The convergence of web2 and web3 AI: What I learned at SuperAI conference in Singapore

The convergence of web2 and web3 AI: What I learned at SuperAI conference in Singapore

There’s been a long-standing rift between the technologists working on traditional AI and the web3 developers building at the intersection of blockchains and AI. SuperAI made an effort to bridge this culture gap.

Jake Brukhman

Photo Credit: Sofia Vaschetto

Since we first wrote about the intersection of web3 and AI in 2022, this fast-moving technology trend has become a key feature of crypto conferences this year. However, it’s not as common that AI events make an effort to highlight decentralization, or that both sides of the web3 x AI equation come together to such an extent in a single event.

SuperAI, the flagship event during Singapore AI Week this June, might be the first conference I’ve attended that has started to bridge the cultural divide between classic web2 founders and projects, and the developers breaking new ground at the intersection of web3 and AI.

Well-organized and globally attended, the conference felt similar to Token2049, a bi-annual crypto event held in Dubai and Singapore hosted by the same organizers. Crowds flocked to the mainstage to listen to investor and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinvasan deliver a talk about the complementary nature of web3 and AI. But right behind him was Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert’s robotics presentation, followed by former CEO of StabilityAI Emad Mostaque who announced his new endeavor, Schelling AI, an AI-backed cryptocurrency. Conference goers from all around the world — primarily Asia, the Middle East, India, Australia, and a slew of Western countries — filled the room taking in an eclectic mix of AI and crypto.

While I spent time with some of the most cutting edge teams working to bring the AI production pipeline onchain — Kiva, Pax, Ritual, Sapien, and Schelling AI, to name a few — I also spoke with veteran AI entrepreneurs who held long-term positions at Meta, Microsoft, and other traditional companies historically on the forefront of machine learning and AI. SuperAI also held its Genesis Startup Competition, where early-stage AI companies pitched their products to investors on the stage, competing for a prize. Out of 700 applicants across the world, OpenOrigins — a blockchain-powered trust layer focused on media provenance — took first place.

A thesis in action

SuperAI was a testament that our 2022 thesis will not only be possible, but will offer an alternative and more democratic foundation on which to build this technology. Our thesis was further validated by the many startups who have come onto the scene to build AI infrastructure using web3 primitives, as well as the increasing funding momentum of the category.

At CoinFund, we often say that AI needs web3 much more than web3 needs AI. But the success of web3’s role in AI will depend on how, culturally, these two perspectives can unite. At this gathering among some of the brightest minds in cognitive computing, it was promising to see both groups moving toward each other in recognition of their ability to build more open, more democratic, and ultimately safer AI technologies by combining the two areas.

For developers, web3 hopes to democratize resources, allowing more individuals to participate in AI research. It will also ensure that open source AI continues to be a major source of innovation in capabilities, interpretability, and alignment. For users, web3 data can ensure that agents are self-sovereign and have ownership over their digital identity. When it comes to intellectual property, it will certify that users and copyright owners are protected and properly compensated for their creations.

As someone who has been investing in the AI side of web3 since 2020, this trip was a no-brainer for me. I was glad to bring a cryptonative perspective to the conference, and to work with web2 AI founders to close the cultural gap within the ecosystem.


While so much innovation has occurred in decentralized AI over the past two years, it’s still very early. Most advancement so far has been in laying the infrastructure foundation for decentralized AI, and we’re still early to the application layer. In terms of infrastructure, the most tangible capabilities are GPU compute aggregation. For example, — a company creating instant access to GPUs — sponsored SuperAI. Decentralized training is still getting started and continues to be a challenging and controversial area, though a number of companies including GenSyn and Pax are making meaningful contributions to this area.

Asia continues to play an increasingly important role in web3 innovation and adoption. Many technical projects are based in Singapore and Hong Kong, with strong machine learning talent coming in from across the world. CoinFund has grown its team in Asia in the last two years and approximately half of our portfolio is located outside of the U.S. — we are thrilled to see more builders join the crypto ecosystem globally every day.

More viable infrastructure will help people build applications that generate new capabilities, taking AI development to the next level. Leaders like OpenAI and Anthropic often speak about artificial general intelligence’s (AGI), however, the real and practical “danger” of AI in the short term might be that it causes some automation to, say, 20% of work. More generally, most people I spoke with had a much less dramatic outlook on the dangers of AI. I had conversations with leaders in the space who believe that there’s a less than 10% chance that AI presents existential risks anytime soon.

Reflecting on my week in Singapore, it’s clear that the intersection of web3 and AI is here to stay, and the innovation in the space is continuing to grow as both industries come together to form productive projects and advance the decentralized state of the art.

* * *

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the individual CoinFund Management LLC (“CoinFund”) personnel quoted and are not the views of CoinFund or its affiliates. Certain information contained herein has been obtained from third-party sources, which may include portfolio companies of funds managed by CoinFund. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, CoinFund has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by CoinFund. An offer to invest in a CoinFund fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by CoinFund, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by CoinFund (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for CoinFund to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. This presentation contains “forward-looking statements,” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “project”, “estimate”, “intend”, “continue” or “believe” or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events or results may differ materially and adversely from those reflected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements.

Time Stamp:

More from The CoinFund