Why these Web3 founders believe they will survive the trillion-dollar Crypto wipeout

While many Web3 and crypto startups, including CrowdPad, DAOLens, and Hike, have sufficient runway to survive the current downturn, they recognise that unpredictable price swings are necessary before the industry is widely accepted.
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The crypto market has plummeted—brought on by the uncertainties in the financial markets, leading to rampant job cuts and the news of scammers running riot hitting the front page every other day. So, it’s only natural to expect Web3 startup founders to brace themselves for the worst and living in fear about the future, right? Wrong. 

 

Several Web3 startups—including CrowdPad, DAOLens, and Hike—are confident that they have enough in financial reserves to see the current crisis through. One reason is that these startups have raised funds through the traditional equity route, and not crypto tokens, protecting them from the turmoil of plunging values.

Several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Matic, and Cardano, have shrunk to less than half their value since the beginning of this year. This hurt market sentiments with global crypto firms—Coinbase, Gemini, Robinhood, BlockFi, BitMex, and Crypto.com—announcing earlier this week that they are downsizing their workforce.

But startup founders are not only confident because they have raised enough money, they tell The Decrypting Story that companies with strong business models will survive the current economic downturn and flourish in the years to come.

“As long as the product is good, our investors said they would invest in it,” says Vikram Aditya, CEO and Co-founder of DAOLens—a tooling platform that helps decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) effectively onboard and manage contributors. “Investors will invest as long as builders are aware of what they are building, why they are building it and if the product has a real world use case to it.”

DAOLens' Vikram Aditya is confident about investments in the company.

Joel Alexander, CEO and Co-founder of CrowdPad, agrees. “Bear markets are for builders; startups must position themselves in such a way that the stress of running out of money shouldn't impact how you build your product."

Kavin Bharti Mittal, CEO and Founder of Hike, says he’s learning from what’s happening in the market. “Cycles go up and down… and we see this as an opportunity to get stronger and double down. We’re excited.” Hike recently raised funds from marquee crypto investors Jump Crypto, Tribe Capital, and Republic Crypto.

“Our main focus right now is on building out RGU (Rush Gaming Universe), and hiring the best talent,” he adds.

Globally, too, many Web3 companies and showing their vote of confidence during these troubled times.

Earlier this month, Binance—the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume—raised $500 million to invest in Web3 technologies despite the current bear market. Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) announced a new $4.5 billion fund in May 2022 for backing crypto and blockchain companies.

Chris Dixon, an a16z VC investor, recently explained in a Twitter thread that “Web 3 is the internet owned by builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.” Despite this, the recent market volatility has hit hard, leading to scepticism about the industry.

CrowdPad’s Joel says startups should look to extend their runways during funding rounds. But he acknowledges that raising money won’t be easy for all. “Although we recently raised money, and we are working on building our product, it is not easy for many private startups to find investments because of the compressed valuation, and many VCs are withholding funds or refusing to invest in the firms.”

CrowdPad’s Joel says startups should look to extend their runways during funding rounds.

He points out that the company is trying to address a real issue by building its product. “Monetisation is a real-world problem and we are working towards solving them. The issues we're trying to tackle are real, so why shouldn't the technology we’re utilising help us solve them? There are still real builders building it for real utility-driven use cases.” 

Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX, says things could take longer to recover during the bear market. “In a bull market, you can get a million people in a month. But in a bear market, it will take a year. I have personally witnessed this take place; at WazirX, it took us two years to reach a million customers, later, in the next two months, we easily hit other million users.” He also agrees that a bear market “is a good time to build.” 

Is this the end of the crypto markets?

Crypto winters have a history that dates back to early 2013, when bitcoin was still in its infancy and the market was hurtling towards what then looked like doomsday. However, 2014 saw a recovery and many key innovations. Even mainstream companies like Microsoft, Paypal, and Dell, began accepting payments in Bitcoin. 

This was not a one-off instance—each crisis has propelled innovation. The previous crypto winter turned out to be crucial for the industry and Layer 2 scaling solutions gained prominence during this period. Although the future of the industry is difficult to predict, seasoned crypto enthusiasts and startup co-founders are confident that the current bear market will lead to further innovations. 

“We’re now in a bear market. Inflation is at its highest in a while interest rates have been cranked up to bring things under control and money is getting pulled out at a rapid pace. So it’s winter all around. This is a real test. Strong teams and business models will survive and be positioned to thrive in the future,” says Hike’s Kavin.

DAOLens’ Vikram Aditya, explains that such shakeups are to be expected when any new technology is being adopted. “Any new technology, in my opinion, will go through such stages. The fact that there is some uncertainty and fear could eventually spark a more significant revolution. Similar upheavals in the past have paved the way for significant advancements like the internet.” 

Many Web3 experts also draw parallels between the current Web3 economic crisis and the period that followed the dot-com bubble. Twenty years on, some of the biggest companies, such as Amazon and eBay, that survived it have become global leaders.  

Will the sector see a revival? 

Web3 experts believe that crypto adoption is similar to the adoption of any other technologies till it reaches 8 to 10 percent of the population, after which it often surges rapidly. 

Kavin says many consumers are already rooting for crypto. “There are over 50 million users who have self-custodial wallets globally. The adoption of crypto is happening at a faster pace than the internet...it’s all pointing in the right direction. Along the way, we have these cycles and we just have to ride them out.”

WazirX’s Nischal says the coming years will see countries like Vietnam, Brazil, Turkey, and India play a key role in Web3’s growth. “India has already demonstrated its footsteps towards mass adoption of the crypto. Over 25 million Indians believe in the industry. In my opinion, we will see 100 million individuals supporting crypto in the next three to five years.”
Edited by Kanishk Singh

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