Asia New Crypto Unicorns Bucking Global Trends

Image credit: iStockphoto/comzeal

Around the world, there are fears of a crypto winter. But in Asia, crypto and blockchain startups are flourishing, with a quarter of all regional firms having crypto-related businesses, according to a new report from KPMG and HSBC.

Of the 6,472 startups in the region, five have been identified as having the potential to become unicorns or private startup companies valued at over USD1 billion.

The report cites the 2021 Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index, which noted that crypto transactions in Asia rose eight-fold compared with the previous year, accounting for 14% of the world total.

"One outcome was the creation of two unicorns – Amber Group in Hong Kong and Singapore’s Matrixport, both crypto financial services providers," the report notes.

Furthermore, blockchain companies have been even more successful, with key players coming out of Vietnam (Sky Mavis), South Korea (Dunamu), and China (HyperChain).

Currently, the report lists the following crypto-related platforms as part of the Leading 10 Emerging Giants in each country:

  • EasyCrypto (Australia), where customers can buy, sell, and trade up to 150 cryptocurrencies

  • Avocado Guild (Australia), a developer of a play-to-earn blockchain gaming platform

  • Catheon Gaming (Hong Kong SAR), a play-to-earn gaming platform for fantasy NFT PvP and P2E gaming ecosystems on the Solana blockchain

  • HexTrust (Hong Kong SAR), which offers bank-grade custody solutions for digital assets

  • BDW Exchange (Hong Kong SAR), a crypto exchange platform

  • Wombat Exchange (Hong Kong SAR), which features blockchain tech for crypto trading

  • HKbiTEX (Hong Kong), a digital asset exchange platform

  • Stader Labs (Singapore), a decentralized financial platform for stake management on a public blockchain

  • imToken (Singapore), an operator of a digital asset management platform on the blockchain

  • Multiverse Labs (Singapore), a metaverse company with AI-powered tools

  • DeBank (Singapore), a multi-chain crypto portfolio tracker

  • Planetarium (South Korea), an open-source blockchain platform for gaming

  • Coinone (South Korea), an operator of an asset brokerage platform for trading crypto

  • Maicoin (Taiwan), an online crypto exchange and investment platform

  • OwlTing (Taiwan), which features e-commerce and blockchain applications

  • Sipher (Thailand), a multiplayer gaming platform on the blockchain

Since early May, the crypto market has been beset by difficulties, with Bitcoin losing nearly half its value. This was partly due to the failure of stablecoin TerraUSD and its linked token Luna, causing investors such as 3AC to lose a lot of money.

Despite this, the report remains optimistic about the future of crypto in Asia, noting that the rise of digital currencies and assets are inevitable. “We believe that blockchain companies and crypto assets more broadly will rebound at some point. There will be a resurgence of applications; if these unicorns are delivering value, they will emerge as the next Amazon," said Darren Yong, the head of tech, media, and telecoms (TMT) for KPMG Asia-Pacific.

Image credit: iStockphoto/comzeal