FTX to encourage token usage establishing a gaming unit 14
The exchange aspires to be a “crypto as a service” platform for game publishers.
According to a Bloomberg article, cryptocurrency exchange FTX is forming a new team to promote cryptocurrency and NFT adoption in the gaming industry.
The new gaming unit’s first product will be a “crypto as a service” platform that would allow game producers to issue tokens and enable in-game NFTs.
“We are launching FTX Gaming because we see games as an exciting use case for crypto,” an FTX spokesperson told Bloomberg via email. “There are two billion+ gamers in the world who have played with and collected digital items and can now also own them.”
As ventures like GameStop’s own NFT marketplace illustrate, the continuous desire to introduce blockchain-based products into the gaming field is reflected in the new gaming-focused team from FTX. However, although game creators and retailers view crypto tokens and NFT products as lucrative revenue sources, players are skeptical of the necessity for blockchain technology.
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Various game companies have been forced to cancel planned NFT initiatives in recent months due to fan criticism, which has stemmed chiefly from hostility to new types of expensive downloadable content that are perceived to provide no additional value to gamers. Other blockchain skeptics argue that there are already many established markets for the exchange of in-game products, making the value proposition of bitcoin tie-ins questionable.
According to Brett Harrison, president of FTX US, blockchain technology can enhance existing gaming features without detracting from the experience of gamers who are hesitant to accept it.
“I think the backlash is primarily out of concern that the focus on cryptocurrency will divert the efforts of game studios away from making the best game possible for the players,” Harrison said in an email. “We believe that blockchain technology takes features of games that already exist, such as in-game avatars, skins, and rewards, and makes it possible for players to own, invest, and trade these items outside of the game. But the enjoyability of the game for all players, including those who don’t wish to participate in these kinds of economies, should always be the primary objective regardless of whether blockchain tech is involved.”
Another prong of the FTX exchange’s foray into the cultural arena is its desire to form relationships with game makers. The company was behind the recent introduction of an NFT marketplace for the Coachella festival, where NFTs were used to sell images, posters, and lifelong passes to the event. FTX was one of many crypto companies fighting for football fans’ attention during this year’s Super Bowl, and its advertising was viewed by viewers.
In September 2021, FTX’s international activities were relocated from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, citing the Caribbean nation’s attractive and thorough regulatory environment — but employment openings for the gaming division are now published under FTX US, the company’s US subsidiary.