The trends of crypto are fast and erratic, but in this currently volatile climate, many investors have sought solace in blockchain gaming. Both NFTs and games utilizing blockchain technology have shown signs of decoupling from cryptocurrencies as a whole, particularly during downturns. This, in combination with the parabolic rise of play-to-earn (P2E) games, has caught the attention of many large entities, the latest being FTX, who are launching FTX Gaming.
What Is FTX?
FTX is a crypto exchange previously known as Blockfolio. They are one of the leading figures in crypto, up there with Coinbase and Binance, and like those two, they’re expanding in all directions.
The reason I am so outwardly supportive of FTX is twofold: firstly, their app is best-in-class if you’re looking to track your various crypto holdings in one complete portfolio with many added quality of life features. Secondly, they have NLW in their marketing department and sponsor the daily podcast he hosts, BREAKDOWN (CoinDesk Podcast Network) which is one of the best resources for keeping on top of the ever-changing landscape of crypto.
What Is FTX Gaming?
“We are launching FTX Gaming because we see games as an exciting use case for crypto … There are 2 billion+ gamers in the world who have played with and collected digital items, and can now also own them.” — FTX spokesperson via Bloomberg
The initial scope of the new team appears to me to be onboarding; FTX Gaming will support gaming tokens and NFTs within games to further adoption of blockchain and be a “crypto as a service” provider for publishers and developers. That is, games companies can turn to FTX Gaming to launch tokens and NFTs within their projects.
An additional piece of relevant information that I believe sparked the awareness for this move by FTX (and perhaps a little earlier than they wanted), is the job listings for software engineers. Hopeful applications will be required to have some background in gaming as well as knowledge of development in Unity, the popular game engine and tool.
Why Is This Important?
The key term for me here is “onboarding”. Whilst it isn’t exclusive to gaming by any means, the onboarding experience of blockchain games is usually unintuitive, clumsy, and complicated for both sides of the game — players and developers. Few gaming chains offer a comprehensive and easy-to-use SDK and solving the problem yourself is expensive.
This is part of what made Skyweaver so impressive to me; it more or less onboarded you without you realizing it. This isn’t a duplicitous move, it’s a necessary one. A wallet must be created and ownership of it handed over, but the saving of keys and other intricacies can be offputting, particularly for those currently on the outside of crypto, peering in for the first time.
There are many large organizations tackling this problem, but given how well FTX has done with their app and how straightforward it is to use, I have high hopes for their newest wing.