The latest webinar brought to you by The Fintech Times is on Tokenisation of in-game assets. Hosted by Mark Walker, Editorial Director of The Fintech Times, and features Vlad Panchenko, CEO & Founder of DMarket; Gary Bracey, CEO and Co-founder of Terra Virtua; and Onur Keser, CEO Office Director at Papara.
You can watch the episode here.
Review: Tokenisation of In-Game Assets Webinar
The session began with each of the attendees introducing themselves and their company. Vlad Panchenko introduced DMarket as company that deals with gaming in many ways, with one of those being a marketplace that allows players to trade in-game items and skins. Terra Virtua, represented by Gary Bracey, is an NFT Marketplace as well as a complete ecosystem where an individual can buy, trade and interact with collectables on a social level. Finally, Onur Keser introduced Papara as one of the most downloaded financial super-apps in Turkey with over 6.5 million users. Half of their active users have become gamers during the pandemic, and the company is working to develop its core features to compliment the gaming market.
With a knowledgeable group of panellists poised, Mark Walker kicked off the discussion by asking about the history of the concept of trading and tokenizing skins came from. According to Vlad, it all comes from out “human nature”, with games being “social networks of today and tomorrow.”
He said: “When we socialise anywhere, we want to trade – it’s the basic instinct.”
For Terra Virtua, they’ve taken this concept one step further in creating an asset independently of a game with NFT’s – or Non-fungible tokens.
“Essentially an NFT is something that’s unique,” explained Gary. “The Blockchain offers the ability to create assets or virtual goods in limited quantities, where the rarity of the items will dictate the value. The blockchain tracks the ownership and trading history of each asset and lends it permanence and authentication. So, if I say there are only 10 of these assets made, you can actually go to the blockchain where there’s a record and that the value they’re offering is genuine.
“It’s also permanent, to the point whereby if I’ve got a very valuable collectable NFT and I die, I can have that in the will to go to my kids. It’s an actual item that retains value, can be passed on and traded – all on the blockchain.”
Mark continued to share how the rise in esports has made these kinds of collectables very interesting to brands and owners in that respect, with Onur adding how that they have witnessed tokenisation have increased user engagement while making digital items exciting assets to hold and trade.
He continued “With the use of blockchain players can take ownership of these in-game assets through tokens and adopting these blockchain technologies and tokens by gaming companies is actually allowing gamers to exchange these digital items easily while reversing the value flow. Previously, because all the traditional video games were only offering players one time purchases that remained in a virtual market. But now gamers can enjoy their collectables without having to worry about them losing their value.
The conversation moved on to speak of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, with the panellists advising that the pandemic had seen a huge boom in gamers due to everyone having to stay home. Vlad said “With more people staying home they wanted to spend their time to have fun, play and trade. They also have time to understand things like NFTs and see that something interesting is happening.”
Onur shared Vlad’s view, and said that the rise in gaming popularity was helped by people trying to find different ways to monetise their hobbies. “All of these companies were looking for ways to monetise by using digital collectables or in-game assets. Until recently, gaming was categorised as a hobby for teenagers, but now its shifted and is reaching every generation and social category. So naturally, there has been more interest in optimising ways to move your money around, make payments and not lose the value of your favourite game item.”
Gary added to this, saying that the popularity boom in gaming has lead to an increased interest in in-game assets as well. “The whole idea of virtual goods started in games, and NFTs are going to see an amazing explosive growth over the next few months as its about to step into the mainstream.
“There’s been a huge amount of resistance and suspicion about blockchain in general. It’s associated with too many bad things in people’s minds and people don’t understand it. The pandemic has allowed people to understand and experience more about digital collectables and what NFTs are and the adoption is growing hugely.”
Finally, the discussion moved to the future of the industry, with Vlad suggesting that were going to see games and gaming environments be all-encompassing, with Mark comparing the situation to the film ‘Ready Player One.’
Vlad said: “We’re moving in a direction where bigger games are becoming the new internet. Not just a social network but the whole thing. In some games you can already play, socialise, buy, sell, trade, get news and have fun without visiting any other website. This is a long term thought, but it’s happening and it’s interesting.”
From an NFT perspective, Gary thought that “The whole innate nature of the blockchain will fundamentally change a lot of the way every business is conducted. NFT’s are going to become embedded. Your house will become an NFT. When you buy your house the transaction will happen over the blockchain, with your deed on the blockchain. Every valuable item will be earmarked that way. I don’t know where the future is going precisely, but I do know this is going to change everything dramatically over the next few years.”