The Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI), pioneered by Binance with the intention of resuscitating the cryptocurrency sector post the FTX collapse, has utilized merely 2.7% of the $1.1 billion allocated to its cause, leaving the beneficiaries shrouded in mystery.
Indications suggest that Binance’s spearheaded Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI), a co-investment endeavor aimed at revitalizing the cryptocurrency industry in the wake of the FTX downfall, may not have achieved the desired effectiveness, as per a recent report.
Upon the IRI’s announcement in November 2022, Binance deployed $15 million in its Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoins, a modest fraction of its colossal $1 billion BUSD commitment, as disclosed by Bloomberg on October 10.
Subsequently, Binance reallocated the remaining $985 million of the committed BUSD back to its corporate treasury, earmarking it for future investments. In March, Binance converted these funds from BUSD to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, citing escalating regulatory concerns pertaining to stablecoins.
Aside from Binance, the IRI garnered an additional $100 million in contributions from 18 organizations by the end of February 2023, which included notable names such as Animoca Brands, Aptos Labs, Jump Crypto, Polygon Ventures, and others.
Binance asserted that three months post-launch, the IRI had financially supported 14 projects. However, they refrained from divulging the identities of the companies that received this support. The solitary expenditure publicly acknowledged from Binance’s $1 billion IRI commitment was the acquisition of the South Korean crypto exchange Gopax, a transaction unveiled in early February.
Per data on wallets compiled by Bloomberg, the IRI has invested less than $30 million since its inception in the preceding year. Among the nine named participants, only DWF Labs and Binance-affiliated Aptos had partially disbursed their committed funds.
The present status of the IRI’s involvement in cryptocurrency projects remains uncertain, given the continued availability of its Google Docs applicant form.
The stark contrast between the IRI’s substantial capital commitment and its actual financial contributions coincides with the cryptocurrency industry’s frenzied pursuit of funding.
The quarterly volume of venture funding for cryptocurrency-related ventures has plummeted by as much as 70% since Q3 2022, as reported by blockchain analytics firm Messari on October 5. The data highlights that crypto venture capital volumes in Q3 2023 amounted to a mere $2 billion, a stark contrast to the pinnacle of $17 billion witnessed in Q1 2021.