India’s Crypto Economy | GameFi-ing Crypto


With decentralised games building a more realistic economic system, gaming may trigger blockchain’s mass adoption

Dear Reader,

Gaming, especially mobile gaming, has evolved a lot in the past decade and a half. According to an estimation, the global games market will generate revenues of $175.8 Bn in 2021, and by the end of the year, there will be 2.9 Bn players worldwide.

The Indian gaming market is also expected to triple in the next four years and touch $3.9 Bn by 2025. By that time, the number of mobile gamers across the country is estimated to grow to 650 Mn from the current 430 Mn.

Enter web 3.0, and gaming, in its new avatar, is poised to shake up the existing structure and the way we experience games.

For instance, in web 2.0, gamers are asked to pay to play premium games. But in web 3.0, they get paid for playing. Besides, it will provide a true metaverse experience where gamers can buy and sell digital stuff using NFTs and FTs. And the tokens earned during a game will have real-life value.

There’s more to it, though. The gaming industry, currently dominated by the likes of Electronic Arts (EA Games), SEGA Games, Konami and Gameloft, will be decentralised, and India will have the lion’s share of the market as creators and users, believe experts.

So, what will be the role of crypto in gaming?

Whether it’s the use of crypto in gaming today or gaming in crypto tomorrow, the two are getting closer every passing day and cannot be demarcated in web 3.0.

Earnings in FTs and NFTs are definitely a plus as these tokens can be used for real and across games. But crypto gaming will also ensure a completely decentralised format where games will be far more interactive.

This is way ahead of the current isolated formats, where two different games have no scope for interaction.

Staking and mining during gaming will also help gamers earn money. In fact, the portmanteau word ‘GameFi’ (game+ finance, or we may say a combo of gaming and DeFi) has been hugely popular for some time now.

GameFi companies may use gaming for staking and validation purposes while offering other decentralised financial services.

But how does this gaming metaverse function at present? 

Speaking at The Crypto Summit organised by Inc42 Plus, Pablo Quiroga, cofounder and chief revenue officer of the web 3 gaming startup Star Atlas, said, “At Star Atlas, we have a dual token economy of ATLAS and POLIS. The first is a native game currency, and the other is more on the governance side i.e. POLIS token holders may be able to influence the decision-making team of Star Atlas.”

“So, there’s this dynamic world where one finds a lot of decentralised financing economic systems that are driving and pushing and pulling the Star Atlas galactic marketplace. There’s a lot of fun things that users can engage with and build on, like yield farming,” he added.

Meanwhile, as an ecosystem enabler, Polygon has set up Polygon Studios dedicated to gaming metaverse and NFT ecosystem development. It has invested in decentralised games to boost play-to-earn games, a format where players can earn real money or other rewards. Polygon claims to host more than 1 Lakh gamers and more than 500 decentralised apps.

In India, Polygon has the capabilities of enabling an ecosystem for web 3.0 gaming developments. However, crypto gaming and ‘GameFi’ will take time to develop and mature.

For Binge Reading 

Wall Street Gets The First Taste Of Bitcoin: As Maryland-based ProShares launched the first bitcoin futures ETF in the US on Oct. 19 on the New York Stock Exchange, it was lauded as a new landmark in crypto history. Interestingly, the exchange-traded fund topped $1 Bn in trading volume on the first day. Here is a look at Recode’s decoding of bitcoin’s first day on Wall Street.

CBDCs Galore: While five tax havens — Grenada, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda — have already launched their digital currencies, 14 countries (China is one of them) are currently pilot-testing their CBDCs. Take a look at the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker.

Tweet of The Week

At $65.5K, bitcoin hit an all-time high, and Polina Marinova, founder and author of content aggregator The Profile and wife of entrepreneur and investor Anthony Pompliano, recounts her old days of bitcoin mania.

News Doing The Rounds

Chingari Launches NFT Marketplace and $GARI Tokens

After raising $19 Mn in initial coin offerings from a clutch of investors earlier this month, short video startup Chingari recently launched an NFT marketplace and $GARI social tokens.

The company also named Salman Khan as its brand ambassador. Investors in Chingari include Solana Capital, Republic Crypto, Kraken, Galaxy Digital and others.

WazirX Locked 14,469 Accounts During April-September, 2021

In its first transparency report, Binance-owned Indian crypto exchange WazirX revealed that it had received and processed 377 requests from law enforcement agencies, including 38 from overseas authorities. The report says that the company locked 14,469 accounts between April and September this year.

Another exchange CoinSwitch Kuber reportedly suspended 180,000 accounts in the past six months.

Stader Labs Raises $4 Mn From Coinbase, Pantera

Bengaluru- and Singapore-based crypto staking management platform Stader Labs raised $4 Mn in a seed funding round, led by Pantera Capital and Coinbase Ventures. The company would use the money to launch new products and features to help validators maximise their staking returns with greater ease.

Set up in April 2021 by Amitej Gajjala and Sidhartha Doddipalli, Stader aims to make crypto staking simpler and more profitable by eliminating all complexities through end-to-end management solutions.

Totality Raises $1.8 Mn From Leo Capital, Mayfield Fund

Gurugram-based NFT gaming platform Totality raised INR 13.5 Cr ($1.8 Mn) from institutional investors Leo Capital and Mayfield Fund.

The company is currently building ZionVerse, a metaverse platform based on Indian mythology that will combine monetary features with unique gaming experience.

CoinDCX Launches OTC Desk, Onboards Ayushmann Khurrana As Brand Ambassador

Crypto exchange CoinDCX launched an over-the-counter (OTC) trading facility for institutional clients. The average ticket size will be INR 30 Lakh plus investments.

The company also onboarded Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana for its Future Yahi Hai ad campaign after veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan turned down the offer.

Polkadot, Polygon Funds

While Polkadot founder Gavin Wood announced his plans to invest around $774 Mn through idle native tokens of the company (DOT) to develop an open-source crypto network, crypto index fund manager Bitwise launched a Polygon (MATIC) fund to help investors gain exposure to the MATIC token and encourage greater development of the Polygon ecosystem.

US CFTC Fines Tether and Bitfinex $42.5M 

While bitcoin is making history on many fronts, and ProShares has already launched a long-awaited ETF linked to bitcoin futures, the US commodity regulatory body Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined crypto exchange Bitfinex $1.5 Mn for illegal transactions and Tether $41 Mn for false claims that the company was fully backed by reserves.

This brings the spotlight back on stablecoins, and one wonders if they are as stable as they claim to be.


Till Next Week,

Suprita Anupam

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