OneOf’s Lin Dai looks beyond the crypto winter to give us a glimpse of the future of digital assets

By Riley Kaminer

“When the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, it’s the stocks that crashed – it’s not the technology that crashed. It’s the technology that fundamentally changes our lives. People who understood that had tremendous success.”

OneOf’s Miami-based CEO Lin Dai drew parallels between this tumultuous period in Web 1.0 history with the current web3 revolution. In this sense, Dai acknowledged the so-called ‘crypto winter’ and the downward trend in the web3 space over the last six to twelve months – particularly in terms of consumer confidence. 

But Dai said that the NFT space has been “less impacted and more insulated” from the bear market in general. That means there’s much more to look forward to when it comes to the future of digital assets.

OneOf in particular has been further insulated from crypto winter, said Dai. That’s thanks to the startup’s focus on onboarding new consumers into the web3 space rather than catering to experts. “We have always set out to build tech for the next 100 million non-native crypto fans,” Dai told Refresh Miami.

The startup, which has raised $71 million, enables users to purchase NFTs by simply providing their email, phone number, and credit card information to purchase an NFT. They can choose to leave it with OneOf as custodian of their asset, or transfer it over to a different wallet.

“There was definitely a bubble last year for the entire web3 industry, including NFTs,” Dai said. “But I’m very optimistic for 2023.” Why? So far, we’ve only really seen two applications of NFTs: digital art and social media profile pictures. 

But Dai expressed excitement about new applications of NFT technology: everything from product authentication to membership to loyalty rewards to concert tickets and other experiences. “There are so many real and much bigger use cases that are just at the beginning of being discovered,” he said.

That’s an exciting prospect for OneOf, which brings big-name brands and creators into the web3 space – the likes of Pitbull, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mia Hamm. OneOf continues to build its portfolio of enterprise clients, which includes Warner Music Group, Uber, Anheuser Busch, and American Express.

Dai signaled that, despite the crypto winter, many top brands are quietly plotting their web3 strategy. “They’re looking to understand consumer behavior on web3 – how do we meet them where they are today and where they’ll want to go tomorrow.” 

For Dai, the problem of onboarding 100 million users is “easily solvable.” The trickier feat will be “marrying the actual use case [of web3 technologies] and modeling them into existing businesses.” But he believes that within the next year or two, leading businesses will make strides in this area.

Miami has played a key role in OneOf’s expansion, having moved its headquarters to the Magic City from New York after meeting Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Dai remains bullish on our local tech ecosystem, noting high-profile web3 moves and expansions like MoonPay and VaynerMedia. “These are great companies doing great work, and they’re here in Miami,” he said.

For OneOf’s part, its roughly 60-person team is moving into a new office in Wynwood this month.


Riley Kaminer