INTERVIEW: Yat Siu on Animoca Brands, Mocaverse, and Web3 Investment in the Indian market

NFT Studio 24
NFT Studio 24

Animoca BrandsChairman/Cofounder Yat Siu sat with NFTStudio24 at TOKEN 2049 Singapore to discuss Animoca Brands’ take on startup investment, his goals with Mocaverse, and expanding into the Indian Web3 market. 

Animoca Brands has managed to become a Web3 investment giant. The company is driving adoption by investing in over 450 projects, including Opensea, Dapper Labs, Axie Infinity, and more. Animoca is widely known for being the owner of The Sandbox and Mocaverse

The company has been focusing its investments on startups and projects that promote digital property rights via NFTs and build an open metaverse. Following is NFTStudio24 CEO Hinza’s interview with Yat Siu

Yat Siu on $20M Mocaverse Investment

Animoca Brands recently raised $20M for Mocaverse, a project focused on decentralized digital identity. 

Siu along with his team have been actively promoting the importance of digital property rights. In his recent TedTalk, Siu talks about how in the era of Artificial Intelligence and centralized apps, there’s a need for infrastructure that protects user data via digital asset ownership.

Siu introduces Mocaverse as an NFT project primarily as a membership collection for Animoca Brands’ community that promotes digital identity. The project has two main elements:

  • The first is its DAO solution called MocaDAO which operates the governance system of the Mocaverse using token holdings of Moca. 
  • The second element is its decentralized digital identity system, MocaID, a soulbound token (non-transferable NFT) that allows people to compose new experiences on top of it.

“We’re basically building an infrastructure that allows networking within our ecosystem to be shared with third parties who wish to partake in the Mocaverse ecosystem,” Siu said. “It’s almost like a kind of Web3-linking.”

Yat Siu on the biggest obstacles preventing Web3 adoption

Yat Siu believes there are two main obstacles that limit people from exploring Web3 technology fully. 

The first he highlights is the Regulatory aspect. “I think Asia is very forward.” He gives examples of Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Singapore where governments and organizations have started to really embrace Web3. While there are places like the US that are not that supportive.

“I think in the places where you have positive regulation you’ll actually end up finding more adoption. Whereas in the places obviously there isn’t, it’s obviously operating a little bit out of fear.” Siu said. 

The second obstacle he shares is misunderstandings between Web2 and Web3. Siu believes people don’t understand digital property rights. It is important to help educate the benefits of Web3 because it’s so much better.

Siu on Web3 Investment in the Indian Market

Knowing Animoca Brands’ reputation as an investor, NFTStudio24 raised the question of its endeavors in the Indian market. Siu shares the company has already invested in a few Web3 projects such as Rare and Goki.

However, Siu shares that for Animoca to fully enter a market, there’s a need for clarity from the regulators to understand the space. “India is a big market and a very important market, so we don’t want to ignore it.”

Siu on Japan’s creative industry and Web3 market

Japan is known for its massive IP and creator economy. The government under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has embraced Web3 technology with Metaverse being part of its national agenda. 

Siu is highly impressed by Japan’s Web3 market. Animoca Brands Japan is a separate subsidiary focused on having partnerships and investments with companies like MUJFG. The Sandbox is also operating in the country to promote the Metaverse and NFT narrative to the public.

Overall, he sees a huge potential in the Japanese market due to its open-mindedness and speed of adoption, especially for NFTs and metaverse. 

Final Thoughts

The interview wrapped up with Siu sharing his enthusiasm for TOKEN2049 which looked much livelier than last year despite the bear market. He sees excitement among builders and creators in Web3. 

“They don’t care about what’s happening right now. They only care about what they’re building. And that is both exhilarating and very helpful,” he said.

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