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Olaf Carlson-Wee’s Polychain Capital Co-Leads $230 Million Investment In Ethereum Challenger Capitalizing On DeFi – Forbes

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Ethereum challenger Avalanche has raised a $230 million investment led by Singapore-based hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Olaf Carlson-Wee’s Polychain Capital (Carlson-Wee was the first employee at now the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, and ultimately led its risk management).

Announced today, the capital raise, conducted as a private sale of the platform’s AVAX token, closed in June and also included investors such as R/Crypto Fund, Dragonfly, CMS Holdings, Collab+Currency, Lvna Capital as well as a group of angel investors and family offices. Similar to initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raised over $20 billion from the public a few years ago, this fundraising mechanism allows blockchain projects to raise capital from accredited investors in exchange for cryptographic tokens. Last year, the project raised approximately $60 million through token sales from prominent venture firms including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Initialized Capital. 

The Singapore-based non-profit Avalanche Foundation, which oversees the blockchain’s ecosystem, will use the funds to subsidize projects building decentralized finance (DeFi), enterprise, and other applications developed on the Avalanche blockchain. The support will include grants, token purchases and other forms of investment, according to Emin Gün Sirer, the founder of the project and director of the foundation.

The investment comes as a number of similar networks dubbed “Ethereum killers”, including Solana, Algorand, Cardano and Polkadot, have exploded in value over the past year and shows a continued appetite for innovation beyond the original blockchain that popularized smart contracts and enabled the next generation of decentralized applications.

“When you have a war chest like this, it’s a very comfortable situation to be in,” says Sirer. “We will certainly have partnership announcements coming up. I am really excited about the new unique deployments that are already in the pipeline.” Sirer also told Forbes that he had recently stepped down from his teaching position at Cornell University to focus on Avalanche. 

Conceived in 2018, the platform claims to process transactions hundreds of times faster than its competitor, more than 4,500 transactions per second vs. Ethereum’s 14, for a fraction of Ethereum’s fees. Commonly known as gas, transaction fees on Ethereum have skyrocketed earlier this year due to the high on-chain activity, peaking near $70 in May. 

Avalanche’s main network launched in September 2020 and has since claimed a stake in the swelling market. Over 225 projects are building on the platform, and the total amount of assets locked in Avalanche’s DeFi ecosystem, encompassing peer-to-peer exchanges and lending applications that operate without intermediaries, grew at the end of last month to over $1.6 billion from about $250 million in mid-August. Avalanche’s AVAX token, 14th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $13.13 billion, more than doubled in price, reaching an all-time high of $66.45 earlier this week, Messari’s data shows. 

Much of that growth can be attributed to the launch of the “Avalanche Rush” initiative, announced on August 18. Over the next few months, the program will inject $180 million worth of AVAX into the Avalanche ecosystem with the aim to lure blue-chip DeFi applications to the network by providing the tokens as liquidity mining incentives for users of protocols like Aave, which facilitates cryptocurrency lending, and decentralized exchange Curve, though additional integrations may follow. “We’re in talks across the board with every single category of DeFi projects you might imagine,” Sirer says. 

As the program kicked off following the introduction of the Avalanche Bridge, a technology that enables the transfer of assets between blockchains, namely Ethereum, market watchers, including Joseph Young and Nick Chong, authors of the DeFi-focused Forbes newsletter Alpha Alarm, noted the resemblance of Avalanche’s growth with Polygon, a platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. Many Ethereum-native DeFi applications, including the money market protocol Aave, have migrated to Polygon to escape Ethereum’s rising transaction fees due to the network’s congestion. 

Yet Avalanche is also capitalizing on the burgeoning popularity of non-fungible tokens. On August 11, it was revealed that legacy trading cards and collectibles company Topps partnered with Avalanche to build a marketplace for NFTs and launched the first collection featuring highlights from the German football league’s 2020–2021 season. A few days later, however, it became known that Major League Baseball, Topps’ major partner for 70 years, is ending its licensing agreement with the company in favor of a deal with the up-and-coming sports collectible brand Fanatics. But Sirer says Avalanche has more in store: “We are a big believer in NFTs and their future, and we plan to grow in that area in many different ways.”

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Simon Kronenfeld: Emerging investment opportunities – mtltimes.ca

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Smart investment can radically change your quality of life. Investing wisely has been one of the biggest contributors to entrepreneur Simon Kronenfeld’s journey from a dishwasher to becoming major player in Canada’s real estate market. Following his example by finding the right investment can open up a lot of opportunities for the individuals who seek them out. These are the investments that have the potential for growth with minimal risk. These top investment options can help you get ahead in 2021.

Investment has played a huge role in Simon Kronenfeld’s success. Making his way from washing dishes to making major investments in Canadian real estate, Kronenfeld has always shown excellent investment instincts for emerging opportunities. Simon focuses on finding the best risk-adjusted returns, maintaining a diverse portfolio of different asset classes. These are the key areas Simon has focused his investments into for decades, and continues to invest into in 2021.

Eentrepreneur Simon Kronenfeld

Exchange Traded Funds

Exchange traded funds, also known as ETFs, provide a simple way to diversify your portfolio while minimizing risk. By investing into an ETF, you are investing into certain sectors of the market, allowing yourself to capitalize on the growth of the overall industry, not just individual companies. While this somewhat flattens out your gains from the sudden growth of a single company, it also counteracts the impact of individual losing companies on your returns from the fund.  This makes ETFs an effective method of capitalizing on the long-term success of a market sector or group of companies.

Real Estate

Real estate investment turned Simon Kronenfeld from a small business owner to a major industry figure, and it remains one of the most viable (and popular) investments in 2021. Analyzing the future potential to transform the value of land enables smart long-term investment decisions. Kronenfeld’s story is proof that forward-looking investments are the key not just to creating financial value, but to transforming communities for the better. Timing has always been one of the challenges of the real estate market but investors who get it right can make returns significantly above the market average.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

With Kronenfeld’s experience in both real estate and accessing the stock market through ETFs, he sees Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as an ideal combination of capital appreciation, practical real estate market experience, and steady dividends. An individual can use REITs to gain exposure to companies like RioCan and Allied properties, receiving 4-6% returns on dividends alone, in addition to capital appreciation. REITs give investors exposure to real estate, while still having liquidity comparable the stock market, in contrast to the illiquidity of real estate.

Initial Coin Offerings

Initial coin offerings, also known as ICOs, have major potential for growth but also carry greater risk and volatility. ICOs are tokens that are sold by startups to fund the creation of new services, apps, and often cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-related products. While this space has the possibility of high returns, smart investors keep only minimal assets of this class in their portfolio, as it shares the high volatility and lack of regulation that makes cryptocurrency a risky investment.

Smart investors pay close attention to both emerging and flourishing markets, enabling them to take swift action when the time is right. Using Simon Kronenfeld’s roadmap to successful investment, combined with your your own knowledge and experience, will enable you to make the right investing choices in 2021.

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Stocks gain as earnings provide some optimism; 10-yr yield climbs

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Stock indexes around the world jumped on Tuesday as U.S. technology shares extended recent gains and earnings reports were upbeat, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to its highest in more than four months.

The U.S. dollar was lower on the day as other currencies, including sterling, were supported by investor expectations that interest rates could be increased sooner than some had forecast.

On Wall Street, the technology sector boosted the S&P 500 the most, while recent stronger-than-expected results have bumped up the forecast for S&P 500 earnings for the third quarter.

Investors remain worried, however, about the impact that higher costs, supply disruptions and labor shortages are having on companies.

“The key for the market to going up from here will not be higher multiples, it will have to be higher earnings. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what those profit margins do going forward and what the trajectory of GDP looks like,” said Eric Marshall, portfolio manager at Hodges Funds.

Among U.S. companies reporting results on Tuesday, insurer Travelers Cos Inc beat estimates for third-quarter profit and its shares rose. Johnson & Johnson raised its 2021 adjusted profit forecast and its shares jumped 2.3%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 198.7 points, or 0.56%, to 35,457.31, the S&P 500 gained 33.17 points, or 0.74%, to 4,519.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 107.28 points, or 0.71%, to 15,129.09.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.33% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe < .MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.73%.

The MSCI index reached its highest in about a month.

 

MSCI World Index https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/zgvomrjmavd/world%20stocks%20oct%2019.PNG

 

The dollar index against a basket of other currencies was last down 0.22% on the day at 93.73, after earlier dropping to 93.50, the lowest since Sept. 28.

The euro gained 0.25% to $1.1640. Currencies, including sterling and the New Zealand dollar, are benefiting from rising interest rate increase expectations.

Bitcoin last rose 3.49% to $64,201.08.

In the U.S. Treasury market, the yield curve widened, reversing the recent trend.

In afternoon U.S. trading, U.S. 10-year yields were last up nearly six basis points at 1.6407%. The yield hit a 4-1/2-month peak of 1.6440%.

The U.S. 5-year yield, which has been on a tear the last two weeks, was last down at 1.1586%.

Oil prices climbed and were near multi-year highs as an energy supply crunch continued across the globe. Brent crude rose 75 cents to settle at $85.08 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 52 cents to settle at $82.96.

In other commodities, U.S. gold futures gained 0.15% to $1,769.70 an ounce.

 

(Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London, Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru, Karen Brettell, Stephanie Kelly and Sinead Carew in New York, and Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Jason Neely, John Stonestreet, Steve Orlofsky and Cynthia Osterman)

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In highly uneven recovery, global investment flows rebound – UN News

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That’s according to the latest Investment Trends Monitor, released this Tuesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  

It shows the increase in the first two quarters in FDI, recovered more than 70 per cent of the losses stemming from the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. 

For the UNCTAD‘s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan, the good news “masks the growing divergence in FDI flows between developed and developing economies, as well as the lag in a broad-based recovery of the greenfield investment in productive capacity.” 

Mr. Zhan also warns that “uncertainties remain abundant”. 

Global outlook  

The duration of the health crisis, the pace of vaccinations, especially in developing countries, and the speed of implementation of infrastructure stimulus, remain important factors of uncertainty. 

Other important risk factors are labour and supply chain bottlenecks, rising energy prices and inflationary pressures.  

Despite these challenges, the global outlook for the full year has improved from earlier projections. 

The growth in the next few months should be more muted than the in the first half of the year, but it should still take FDI flows to beyond pre-pandemic levels. 

Uneven recovery 

Between January and June, developed economies saw the biggest rise, with FDI reaching an estimated $424 billion, more than three times the exceptionally low level in 2020. 

In Europe, several large economies saw sizeable increases, on average remaining only 5 per cent below pre-pandemic quarterly levels.  

Inflows in the United States were up by 90 per cent, driven by a surge in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. 

FDI flows in developing economies also increased significantly, totalling $427 billion in the first half of the year.  

There was a growth acceleration in east and southeast Asia (25 per cent), a recovery to near pre-pandemic levels in Central and South America, and upticks in several other regional economies across Africa and West and Central Asia. 

Of the total recovery increase, 75 per cent was recorded in developed economies. 

High-income countries more than doubled quarterly FDI inflows from rock bottom 2020 levels, middle-income economies saw a 30 per cent increase, and low-income economies a further nine per cent decline.  

Mixed picture for investors 

Growing investor confidence is most apparent in infrastructure, boosted by favourable long-term financing conditions, recovery stimulus packages and overseas investment programmes. 

International project finance deals were up 32 per cent in number, and 74 per cent in value terms. Sizeable increases happened in most high-income regions and in Asia and South America. 

In contrast, UNCTAD says investor confidence in industry and value chains remains shaky. Greenfield investment project announcements continued their downward path, decreasing 13 per cent in number and 11 per cent in value until the end of September.  

Agenda 2030 

After suffering double-digit declines across almost all sectors, the recovery in areas relevant to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries remains fragile. 

The combined value of announced greenfield investments and project finance deals rose by 60 per cent, but mostly because of a small number of very large deals in the power sector.  

International project finance in renewable energy and utilities continues to be the strongest growth sector. 

The investment in projects relevant to the SDGs in least developed countries continued to decline precipitously. New greenfield project announcements fell by 51 per cent, and infrastructure project finance deals by 47 per cent. Both had already fallen 28 per cent last year.

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