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’s team was up in the wee hours last month, hoping to buy some Stargate Finance tokens during its public auction – but like nearly everyone else, they were shut out.

Billionaire crypto investor Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research managed to buy the entire $25 million supply of tokens up for auction, leaving nothing left for the thousands of others who were planning to take part. The firm paid 5.744 Ether (~US$19,000) to miners to ensure that its transaction was processed first, ahead of all others.

“They bought it all in the first second (of the auction), which is pretty insane,” David Angliss says. “It just goes to show how interested they are in the project. For Alameda to buy it all and prevent anyone from getting it just shows the conviction of one of the biggest VCs in crypto.”

Apollo, Angliss says, was very interested in participating in the action but “obviously, we couldn’t get any, because Alameda bought it all.”

The auction was 3am Melbourne time. “It was a hard one to get into, but we were ready to buy into it,” Angliss said.

Having been shut out, the firm is now looking at buying Stargate tokens on the secondary markets.

“It’s a project we’re very interested in.”

The bridging trilemma

Stargate is another interpoperability play, Angliss explains. (Right now there are several “layer 1” smart contract platforms competing for dominance, with Ethereum slowly losing market share to newer competitors like Terra, Avalanche and Solana. Many in the crypto space believer in a “multichain future” where numerous blockchains co-exist side by side. That means that they have to have some way to communicate and transfer assets back and forth between them.)

“Stargate tries to solve the bridging trilemma – not the blockchain trilemma, but the bridging trilemma,” Angliss says. (The blockchain trilemma is well-known in the crypto space, and refers to the difficulty of having a platform that’s at once decentralised, secure and scalable.)

The bridging trilemma, Angliss says, “means instant guaranteed finality, unified liquidity and native assets.”

Native assets refers to most liquid synethetic assets on the desired chain, Angliss explains. (For example, when transferring Ethereum to Solana using the Wormhole bridge, users receive “weWETH” or “wormhole Ether” tokens on the Solana side. But a different wrapped Ethereum token on Solana is more widely used).

“Stargate is probably the most popular project that people are looking at in the interoperability and multichain narrative,” Angliss said.

It’s built on LayerZero, an “omnichain interoperatobility protocol” that Stockhead wrote about last September. LayerZero uses on-chain decentralised oracles to connect liquidity across blockchains.

Stargate Finance (STG) tokens were trading for US$3 apiece on Friday. Coingecko had not assigned it a ranking by market capitalisation, but said its fully diluted valuation was $3 billion.

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.
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