On April 27, 2023, during Consensus 2023 in Austin, USA, well-known Web3 venture capital firm SNZ and OnePiece Labs successfully hosted an event titled "Future of Web3". The event aimed to explore future development trends in Web3 and invited numerous industry experts to participate in the discussion.
The event was organized by SNZ with strong support from OnePiece Labs. It featured six panel discussions that covered various aspects of the Web3 industry, including zero knowledge proof, blockchain and AI, NFTs and gaming, US cryptocurrency regulatory policies, shared security, and a Web3 VC panel. These topics provided participants with comprehensive and in-depth industry insights, helping them stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Web3 technology. Several well-known industry experts were invited as guests, including Christopher Perkins, President and Managing Partner of CoinFund; Andrew Gurgee, Head of Republic Crypto; Bhawani Katyal, Technology Director of Microsoft FinTech; Keith Chen, Managing Partner of SNZ; Xiao Xiao, Investment Director at HashKey Capital; Dafu Gao and Kezheng Jia, Partners at OnePiece Labs. During the roundtable discussions, the guests shared their viewpoints and insights on various topics.
SNZ's Managing Partner, Keith Chen, delivered a keynote speech titled "Exploring Future Opportunities in Blockchain." First, Keith shared SNZ's development history and core philosophy. SNZ was founded in the Ethereum community and has grown alongside Ethereum. The firm has always been committed to supporting the most visionary entrepreneurs in the industry, those with groundbreaking technological innovations and innovative business models. Second, he presented the framework and themes for the conference, which included discussions on the application of zero-knowledge proofs in Layer 2 and other areas, the combination of AI and blockchain, the significance of NFT and gaming for the next cycle, the future regulatory framework, and the development of shared security and BTC Layer 2. He pointed out that the main focus of blockchain development still revolves around solving scalability, security, stable payments, and data privacy issues. However, blockchain technology will inevitably have broader applications in the next cycle, which will place greater demands on infrastructure. Therefore, it is essential to reduce user and programmer development barriers. With the resolution of the three main issues mentioned above, Keith believes that all other application areas and tracks will emerge. He hopes that this discussion will cover some of the hot topics and provide food for thought around these issues.
SNZ has invested in several projects related to zero-knowledge proofs and invited its portfolio companies, including Space and Time, Cysic, Manta Network, and Metis, as well as 1kx investment research partner Wei Dai, to participate in the zero-knowledge proof roundtable. Scott Dykstra, co-founder and CTO of Space and Time, pointed out that zero-knowledge proofs can be used in regulation and compliance. Currently, centralized institutions hold a large amount of data but cannot share it with the blockchain. By using zero-knowledge proofs, centralized institutions can share their data on the blockchain without revealing specific information. Kenny Li, co-founder of Manta Network, said that zero-knowledge proofs can also be highly valuable in gaming. Users cannot know whether the data generated by centralized games is fair and real, but zero-knowledge proofs can ensure users have a fair gaming experience. Leo Fan, founder of Cysic, provided a deep understanding of the acceleration algorithm and hardware improvements related to zero-knowledge proofs. Ming Guo, a scientist at Metis, shared their zero-knowledge solution based on the MIPS architecture, which is a new option for Layer 2 networks.
The blockchain and AI panel was attended by many industry experts, including Xiao Xiao, Investment Director at HashKey Capital, Bhawani Katyal, Technology Director of Microsoft FinTech, Ron Bodkin, founder of ChainML, and Harry Grieve, co-founder of Gensyn. Bhawani Katyal believes that significant advances in any technology will bring significant changes to the labor market. The proliferation of artificial intelligence will affect some of the workforce, but it will also redirect labor towards more creative fields. ChainML, an early investment by SNZ, also participated in the roundtable discussion. Its founder, Ron Bodkin, spoke about the combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain, stating that the artificial intelligence industry needs more community participation and incentives similar to those provided by blockchain to open-source developers, which would stimulate the development of the artificial intelligence industry.
During the NFT and Gaming panel, the guests discussed the regulation and application of NFTs. The roundtable was moderated by Li Gong, Partner at Youbi Capital, and guests from Dapper Labs, Delysium, and Holaplex participated in the discussion. As a leading NFT project, Alex Levine, Chief Legal Officer at Dapper Labs, said that caution must be exercised when issuing NFTs in different regions, and local regulations must be taken into account. Standardizing IP terms and conditions can also provide consumers with greater transparency when purchasing NFTs. Yuheng Chen, founder of Delysium games, provided some ideas on the development of Game+AI.
During the roundtable discussion on US cryptocurrency regulation, Keith Chen, Managing Partner at SNZ, Christopher Perkins, President and Managing Partner at CoinFund, and Andrew Gurgee, Head of Republic Crypto, provided insightful discussion on current regulatory trends. Christopher provided a brief overview of the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the United States. He believes that the current legal infrastructure in the US is far behind the development speed of blockchain and needs new laws and regulations. Regarding the controversy over whether Ethereum is a security, involving SEC Chairman Gary Gensler and CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam, Christopher believes that it has made it difficult for everyone to interpret this issue, but from a regulatory perspective, the SEC has a responsibility to clarify this issue. Christopher also discussed the outlook for US cryptocurrency regulation, stating that stablecoins are the most promising area for regulatory progress, while other areas will follow but will require time to accumulate experience. Andrew Gurgee said that the improvement of US regulatory rules may have a positive impact on the market. Only when the regulatory approach is clear, will many US institutional investors enter the cryptocurrency market, and the widespread adoption of institutional investors can drive the development of the entire industry.
Recently, there has been a new peak in the development of the Bitcoin ecosystem, and guests at the roundtable on shared security discussed the development of the Bitcoin ecosystem. The forum was hosted by Logan from Frictionless Capital, and guests included Professor David Tse, founder of Babylon Chain (Stanford University professor and member of the National Academy of Engineering), Sunny Aggarwal, co-founder of Osmosis, Erick Schneider, a BTC supporter, and Allen Zhao, partner at Bixin Ventures. David shared the feasibility and future prospects of shared security. Sunny Aggarwal stated that although the Bitcoin POW mechanism may face reorg issues in the short term, it is still the safest choice in the long run. He believes that the emergence of Ordinals has brought cultural changes to the Bitcoin ecosystem, but more importantly, cultural changes need to evolve into technological progress.
The investment roundtable was hosted by Kezheng Jia, partner at OnePiece Labs, and featured Henry Love, managing partner at Fundamental Labs, Ryan Goodman, investor relations representative at Outlier Ventures, Era Qian, founder of Engage Stack (ex-Matrix Capital), and Graham Friedman, president of Republic Crypto, discussing the future direction of the industry. Henry Love shared his views on the market, stating that the biggest problem facing the blockchain ecosystem now is that different ecosystems are independent, and assets cannot flow freely between them, resulting in low efficiency. In the future, interoperability between different ecosystems will be a major narrative. As the largest Web3 incubator, Outlier Ventures' investor relations representative Ryan Goodman stated that helping projects grow by connecting with different projects around the world is very meaningful. Era Qian founded Engage Stack to help projects facing difficulties in their growth stage, and she believes that there will be many M&A opportunities in this field in the future.
The event was sponsored by Aura Network and Sending Labs, and we would like to thank EDUDAO, Offchain, ChainCatcher, Odaily, Bitpush, and other communities and media outlets for their strong support. For more information on the event, please follow SNZ and OnePiece Labs' official website and social media channels.
SNZ is a crypto-native and community-oriented incubator and venture capital firm. Active since 2014, the SNZ team has been dedicated to community building, incubation, and investment, notably as one of the earliest backers of Ethereum in Asia. The mission is to connect versatile builders, empower innovative blockchain and Web 3.0 projects, bridge the gaps, and accelerate mass adoption by leveraging SNZ's committed efforts and our global network.
OnePiece Labs (OPL) is a one-stop incubator focusing on Web3, founded in Silicon Valley. Its team includes experienced Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and community leaders, with the goal of creating the next generation of Web3 unicorns. OPL helps Web3 startups grow quickly through advantages such as networking, mentorship, and resource flow, and is a results-driven incubator whose achievements depend on the development and success of the companies it incubates
OnePiece Ventures is an early Web3 fund based in Silicon Valley, committed to investing in top Web3 founders in North America. They provide initial investment to startups, as well as professional and systematic team support to ensure their steady development. They also leverage community resources and professional experience to help founders. As an ecosystem-oriented venture capital fund, they are committed to early-stage business growth and innovation for enterprises.