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Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands have teamed up to launch a $ 200 million investment program to accelerate and incubate early crypto gaming startups. The aim is to significantly increase the mainstream acceptance of blockchain technology.
The new investment program will support GameFi projects (decentralized game financing). Blockchain games, such as those using cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have gained momentum this year as the crypto and gaming booms crossed. That boom helped Animoca Brands raise multiple rounds, including a recent $ 65 million round valued at $ 2.2 billion.
NFTs leverage the transparency and security of the blockchain’s digital ledger to uniquely identify in-game digital items that can be sold as limited-edition collectibles at higher prices. But crypto can still be complicated as you need dedicated secure digital wallets for tasks like exchanging currencies.
That has slowed the adoption of the blockchain in mainstream circles. Gaming is helping to reach more mainstream users as it experienced a boom during the pandemic. But traditional gaming companies have been slow to adopt blockchain – in part out of environmental concerns, regulatory fears, numerous scams, and player opposition – in ways that could bring about a larger gaming mass market.
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Image source: Animoca Brands
Ultimately, the goal is to build next-generation, scalable blockchains and add a billion new users to the cryptocurrency.
“Gaming is one of the strong pillars of Web 2.0, reaching billions of users,” said Gwendolyn Regina, investment director at BSC’s Accelerator Fund, in a statement. “Its large-scale use case in real life makes it one of the core areas for the mass adoption of crypto to bring retail consumers into the Web 3 world.”
Animoca’s chief executive officer Yat Siu said in a statement that the investment program has the potential to bring blockchain into the mainstream.
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Animoca Brands will help early GameFi projects that need funding to develop their products, grow their presence in the decentralized financial gaming sector, and in the play-to-earn blockchain and open metaverse industries to grow.
“Early GameFi projects currently require runway funding to develop their products,” Siu said. “They need support to expand their industry expertise in open world gameplay. Also for networking opportunities to establish growth in blockchain gaming and open metaverse. “
BSC is funding the new $ 200 million investment program with $ 100 million from its $ 1 billion growth fund, the accelerator arm of the leading DeFi, NFT and GameFi infrastructure platform. The other $ 100 million comes from Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based company that drives digital property rights across NFTs and games.
Image source: Animoca Brands
With properties like The Sandbox, Animoca’s goal is to build the open metaverse, accelerate and incubate early crypto gaming startups that are built on Binance Smart Chain.
“The co-investment gives projects that build on BSC the opportunity to gain insights and expertise from leading gaming giants such as Animoca Brands, as well as opportunities to collaborate with blockchain experts from the BSC community,” said Regina. “We look forward to working with GameFi projects to build next-generation scalable blockchains and engage the next billion new users in crypto.”
In October, BSC launched the $ 1 billion growth fund to drive the mass adoption of crypto and blockchain by supporting projects that can help bring the next billion users into space over the next two years.
Animoca Brands’ portfolio of blockchain investments and partnerships consists of over 100 of the most promising NFT-related companies and projects, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Bitski, Harmony, Alien Worlds and Star Atlas. Subsidiaries include The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, Gamee, nWay, Bondly, Lympo, and more.
Image credit: Binance
BSC is one of the largest blockchain ecosystems with over 2.1 million daily active addresses in the last few weeks. Games and play-to-ear opportunities on BSC saw significant traffic and unique growth in wallet interaction in 2021.
GameFi projects on BSC have increased their users tenfold with the support of Binance Smart Chain and increased the volume by 200%. Global digital asset exchanges have listed some of these games.
BSC currently supports an ecosystem of high simulation games including RPGs, strategy battle arenas, sports, digital entertainment, adventure stories, logic creatives and socials. Most of these gaming projects have developed NFT marketplaces and play-to-earn (P2E) models with NFT reflection rewards. In addition, these GameFi projects have the potential to develop as a metaverse, according to the companies.
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