David Angliss, an analyst with Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, shares the fund’s weekly take on what’s happening in the fast-changing and volatile cryptocurrency space.

Apollo Capital unfortunately wasn’t able to get in on the private sale for Immutable X, a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum founded by Sydney brothers Robbie and James Ferguson. So Apollo has been buying on the spot market, an indication of how strongly it believes in the project.

Immutable, David Angliss says, sits at the intersection of several fast-growing sectors of the cryptocurrency space: the metaverse, NFTs and Ethereum scaling solutions.

IMX uses StarkWare, the same technology that powers on-chain derivatives platform dYdX, to escape Ethereum’s high gas (transaction) fees. Minting on Immutable is gasless and nearly instantaneous.

“So if you have a play-to-earn game that involves thousands of thousands of transactions, one of these big immersive games,” Immutable is a great solution, Angliss said.

There’s nothing else like it on the market except for SoRare, which also uses StarkWare, but that platform is specific to fantasy association football, Angliss said.

Auckland-based NFT company VeVe is using Immutable X to power its app, which has sold 510,000 NFTs to over 290,000 active users.

The company has partnered with Marvel and DC to license superhero characters as NFTs, and is also producing licensed NFTs from brands including Star Trek, the NFL Players Association, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and more.

“VeVe is opting to use Immutable because its gas-efficient, quicker, environmentally friendly,” Angliss said.

There’s concern in some circles over the environmental footprint of Ethereum-based NFTs, given that the network still relies on energy-intensive mining for security, although it should switch next year. Some projects have chosen Solana, Algorand or Tezos.

Immutable token’s stellar returns

The Immutable X token was trading on Friday for US$5.53, giving it a market cap of US$1 billion and making it the No. 103 crypto.

That’s not bad for a token that was only released just this month.

What’s more, retail investors who got in on the IMX initial coin offerings on Huobi Global and Coinlist have realised spectacular gains – although Australians were shut out from both those opportunities, along with Americans, because of regulatory uncertainty.

Also, there was a very small maximum buy – just US$500 on Coinlist and US$200 on Huobi.

But those tokens sold for US15c (on Coinlist in September) and 16c (Huobi in November) – so a US$500 investment in IMX tokens on Coinlist is now worth US$18,400. Only in crypto…

Maple Finance’s massive deal

It’s also been a big week for another Aussie project that Apollo is invested in, Maple Finance.

The Melbourne-based decentralised finance platform is providing a syndicated loan to Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, the trading firm affiliated with crypto exchange FTX,

(A syndicated loan is a loan from a group of lenders, or syndicate.)

The whitelisted institutional lenders have committed $25 million in capital at launch, with  planned growth to $1 billion over 12 months, according to Coindesk.

Angliss calls the deal “pretty massive”.

“It’s great to see Aussie DeFi projects doing well,” he said.

The MPL token was on Friday trading for US$24.13, up 15 per cent from 24 hours ago, giving it a market cap of US$69 million and making it the No. 537 crypto.

The ERC-20 token was trading at $6.40 when Angliss’ colleague Matthew Harcourt first highlighted the project in this column back in July.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.