A blockchain land grab is driving ‘spray and pray’ tactics among some players
Setting the world on fire... Pic: Getty
The blockchain space is still working out what is possible and what’s not — leading some players to adopt a ‘spray and pray’ approach.
Fatfish Internet (ASX:FFG) chief Kin Wai Lau says the field is still in “gold rush” mentality where players are buying up prospects across a range of different applications as part of a land grab.
Fatfish itself has invested in a crypto exchange in Singapore, a cryptocurrency miner in Malaysia, an ICO (initial coin offer) adviser, and a crypto-assets fund in the UK.
The idea is to be a “toolbox” through which people and companies access cryptocurrencies, ICOs or blockchain products — a middleman, in effect, since getting involved in any of these requires a level of knowledge many people don’t have.
An ICO is a form of crowdfunding. It is like an initial public offering — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or for digital services.
Blockchain is a technology that provides a public ledger of transactions used as the foundation for digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Each “block” is like a bank statement that is connected to other blocks to form a chain.
Fatfish shares surged 26 per cent on Friday to 4.4c, after the prices of major cryptocurrencies began to spike late on Thursday.
Bitcoin jumped back above $US8000 last week — up from about $US6700 at the start of the week.
ASX-listed companies that have an association with cryptocurrencies felt the effects of the crypto market hype over December and early January — and the crypto crash that came in the middle of that month.
Unlisted crypto investor Blockchain Global is following a similar broad-based strategy, placing bets on a range of blockchain plays including several ASX stocks such as DigitalX (ASX:DCC).
Blockchain Global CEO Sam Lee is heavily involved with turning biotech Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) into a blockchain-based genetic data centre. Blockchain Global also takes a piece of prospective startups via incubators and venture funds.
Blockchain Global has also invested in First Growth Funds (ASX:FGF), which sucessfully completed a $4.45 million capital raising in March.
First Growth is planning to allocate 32 per cent of their cash into ICOs and blockchain investments.
FGF’s recent investments include $US100,000 on cyber security platform GlobalGuard. They have also signed a term sheet and paid an upfront $US250,000 fee with US company Heuresy to build a cryptocurrency exchange.
Byte Power Group (ASX:BPG) tried to transition into the sector by starting its own exchange and try out the role of ICO advisor.
The advisory role fell over and the rush to develop an exchange has resulted in the company being investigated by ASIC and allegedly having $6.7 million in cryptocurrency stolen by its erstwhile software developer.