How an Indian metaverse king made his fortune

You’ve probably seen this image before.

It’s the digital artwork titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” created by Beeple.

In March, it made headlines after it fetched nearly $70 million at a sale by Christie’s.

The purchase shook the art and crypto worlds.

It was the first time a major auction house sold a digital artwork in the form of a new crypto asset called a non-fungible token, or NFT.

Behind the purchase was an Indian cryptocurrency investor, known as MetaKovan.

(MetaKovan) "Post the Beeple event, we’ve been thinking what NFTs are, and how, how we can like, make people experience it.”

MetaKovan’s real name is Vignesh Sundaresan.

Over the past year, he’s become the top spender in the hottest area among crypto investors…

which explains the nickname he gave himself: MetaKovan translates as “King of Meta” in his native Tamil.

Sundaresan told Reuters he financed the Beeple purchase from his personal investments in cryptocurrencies.

“I've been a crypto native since 2013, right? And I've been lucky to be part of various projects that, you know, blossomed, including ethereum. And then by 2017, it was Polkadot, and then and by 2020 it was Avalanche and Flow, right? So it's been quite interesting of a journey that way.”

Since 2019 he’s gone on a virtual spending spree in the emerging NFT market…

and snapped up hundreds of acres of digital land in online worlds like Decentraland.

“These are strategies that I would take, basically capital allocation. Long term, I've invested in many technologies like including Decentraland and anything that excites me. And I think it's bringing more people into the industry. I usually try to be part of those, you know, either the seed or the early stages of those. So definitely my ethereum has never just remained ethereum, it has gone into other communities also.”

Sundaresan represents a new generation of investors: the cryptocurrency kings who have created fortunes out of sight of financial regulators.

Their true net worth is obscure because their assets exist mostly on the semi-anonymous blockchain, not in bank accounts, shares or property.

When asked about his current net worth, Sundaresan said he was not comfortable disclosing it.

“I'm in crypto, right? So I really don't, I really don't think it makes sense for me to give you a dollar amount. It's not it's not something I'm comfortable, you know, just disclosing.”

Reuters reporting shows Sundaresan trod a sometimes rocky path in accumulating his assets, leaving behind frustrated customers and investors who say they lost, in total, millions of dollars.

In three interviews with Reuters, Sundaresan denied any wrongdoing

Some regulators have warned of the dangers of the new markets, nothing noting fraud and scams are a risk.

For now, with little government supervision or legal recourse, regulators say crypto investors accept a significant risk of losses in any project.

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