Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a once-bourgeoning Singaporean hedge fund worth an estimated $10 billion at its peak, was utterly obliterated by the bear market last year. However, the carnival it has created since the initial blowup still lives on, and its main characters appear to be doing quite well, too.
One of 3AC co-founders, Kyle Davies, appears to have finally found some solace from the experience. After much turmoil, the former hedge fund manager has now transitioned into an aspiring restauranteur fixated on one task — perfecting the art of cooking chicken.
Any seasoned chef would know that cooking a tender, well-seasoned, juicy and crispy-skinned chicken is a rather exquisite skill. To perfect it, one needs to maintain a razor-sharp focus on the meat while techniques are applied, which requires cutting out distractions — such as focusing on negative feelings related to creditors trying to claim $3.5 billion from 3AC’s bankruptcy — during the performance.
Generally speaking, chefs don’t like customers who are rude. This is why when a user suggested on April 14 to review-bomb Davies’ new Dubai restaurant, the now professional cook immediately threatened legal action against individuals who post “intentionally false reviews and defamation against my restaurant.”
Meanwhile Davies and fellow co-founder Su Zhu launched the OPNX exchange on April 5, launched to trade bankruptcy claims of fallen crypto entities such as FTX and Celsius. Although daily volume was only around $13 initially, by the time of publication, the exchange has reached nearly $1.8 million in daily trading volume.
It’s not pleasant being the one to disappoint the crowd, but these numbers are pretty impressive. Consider the fact that the sum of all regulated crypto products listed in Hong Kong only does about $1.19 million in volume per day.
Not that the exchange is playing up its 3AC ties. In an April 14 interview, OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb reportedly said that “While Su Zhu and Kyle contributed much in terms of early-stage ideas and vision, they currently are no longer involved in OPNX’s everyday operations.”
In other 3AC news, on April 19, Sotheby’s auction house announced it would sell a series of NFT collections recovered by liquidators, including Dmitri Cherniak’s artwork “The Golden Goose,” purchased by Davies and Zhu with $5.8 million in Ether in August 2021.
Zhu appears to have taken the new philosophically, quoting the famed English poet Alfred Tennyson: “[Tis] better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,” while highlighting the NFT auction for his followers. 3AC’s bankruptcy proceedings are currently ongoing.
Singaporean Bitcoin miner’s wild week
On April 14, shares of Singaporean Bitcoin (BTC) mining operator SAI.TECH, listed on the Nasdaq exchange, surged by over 360% in one day to a high of $7.42 before giving back much of its gains. The stock is currently trading at $3.68 per share at the time of publication. There was no material news preceding the unusual price action — and we certainly tried to identify some.
SAI.TECH develops Bitcoin mining infrastructure hardware, namely Saihub, Tankbox, and Rackbox, that utilizes liquid cooling and waste heat recovery solutions to improve efficiency for miners.
On April 20, the company consolidated its product lines into three categories; Ultiaas, Boltbit, and Heatnuc. Boltbit will focus on providing decentralized transaction system services and technical support, while Heatnuc focuses on the “research and promotion of small modular reactors.” Ultiaas puts the emphasis on hardware and software products that convert mining chip heat to reusable energy.
The company terminated its Phase II 90 megawatts (MW) crypto mining and hosting expansion plan in Kazakhstan last year following a “force majeure,” and will continue to execute its Phase I 15 MW agreement for the same purpose. In January 2022, the Kazakh government resigned following protests and shut down access to the internet, disrupting the operations of Bitcoin miners in the country. The company is currently emphasizing operations at its testing and distribution facility in Ohio.
Bruce Lee NFTs fizzle…
Not even the late Hong Kong film legend could defeat the economic laws of supply and demand with his martial arts dexterity. Between April 12 to April 14, the Bruce Lee Foundation, directed by his daughter Shannon, partnered with NFT video platform Shibuya to launch The House of Lee collection to celebrate the life and work of the namesake Kung Fu legend. A total of 48,691 NFTs were minted at a price of 0.008 Ether (ETH), to 6,452 owners (13% unique).
There was one slight issue, only one NFT was unique in the collection, that of the House of Lee Genesis NFT. With an abundance of supply, the floor price of the collection quickly dropped to around 0.003 ETH apiece on OpenSea at the time of publication. The sale still grossed approximately $730,000, minus the cost of placing a mega billboard advertisement for the NFT drop on Broadway.
While the initial sale may have been somewhat lukewarm, the NFTs are billed as “Your ticket to the House of Lee,” and there are reports that this is a mere first stage of an ongoing Web3 collaboration. It seems the martial arts legend may continue to fight on in the realm of blockchain after all.