Foresight Ventures team reflected on British crypto market during London 2049
The Foresight Ventures team went on an exciting trip to London2049, where the team hosted a premium booth at the main conference and a VIP meetup together with Bitget and Bitkeep.
The VIP meetup took place at Home House London. The event was a great success with a full house of enthusiastic crypto investors, institutional finance professionals, trading firm representatives, and blockchain projects founders. Foresight’s General partner Tony Cheng shared his insight about the growth of the UK crypto market and the investment firm’s strategy in sourcing qualified deals in the region.
Here are some highlights from the conference and side event:
(Foresight Ventures Investment Manager Alice at the London 2049 Booth)
(Tony Cheng, General Partner for Foresight Ventures, spoke about his insight on the British crypto market and Foresight’s investment plan in Europe)
There are many blockchain communities in UK universities which serve as a gateway for younger generations to learn more about Web3. Many institutions like a16z, and AAVE also funded student groups for hackathons and DAO governance. UK professors are more focused on academics rather than entrepreneurship, thus most of the projects incubated by the colleges are student-led and usually center around payment and DAO management.
A lot of projects at the conference centered around payments (fiat to crypto, bank accounts with crypto functionality), compliance, and general risk management. This is due to the fact that the UK as a country is still relatively conservative on crypto and regulations are tough — exchange licenses are rare and trading activity is relatively low in the general population. The UK has legalized gambling, which also takes part in the retail crypto market.
The UK as a market is not as trading-heavy as other European countries even though there are a lot of hedge funds in the region. Institutional crypto is still in the early stages vs. other European countries like Portugal, France, and Turkey.
Many investors are looking towards applications with mass adoption potential, but most of us are still not able to pinpoint what types of applications (except for gaming and DeFi) would make the most sense to leverage crypto to the mainstream . Infra/middleware layer projects are also less popular in the region. The reality that most projects are SaaS models might also have something to do with the number of engineers in the region.
Ireland might be an emerging region to look at given it is home to many tech giants, probably due to the favorable tax rates. Crypto has become more popular in the region recently and looks to continue its growth into 2023.
The UK economy is still suffering from post-pandemic woes, rattled by high inflation and increasing crime rates. Strikes and protests over wages and high inflation continue to occur, while spending power is decreasing. These factors could be a strong catalyst for crypto speculation if the market improves as the younger generation thinks about more decentralized money-making strategies.