Friday, 14 June 2024

OKX Ventures’ Ren: “Our vision is on the long-term future of Web3”

5 min read

By Ruoxin Qi

Jeff Ren, partner at OKX Ventures, shared insights into the future of Web3, hailed as the next iteration of the internet, built on blockchain technology and controlled by users

OKX Ventures aims to build an ecosystem for Web3 technology development. According to partner Jeff Ren, its main goal is to drive mass adoption of Web3, as well as to support and engage with the developer community. The company is the venture capital arm of OKX, one of the largest crypto exchanges by trading volume ($6.97 billion) in the world as of January 2024 .

Ren said that OKX Ventures is vested in the long-term future of Web3. The company invests into 103 projects in blockchain such as the Sei Network, a specialised trading orderbook on blockchain, claimed to be the fastest Layer 1 blockchain. It allows a change to the block size or consensus mechanism, splitting the database into multiple parts in a process called sharding. Layer 2 includes rollups bundling transactions, side chains, and off-chain handling of transactions. OKX Ventures also invests more than $10 million in WAX, the first metaverse blockchain designed for gaming and related trading in non-fungible tokens (NFT); WAX reportedly registers the highest number – over 100 million – of daily transactions amongst blockchains.

Ren envisions a future where blockchain’s potential is harnessed across various industries, catalysing the transition to a Web3 landscape that is accessible, sustainable, and transformative. He explained that OKX Ventures is investing heavily in Layer 2 solutions first from an infrastructure perspective, saying: “Cross-chain interoperability, scalability, and safety are among some of the biggest challenges faced by the industry today.”

Companies in OKX Ventures’ portfolio are actively developing solutions like side chains, state channels and zero-knowledge rollups, to increase transactions throughout and reduce costs on existing networks. The portfolio has 15 start-ups in blockchain basic infrastructure, Layer 2, DeFi, Web3, NFT, and metaverse technology.

In the retail space, Ren believes that it is becoming more and more important to introduce and onboard more new users to crypto and Web3. He said: “There is huge public interest in exploring Web3 and people desire an easy, attractive entry point.” The company adopted a gamified, light-mood approach through crypto wallets, gaming, entertainment, and NFTs. WAX formed a partnership with Amazon Marketplace to embed a wallet channel through a matchmaking campaign orchestrated by OKX Web3, onboarding 10,000 new users to the WAX wallet over one weekend since the launch.

Ren emphasised the role of community building at OKX Ventures. He remarked: “Our focal point is whether the projects and companies we invest in or work with are demonstrating real use cases of blockchain technology, and the potential of providing innovation support for the OKX platform and driving mass adoption.” Through events, hackathons, and platforms that facilitate knowledge exchange and interaction among developers, players, enthusiasts, and industry practitioners, these campaigns are aimed at strengthening the Web3 community and the broader ecosystem.

OKX Ventures is also in the process of joining the Ethereum Climate Platform, an industry alliance that aims to support Web3 startups and offset carbon emissions during the proof-of-work period. Ren commented: “Blockchain technology holds the potential in tackling some of the biggest ESG challenges faced by traditional industries.”

Keywords: Web3, Blockchain Technology, Cross-chain Interoperability, Crypto, NFTs, Digital Technology, Scalable
Institution: OKX Ventures, OKX, Sei Network, WAX, Amazon
People: Jeff Ren
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