RockawayX Investor Summit in London | October 2022
Our autumn 2022 Investor Summit at Banking Hall, in the heart of London’s financial district, took place on the 20th of October and explored a wide range of topics under the theme ‘Building for the Next Wave of Adoption’. The Summit showcased Rockaway Blockchain Fund’s rebrand to RockawayX and welcomed a number of key industry leaders from the UK, Europe, and the U.S. to discuss market trends and industry insights.
The day commenced with a keynote from Viktor Fischer, Managing Partner at RockawayX, detailing how despite negative sentiment, industry fundamentals continue to grow and developer traction stands at an all-time high. Viktor also demonstrated the success of RockawayX’s three distinct divisions: venture investing, engineering, and liquidity provisioning, and Viktor explained how RockawayX would continue to focus on the builders of Web3 and how the new brand was rooted in the message Founders MadeX, showcasing its impact in the blockchain startup landscape.
Following the keynote, Dusan Kovacic, Chief Investment Officer at RockawayX, took to the stage to explore the outlook for the metaverse. McKinsey forecasts a $5 trillion opportunity by 2030, which is 130x current levels. The Web2 social behemoths currently hold monopoly positions within the Creator Economy and rent-seeking behavior is prevalent in the industry extracting value away from the creators. So far, metaverse activity has been underwhelming, but Web2 shows the demand is there. With the opportunities now facilitated by the ownership economy in Web3, the metaverse needs better infrastructure and entertainment intellectual property to drive adoption from beachhead use cases like gaming.
Continuing on that theme, Marek Sandrik, Principal at RockawayX, walked through six emerging use cases in Web3, both in the physical and virtual worlds. These covered the areas of fashion, fan tokens, coordination networks, gaming, comics and social networks.
Marek and Dusan then discussed these use cases and the metaverse with Nisha Surendran, ICG Lead at Citi Digital Assets, including near-term obstacles and why Citi is optimistic about their potential.
On the Liquidity panel, Sidney Powell, CEO & Co-Founder at Maple Finance; Matthew Ficke, COO at Credora; and Adam Bilko, Asset Manager at RockawayX, spoke about the developments in 2022, which have impacted yields in decentralized finance. The panel also discussed the need to address various factors to increase adoption from both institutional and retail users.
The second half of the summit began with a talk from Filip Siroky, Research Associate at RockawayX, discussing the outlook for infrastructure. The current landscape is already incredibly complex, so evaluating investment opportunities requires both specialization and significant effort. Even though the world is already multichain and modular, scalability remains one of the main challenges for blockchains and with zero-knowledge technology still in the research stage, we think the space will grow both horizontally and vertically.
Following this, Martin Vejmelka, Chief Technical Officer at RockawayX Labs, presented two of the products that his team is building for the Cosmos ecosystem. The first is Observatory.zone, which monitors the status of the network and quantifies its health based on validator behavior and concentrations. The second product, a dynamic liquid staking solution, will improve decentralization by allocating stake in order to maximize the health of the network.
Dusan returned to the stage with Martin Schmid, CEO & Co-Founder of EquiLibre Technologies, to discuss the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on trading. A revolution in crypto algorithmic trading is coming, and the biggest players are already in the lead using trading strategies from traditional finance.
The main message from the last panel of the day on regulations? Give us clarity. Viktor Fischer was joined by Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, CEO at BCB Group; and Tommasso Astazi, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Blockchain for Europe to discuss similarities in the way legislation was introduced to address risks in traditional finance, and how the regulations coming in the US and Europe can be beneficial for the future of digital assets if implemented in the right way.
During breaks and the evening reception, attendees were invited to see demonstrations from Ackee Blockchain as well as the RockawayX venture portfolio, Infrastructure and Labs teams. A very special thank you also to the exhibitors and artists featured in the NFT exhibition, including Jan Coppens from Le Random, AC from 6529 Capital, Michael Zancan, Spongenuity and Fingacode.
RockawayX would like to extend its gratitude to all the speakers, artists, and portfolio companies that helped make the day an educational and insightful experience for attendees. We hope to see you again for our next Investor Summit in 2023!