There were a number of good news stories for Bitcoin, Ether and the wider crypto world in October, including the momentous Paypal news, ETH 2.0 staking being around the corner and lastly more publicly listed companies adding Bitcoin as an asset to their treasuries.

First to PayPal, who by announcing it will allow its 330m users to purchase Bitcoin and other crypto assets directly within the app and use it as a form of payment with their over 26m registered merchants got the markets and even Vitalik very excited…

Ethereum’s developer team then announced Eth 2.0 staking is imminent. The ETH network just needs to hit a certain amount of Ether locked in the staking contract so validators can start of the Proof-of-Stake network. This is expected to happen sometime over the next few months. …

Moonbeam, Half-year Results, Portfolio News

Moonbeam Investment

We were delighted to participate in Moonbeam investment round alongside Hypersphere Capital and HashKey Group in September. Moonbeam is an Ethereum compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network and is a new, powerful, scalable blockchain that makes it easy to build interoperable decentralised applications (“dApps”) that can integrate and run in parallel with other blockchains, including Ethereum and Bitcoin. The Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Ethereum smart
contracts to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a Polkadot ‘Parachain’,
Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of Polkadot and integrations
with other chains that are connected to Polkadot.

Moonbeam is being led by Derek Yoo and his experienced team at PureStake, who provide the protocol implementation for Moonbeam. The project is currently in active development and is expected to reach mainnet by mid-2021. …

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Great Polkadot Memes flying around on Twitter, credits here to ‘DonnieBigBags’

Polkadot DOT Transfers Enabled!

At last, all the waiting was over as Polkadot finally hit the markets! We were tremendously excited to see the reaction by the markets as it chimed with our view that Polkadot represents a major technological improvement in the blockchain space. Polkadot fixes issues with current chains on interoperability, functionality and performance. Over the last six months we have been using Polkadot and Kusama and been super impressed with the way they are designed and respond. It just feels like the future. …

We just published our Managing Director’s Report and audited final results for the year ended 31 December 2019, please find the annoucement directly on the AQSE exchange website.

Financial markets tend to explore the boundaries of an asset’s value, spiking upwards to test highs, and capitulating downwards at moments of deep uncertainty. These last few years in the crypto markets have seen both ends of the spectrum in full force. The one constant has been the ever-expanding number of credible and exciting startup projects launching new disruptive systems using blockchain and decentralised technologies. KR1 has been continuously investing in these new projects through this market volatility cycle. We continued to add new investments to the portfolio knowing full well that with the increased number of decentralised platforms finding real product market fit, the markets would soon return to a more favorable outlook. …

Dfinity Starting to Unveil

Dfinity released a major milestone in June with its ‘Tungsten’ release. Tungsten is the first proper public release of the work that has been going on at Dfinity behind the scenes and was presented publicly in a super slick Silicon Valley event, you can watch the recording below.

The release marked Dfinity’s halfway point to a main net release, currently set for Q4/2020 or early Q1/2021, probably coming in a similar fashion as we watched Polkadot or Cosmos roll-out, launch network first, guarantee stability, then enable governance and eventually enable transferability of the Dfinity (“DFN”) tokens.

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With KR1 we’ve been fans of what Dominic and the team at Dfinity were planning since 2017 and we backed them in their 2018 fundraising round, still KR1’s second-largest investment to date (just shy of Polkadot). Dfinity’s Internet Computer is taking a very brave and, pleasantly, very different technical approach than many other blockchains that are attempting to compete for mainstream developer interest. It utilizes different types of cryptography and network security than many other blockchains and the current internet stack provides. Even though it will be trying to woo developers to build consumer applications on it, Dfinity feels it may get more adoption in the huge enterprise market. …

Portfolio Update: Rocket Pool

Some great news on one of our portfolio projects, we announced that we realized profits on our Rocket Pool (“RPL”) token position, selling some of our tokens at an average price of USD $1.67 per RPL for a total of USD $352,620. These RPL tokens were acquired at an average price of USD $0.21 per RPL token during the Rocket Pool token presale in 2017, find all the details in our public announcement.

Rocket Pool is a next-generation Proof-of-Stake (PoS) infrastructure service, designed to be highly decentralised, distributed and compatible with staking in Ethereum 2.0. It offers any user, business, exchange or fund the ability to earn a yield on their Ethereum (“ETH”) holdings without worrying about maintaining an extensively technical staking infrastructure. Rocketpool was an early investment by us. The founder David Rugendyke was a complete standout to us and is a total developer ninja. …

Union Finance

We are pleased to announce we invested $75,000 USD in the Union Finance project. Union Finance is an exciting new credit mutual built on Ethereum, which allows people and organisations to take out loans on the blockchain without the need for collateral, a credit score, or revealing personal information on a public ledger.

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Jacob Shiach, Founder of Union Finance, commented:

“KR1 saw the opportunity in Union even before I did, and their early support was critical in getting this company rolling; I’m excited to build the future of credit with them.”

Ethereum’s decentralised finance ‘DeFi’ ecosystem is presently relying on heavy over-collateralisation, which makes some projects capital inefficient for most personal or business credit use cases and limits the appeal for mainstream adoption. Unions’ unsecured lending protocol opens up this emerging financial system to a much larger set of use cases, for example micro-loans, credit lines within the Internet of Things and social lending. …

Acala Investment

We are pleased to announce we invested in the Acala Network project, it’s The Acala Network is building decentralised finance infrastructure for the much anticipated Polkadot ecosystem. The core offering will be a stablecoin, A secondary offering of the Acala Network will be a liquidity protocol for staked digital assets. Utilizing Acala’s to-be-released liquidity protocol, staked Polkadot (“DOT”) tokens that are earning yield can become liquid and tradable.

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KR1 took part in the seed round alongside Polychain Capital, P2P Capital, HashKey, SNZ and other prominent investors.

Yesterday, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saw extremely volatile markets, with Bitcoin seeing its second-worst day of returns in Bitcoin’s entire trading history, with a percentage daily drop that has not been seen since 2013.

While previous extreme volatility events featured a fairly strong fundamental basis of reasoning around the price discovery on those respective days, i.e. the MtGox Exchange hack and Bitcoin theft in 2013 or the rejection of the first major Bitcoin ETF proposal by the SEC in early 2017, yesterday’s market volatility does not suggest any strong fundamental reason around the extreme move but points towards nothing but market mechanisms. A sell-off triggered an avalanche of liquidations on exchanges like BitMEX, Bitfinex and Deribit, which allow for leveraged trading and complex derivatives around the Bitcoin price and other cryptocurrencies. …

Nexus Mutual Comes of Age

We have been waiting for this moment for a while: Nexus Mutual, a startup we seed-funded and where we were also the almost first ETH contributor to their ETH Capital Pool, has had its first successful smart contract cover claim and payout after the bZx exploit. This means a claim was made by someone, who purchased protection for funds lost specifically to the bZx smart contracts, and after careful analysis by a decentralised committee, all on the blockchain, the claim was approved and paid out. The bZx attack is well documented so we won’t go into it in detail, you can read Kayleigh’s & the Nexus Mutual development team’s post or it was also featured on Coindesk. …



KR1 plc is Europe's leading publicly listed investment company focused on blockchain and decentralised technologies (KR1:AQSE). KR1 was founded in March 2016.

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