Episode13: Recap with Sean Tan and David Micley: Current Trading and Venture Conditions


Welcome to another recap of Around the Block, TRON DAO’s way of staying in touch with the community by bringing you expert opinions and conversations about blockchain topics that matter. In episode 13, host Dave Uhryniak, Director of Ecosystem Development at TRON DAO has a discussion with Sean Tan, Head of Asset Management at Mirana Asset Management, and David Micley, Business Development Director at Wintermute about current trading and venture conditions.


In this episode streamed on August 9, 2022, Dave began the discussion by talking about the crypto market emerging out of Q2. Dave explained that it was the worst quarter for crypto since 2011. As we move into “calmer waters” Q3, Dave asked what David and Sean’s thoughts are. David said although there has been a lot of negative sentiment in Q2, he believes that there is a real opportunity to focus on longer-term planning, think through strategies, and build new partnerships and relationships. The silver lining, he explained, is that there was not as much activity as there was last year. 


Sean added that for asset management, it’s time to be a bit more conservative regarding investments and how they deploy investment funds. He explained they will keep deploying but they’ll be a lot more selective in terms of valuations. Sean thinks the market appears to be a lot more reasonable and sensible now and that’s a good thing for ventures in general. 


Dave then noted that dex trading volume has been down and asked David if that has affected WinterMute. David responded by saying all trading volume has been down with the biggest decline being retail. He explained that as long as there’s continual pressure for rates to go up, they’ll see headwinds, which is the natural cycle of economic growth. David stated that they’re prepared for this.


Switching topics, Dave asked what a creator should be thinking about as they prepare to talk to a WinterMute or Mirana about potentially investing in their project. On top of running due diligence across a lot of projects, Sean explained that they look for several things such as whether it’s a product market fit, the technical experience with their team, and who their strategic partners are. A creator needs a natural ecosystem to rally their projects in because, in crypto, it’s challenging to grow by yourself. These three elements are a good framework to start, Sean expressed.


David mentioned that there is some overlap between what Sean said. Adding to that, he also said Wintermute looks for projects where they can help the creator grow. One of their focuses as market makers is being very active on DeFi where they’re trading on multiple chains and ecosystems in a high-frequency manner. David said they don’t just want to be investors, they want to add strategic value so it can be better for all parties. He also explained that it is important for creators to have the humility to learn something new and be open to change. Especially for early-stage projects, they’re going to have to pivot and adapt so they want to see those creators have that ability to adapt on the fly. 


In terms of regional activity around the globe, Dave asked Sean if he sees more activity coming out of Asia versus the U.S. Based in Singapore, Sean said he’s seen a bit of a migration and movement from Hong Kong to Shanghai, which has made for a more vibrant crypto community. David added that in the U.S. the activity is not slowing down in terms of projects and builders. 


The discussion came to a close with Sean mentioning how the crypto market is highly correlated with the global economy. 


“If it’s a bear, it’s a great time to build,” Sean said. “The question is what are we going to build across our verticals within the venture space? For TRON DAO, they experienced much growth from the launch of USDD on multiple chains and ran the TRON Grand Hackathon to assemble builders together. Building has proven to be a working strategy.”


When considering working with Wintermute, David said there are a few things they do with external parties such as OTC trading, market-making projects, and investing in crypto companies. 


“We’re always interested in finding new opportunities to partner,” said David. “I’m excited to explore more about the TRON ecosystem projects. Reach out if you think we could work together. The bear market is a time to strategize. Think big and build towards the future.”

Thank you for reading this short recap of another great episode of Around the Block. We look forward to bringing you another episode with our team, bringing Web3 experts together for engaging conversations.



1:30 – Intro.

2:48 – Announcements.

5:00 – Crypto market Q2 to Q3.

10:40 – Dex trading volume.

23:00 – What should a creator do to prepare to talk about their project investment?

29:35 – GameFi Industry.

38:50 – Regional global activity.

45:05 – Closing statements.