Welcome back to Chain Reaction, a podcast diving deep into stories, backgrounds and latest news with the biggest names in crypto.
For this week’s episode, I interviewed Gwendolyn Regina, investment director at layer-1 blockchain BNB Chain. Prior to her current role, Regina worked at Facebook — or, as some call it now, Meta — building a new business unit for venture capital partnerships and startup growth. She’s also a founder of a few different businesses and a founding team member for an early-stage tech investment firm, Thymos Capital.
As investment director, Regina looks at new projects, talks to developers and runs BNB Chain’s grant program, which picks up to 10 projects a month to help them grow on the chain.
BNB Chain was launched in September 2020 and was initially kicked off by Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.
Since then, BNB Chain has aimed to be a decentralized, community-owned separate entity from Binance with a focus on three audiences: retail markets, builders and developers, and bridging Web2.0 businesses to web3, Regina said. “We’re here to, number one, grow the blockchain and grow the pie.”
Although the past year has been shaky for crypto markets, BNB’s investment strategy takes a long-term view and is mainly not affected by day-to-day market events, Regina explained.
“Our investment thesis doesn’t change and yet it also changes,” Regina joked. “We all know blockchain and crypto move incredibly fast, so we are more precise in certain areas but largely speaking it has not changed.”
All in all, through the bear market and “mini bulls” along the way, “we’re in a phase where everyone is building,” Regina said. “And we want to enable more capabilities on BNB Chain.”
Web3 gaming on BNB Chain also has grown “organically through robustness and cheaper fees,” but the blockchain’s team is now “doubling down” in that sector to encourage more gamers and developers to play and build on its chain, Regina added. Out of its 1 million daily active users, about 40% are gamers, she shared.
“Our GameFi infrastructure has always been relatively strong but because things evolve so much we’re really trying to find one-stop shop GameFi infrastructure,” Regina said. “Going back to our investment thesis, when we look at the different themes, we always ask ourselves what is missing now and more importantly […] you have to think about what will be important in six months.”
For Regina and the BNB investment team, investments are “more than financial capital; it’s really a lot of growth incentives,” among other elements.