.0 through business consulting, network resources, and working with a wider community to help create long-term value.
Because of this, we have been very focused on what we believe to be the undervalued blockchain protocols like Polkadot, which have made important advances from Layer 0 to Layer 2 in an exceptional environment that we believe have a major impact on how we view blockchain and will be used in industries such as the above and others over the next few decades.
Crowdfund Insider: You mentioned on your website that the DFG manages a venture fund that traditionally invests in equity from virtual asset service providers including LedgerX, Amber Group, Matrix Exchange & Circle.
James Where: Yes, we have all seen that there has been a diversification of investment opportunities with blockchain and cryptocurrencies other than acquiring equity stakes in a company, which is the traditional way of investing. We have learned from the ICO boom that teams and projects can also raise capital by purchasing their tokens, where they receive the funds and investors receive these tokens at a discounted premium.
In this particular case, many companies in the industry are still clinging to the traditional method of fundraising for a number of reasons, and that hasn’t stopped us from participating.
In addition, many of these companies have become leaders in their respective sectors, such as Amber Group, Circle (who we worked closely with on the introduction of USDC), LedgerX, Brave Browser, Ripio, Bitso, Bloq, Big Time and more. The idea behind our three funds is to support the most promising companies and teams that will become top contenders for leadership in their sectors in the long run.
Crowdfund Insider: Describe your partnership with ETC Labs – the incubator for blockchain startups in the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.
James Where: Our partnership with ETC Labs was very special for us, the DFG was at the forefront of supporting the best startups in sectors from Fintech to Gaming, Edge Computing to Supply Chain and Govtech, who previously decided to stay within the parameters of Ethereum work the unfortunate DAO hack in 2016.
In addition, we also supported ETC Core, which, similar to BTC Core, is a group of talented developers who work tirelessly to improve the invisible system that supports all these startups and creates a solid foundation for hundreds to implement their ideas and innovative concepts to develop that they will solve everyday issues around the world.
Crowdfund Insider: What is the Crypto Fund and Polkadot Ecosystem Fund?
James Where: Due to their direct origin or nature, these two funds have special tasks. First, the 2015 Crypto Fund, with Bitcoin and Ethereum, was the DFG’s Genesis Fund. It is actively managed, which means that our strategy will vary based on the analysis we get from market trends and cycles.
It also differs fundamentally from the Venture Equity Fund in that it does not hold any equity. Instead, it contains tokens and cryptocurrencies from the most promising projects and companies we see in the market like Solana, Chia, Swarm, NEAR, RNDR, DAO Maker and many more.
The Polkadot Ecosystem Fund is pretty easy to understand. We have great expectations of what Polkadot aims to achieve as a Layer0 protocol and believe that we have a dedicated fund that supports projects within this ecosystem in developing their innovative ideas and empowers the teams behind it to keep working without worrying about externalities Worrying is a key factor that we can have a great deal of control over.
In this fund you will find outstanding concepts as created by the teams at Acala Network, Astar, Manta Network, HydraDX, Unique Network, Bit.Country and many more.
We have been the owners of DOT, the Polkadot Native Token, since the beginning, which was also a reason for us to support our portfolio projects at the upcoming Parachain auctions at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022 and to support these teams in making the first ones on Polkadot start and hit a very important milestone on your timeline.
Crowdfund Insider: What top investment opportunities did you engage / enable with the DFG presence in Asia, North America and the Middle East?
James Where: We have definitely been involved in top investment opportunities in these regions. In addition, we believe that blockchain and digital assets provide a way to reduce the friction at borders and give us a look at the bigger picture of tackling everyday problems through the projects we are actively involved in.
For example, we were involved in Bitso’s first round of sourcing and were the leading investor in Ripio, two of LATAM’s largest CeFi exchanges that provide users and institutions with access to the market in a safe and regulated manner.
In North America, we are proud to have been involved in world-class opportunities such as Circle, Brave, Bloq, Big Time Studios and LedgerX, in which we are not only shareholders but also serve on the board of directors. Here we have participated in sectors from the Blockchain Infrastructure, CeFi, Dapps and NFTs, all of which we expect to grow exponentially and continue to gain in value as adoption increases globally.
After all, in the Asia-Pacific region, we are deeply committed to supporting teams with great potential and engagement in regions such as Europe or America, where we have excellent relationships and have built networks of investment institutions that, like us, are eagerly looking for participation on projects in the initial phase. Among our investments in the region you can find Unocoin, Amber Group, Acala Network, SubQuery, Chia and many more.
Crowdfund Insider: What are your plans for the rest of this year and 2022?
James Where: This year has been very exciting in terms of industry milestones and increasing institutional investor adoption by realizing the value that is still being revealed in use cases and solutions being promoted as millions keep their eyes on price action.
In addition, this sizeable and continuous increase in users and investors of all sizes will have its obvious repercussions on prices and continue to drive market value up as capitalization is expected to hit the double-digit trillion mark.
Because of this, we expect that we will continue to work tirelessly to research and find the most promising projects in a young but rapidly growing industry that will become the path for paradigm shifts in many industries that are undoubtedly affected by blockchain and its technological advances will be will happen.
After all, we are excited about the advances we are seeing in the Polkadot ecosystem, which we believe will be the biggest game changer in the industry for 2021 and 2022. As winners, you can expect us to be deeply involved in this process and continue to support all of our partner projects in every possible way.