Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
FTX Gaming would encourage the merger between the crypto, blockchain, and crypto industries to support growth across these sectors.
Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX is launching its own gaming unit to foster crypto, blockchain, and non-fungible token (NFT) growth among game publishers. According to a spokesperson for the crypto exchange platform:
“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.”
According to FTX, the gaming unit, dubbed ‘FTX Gaming’ will debut via the exchange’s US affiliate. In addition, FTX Gaming will also launch as a “crypto-as-a-service” platform, where gaming companies can carry out crypto operations. These notably include token launches and support for other digital assets, such as NFTs.
FTX’s foray into the gaming space comes after a key announcement by the crypto exchange back in November 2021. The platform disclosed plans to invest US$100 million in conjunction with two other partners to facilitate Solana blockchain integration into video games. On another front, FTX began recruiting and assembling a wholly remote-based team this month. The platform sought after software engineers with coding experience from the game engine Unity.
FTX Gaming Will Debut in a Polarized Industry with Crypto-Gaming Proponents & Detractors
However, FTX’s gaming moves are part of a larger trend among crypto-related businesses to come under general criticism. A growing number of fans and developers of the gaming industry are criticizing the “play-to-earn” model used by several platforms. This model sees gamers stand to benefit financially from participating in blockchain-based games. According to those who frown at this trend, integrating games with blockchain as a way to reap extra profits is unwholesome. This is because such actions make games highly susceptible to the same problems that plague the crypto industry. These include scams, financial crime, and a huge carbon footprint. In addition, these detractors also opine that the introduced financial element adversely impacts the fun of playing.
Nonetheless, those in support of the crypto and gaming industry merger counter by arguing for the perceived merits. These proponents believe that digital tokens and NFTs afford players more ownership over items earned during gameplay.
Amy Wu, head of FTX’s US$2 billion venture capital fund, is taking the middle ground. According to her, it is too soon to determine the impact of play-to-earn until more studios develop games offering digital assets. Speaking at a media session, the VC fund head also added:
“I wouldn’t have been able to predict kind of how fierce the animosity has been with some gamers against NFTs and it’s unfortunate, but it’s interesting.”
FTX Looking to Diversify
FTX’s planned gaming launch is the latest effort by the crypto exchange to branch out beyond its bread & butter crypto-trading roots. In January, FTX US head Brett Harrison disclosed that the platform would soon add stock and options trading services.