Blockchain Changes Gaming Economics, Forte Exec Explains

Blockchain Changes Gaming Economics, Forte Exec Explains

Forte Labs‘ vice president of token economics explained blockchain underpinning can affect in-game asset supply and demand economics.

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During a gaming-focused Unitize digital conference panel, Mike Termezy, vice president of token economics at blockchain technology services company Forte Labs, explained blockchain can alter gaming market ecosystems.

Blockchain can lay out more clearly-defined scarcity parameters in gaming

During the panel, Termezy, along with gaming expert and principal at Gossamer Consulting Group, Eric Kress, discussed a number of points on the current gaming scene. Topics included comments on various gaming communities, the digital in-game products companies sell, and other aspects. 

After noting a number of points on blockchain application in gaming, Termezy dialed into the economics surrounding games, and the value blockchain brings. 

Termezy said:

„When you allow for ownership, and you have a marketplace, then the market dynamics will start governing what people regard as being rare, and what people regard as being extremely valuable, versus what people regard as being relatively common.“

Ownership means authenticated in-game assets, transferrable off the game

In mentioning ownership, Termezy means a digital product or in-game aspect underpinned by blockchain, making that aspect of the game — essentially an asset — tradable while showing its legitimacy and value via blockchain data.

Termezy referred to this as a token economy, with assets even available for transfer out of their specific in-game world for trade, etc. An asset of this world, for example, could be a soccer player from a FIFA game pegged onto the blockchain.

Referencing in-game asset scarcity and market activity, Termezy added:

„A developer can clearly influence this by the number of assets of each type that’s minted, but ultimately it allows for the players to express themselves — what they find to be valuable.“

Blockchain in general has seen significant traction in gaming application, evident via a number of headlines, including gaming giant Atari and its recent activity in the industry.  


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Forte Labs‘ vice president of token economics explained blockchain underpinning can affect in-game asset supply and demand economics.

Bitcoin Is a Paradigm Shift Beyond Wall Street

Bitcoin Is a Paradigm Shift Beyond Wall Street

A former Goldman Sachs vice president of investment banking: “We should be glad that traditional Wall Street hasn’t come around to embrace crypto yet.”

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When the Goldman Sachs report came out dismissing Bitcoin’s status as an asset class, there was significant backlash from the crypto community. This is understandable, as for those building in crypto, the points against Bitcoin didn’t make sense. 

For nearly a decade of my career, I was a banker at Goldman, but decided to leave Wall Street to join an incredible group of people at OKCoin, who are on a mission to make crypto trading easy and accessible for everyone around the world. Having been on both sides, I can appreciate why Goldman Sachs analysts made certain arguments in their recent position. I may not agree with it, but I fundamentally believe that being open to different perspectives is critical to building the right crypto ecosystems that can lead us to mass consumerization. 

Emerging asset classes take time to gain recognition 

Goldman analysts argue that “Bitcoin is not an asset class.” Insert “traditional” in their statement and we get closer to reality. It’s important to remember that every asset class has its early years and it takes time for a new one to be recognized by major financial institutions.

Case in point: Data shows that private equity and venture capital have been outperforming more traditional asset classes like bonds and equity, particularly so over a longer time horizon. 

However, one can easily forget that neither of them were considered an asset class when modern portfolio theory was born in 1950. Modern private equity originated in the 1940s, but only started to gain traction in the 1980s when groups like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts started to perform high-profile management buyouts. 

Similarly, venture capital, which has played an instrumental role in the rise of Silicon Valley and now dominates today’s list of top global public companies, was created in the 1960s but remained quite a niche method of investment until the first internet bubble of the late 1990s. It has taken time for both to mature and be widely accepted by investors as alternative asset classes. 

It also takes vision and courage for investors to understand and embrace an emerging asset class that challenges known assumptions. Those who can embrace it have a chance to reap an outsized return. 

The financial paradigm shift 

Goldman analysts are correct in stating that “Bitcoin doesn’t generate cash flow like bonds” and, “Nor does it generate earnings [like equity].” The fact of the matter is that Bitcoin (BTC) was not designed to fit into such existing frameworks. Would you expect the United States dollar to generate cash flow like bonds or generate earnings like equities? Bitcoin is a drastically new asset class — it’s a native currency for the internet. 

Bitcoin represents a continuation of the paradigm shift that was ushered in by distributed computing, the basis of the internet. This shift has seen information and communication increasingly democratized over the last several decades. Individuals have greater ownership in not only sharing information, but more importantly, the creation of information. 

Our lives are being digitized. Every one of us generates a growing amount of individual data through various online activities. This change has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, except finance. Central banks are at the center of money creation, commercial banks are at the center of the financial system directing financial resources, and large internet companies are at the center of gathering and monetizing our individual data. We haven’t seen the democratization of value creation, value distribution and/or value transfer because before the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, there was no practical way to digitally transmit value without an intermediary that could facilitate trust. 

Based on a distributed node system, Bitcoin democratizes the transfer of value. It’s the first internet-native token that has been created in a fully decentralized fashion. It’s not issued by any controlling third party, but instead is prescribed in code and functions through decentralized activities by all network participants. It demonstrates the possibility of a responsible financial system where monetary supply is not dictated by any single entity and therefore is free from inflation. 

For those of us who live in the U.S., it may be hard to appreciate that Bitcoin has real use cases in emerging economies that suffer from significant inflation. Our customers in Latin America, for example, flock to Bitcoin for wealth protection. Some merchants also use Bitcoin to settle cross-border trades. It’s borderless, permissionless and censor-free, and one can enter and exit their position 24/7. 

Equally important, Bitcoin shows us what a crypto future may look like, where individuals not only create and distribute information but also ascribe value to their activities online. Such value could be confirmed through a pre-set consensus mechanism without a middleman in between, building a solid basis for a free and inclusive global system. Individuals may finally be able to take control of their own data, get rewarded for their online activities with a set of agreed-upon incentives, and transact freely with other individuals. Before Bitcoin, a secure and sovereign digital future like this was never possible. Historically, paradigm shifts like this unleash significant value creation.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that traditional asset managers aren’t embracing crypto yet. The fact that Bitcoin isn’t being fully embraced is the very reason that we are all here — the crypto community isn’t looking to do what’s already been proven. We are here to create and make the unimaginable possible. 

An asset for risk-tolerant, forward thinkers

Asking whether Bitcoin is an asset class is the wrong question. The right question is: Who can invest in crypto and what role can it play in your overall investment portfolio? We shouldn’t be talking about investment in a vacuum. Whenever an individual constructs their investment portfolio, the asset classes included in the portfolio are always a function of the investor’s goals, timeline and risk tolerance. 

Bitcoin is seen as a volatile asset, so naturally it won’t be right for those who have a short investment horizon and are extremely risk averse. However, if you are looking for long-term return and are willing to put in efforts to do your due diligence, you may be looking at a great alternative (or supplement) to bonds and stocks, and even to private equity or venture capital investments. 

Similar to private equity and venture capital investments, Bitcoin has the potential to generate a superior long-term return. They are also similar in that they require more due diligence and more active management in order to get an outsized return. The key limitation of these investments is that they generally require a minimum net worth of investors and are not liquid. In contrast, Bitcoin is very liquid (trading 24/7 globally) and has no minimum investment barrier. It is a truly democratic form of investment available to everyone. 

Goldman’s bearish take serves as a reminder

When Goldman Sachs’ analysis concluded that “a security whose appreciation is primarily dependent on whether someone else is willing to pay a higher price for it is not a suitable investment for our clients,” they were implying that cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin) is a bubble that has no inherent value. 

Instead of being offended by such a claim, I actually find it a very powerful and helpful reminder. It reminds me that we still have a long way to go before crypto becomes mainstream. Confusion remains around what Bitcoin is and how it works. The crypto community needs to rally together and provide better education to encourage mass adoption

It also reminds me that our industry is still in an early stage. We won’t convert nonbelievers over Twitter. We need to do that by focusing on building the foundation of our future. This is why we have a dual focus at OKCoin: Making it easy and safe to buy and sell crypto worldwide, and being an adamant supporter of the open-source developer community (with our most recent contribution being a $100,000 grant to BTCPay Server). We need to work hard to make sure that crypto will not turn out to be a bubble. 

Lastly, it reminds me as an investor that this might be one of the best times to continue to invest time (and money) into Bitcoin before a consensus is reached. Two golden principles of investment that I believe in: 

  1. Always be humble and question your own assumptions
  2. Always seek out areas where consensus hasn’t been formed

Goldman’s conservative outlook on Bitcoin reinforces the opportunity identified by the crypto community as early adopters.

“Open your eyes, look into the future” 

Elon Musk provided a recent example of what happens when you push development of an innovative concept towards reality. He recently pinned a tweet that says, “Open your eyes, look up to the skies,” channeling the words of Queen’s Freddie Mercury. These were inspiring words as we witnessed the launch of SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft over the weekend. It’s an incredible example of what happens when vision and action come together to create a powerful impact. “Open your eyes, look into the future” — that’s how I feel about crypto, and I hope you do too. 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Hong Fang is the CEO of OKCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in San Francisco, and chief operating officer at OKGroup. Hong comes from a Wall Street background, spending almost a decade at Goldman Sachs where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, investment, restructuring and various other corporate development activities for both traditional financial institutions and fintech companies. She is a graduate of Peking University in Beijing, China, and has an MBA in finance, accounting and entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.


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A former Goldman Sachs vice president of investment banking: “We should be glad that traditional Wall Street hasn’t come around to embrace crypto yet.”

Blockchain, Not Crypto, Is at Core of Facebook’s Libra, Vice Chair Says

Blockchain, Not Crypto, Is at Core of Facebook’s Libra, Vice Chair Says

Libra Association’s vice chair Dante Disparte expects Libra network to launch in Q4 2020

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Despite existing concerns that blockchain is not mature enough to bring the new era of payments, the technology is being increasingly explored by global central banks. Blockchain technology meanwhile remains at the core of Facebook’s digital currency Libra, according to a top project executive.

Since Libra’s white paper release in June 2019, the not-yet-launched stablecoin has continued to rely on blockchain architecture, Libra Association’s vice chair Dante Disparte explained.

Blockchain unlocks payment network interoperability

In an April 28 interview with financial publication Central Banking, Disparte outlined a number of structural benefits provided by blockchain implementation. As part of the blockchain-powered advantages, the exec outlined the technology’s potential to drive interoperability of payment technologies. He said:

“We remain very committed to blockchain architecture as a distributed ledger technology for this project. Without it, the project doesn’t achieve many of the efficiencies: the low-cost structure and interoperability that it’s being designed to achieve.”

According to Disparte, the interoperability problem is one of the biggest challenges faced by global payment networks. “Because the technologies don’t speak to each other, it is often years before the units can make payments to each other,” the executive noted.

Disparte continued:

“Without blockchain at the core of libra and that technology being shared among the members of the association, who would run validating nodes, it would be much harder to have a digital wallet environment that doesn’t have lock-in effects, where the user is locked into one provider or another.”

Cointelegraph reached out to the Libra Association to know more about how exactly Libra is planning to tackle the interoperability issues by means of blockchain. The Association had yet to respond as of publication.

“Cryptocurrency aspect is not the key dimension of innovation,” Disparte says

In the interview, Disparte also touched upon a common narrative stipulating that cryptocurrencies are not that crucial for innovation as blockchain technology is.

Disparte said:

“The cryptocurrency aspect is not the key dimension of innovation. The real breakthrough is to create the protocol level for the transfer of value. That’s Libra’s big contribution. Without blockchain at the core, it is very hard to achieve that openness that we’re trying to develop at the wallet level and at the user level.”

According to the executive, the Libra Association expects to launch Libra in Q4 2020. By that time, the project hopes to sort out major issues including regulation, organization and readiness to move from testnet to the main environment, Disparte noted.

Libra is putting more efforts to launch the project

Disparte’s interview comes after Libra put some new efforts to move forward with the project recently. On April 16, the Libra Association applied for a payment system license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, also making a bunch of changes to its white paper.

Alongside working on regulatory matters, Libra has continued to grow its members and team. On April 20, the Libra Association added non-profit organization Heifer International. Earlier today, the Association was joined by British payments start-up Checkout.com. Facebook’s digital wallet Calibra is also looking to create 50 new roles for its workforce in Ireland.


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Libra Association’s vice chair Dante Disparte expects Libra network to launch in Q4 2020

Major US Crypto Exchange Coinbase Appoints New Vice President Dan Yoo

Major US Crypto Exchange Coinbase Appoints New Vice President Dan Yoo

Coinbase has reportedly appointed Dan Yoo as vice president, replacing Emilie Choi

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Major United States-based crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has appointed Dan Yoo as its new vice president, industry-focused media outlet Coindesk reported on Sept. 10.

At Coinbase, Yoo will be replacing Emilie Choi, previously vice president of business, data and international promoted to its chief operating officer at the company. Yoo will work on Coinbase’s business operations, business and corporate development and the data team.

“Not a crypto expert”

Commenting on the appointment, Yoo ostensibly said: “Coinbase is a very data-driven company. As part of this role, I’ll be making sure that internally and externally Coinbase and its customers have the data they need to make better decisions.” Yoo, however, added that he would not call himself a crypto expert, although he has many years of experience in the financial sector.

Prior to joining Coinbase, Yoo worked for professional social network LinkedIn, life insurance firm ReliaQuote, as well as set up a number of startups. Yoo shared that at LinkedIn he was on a similar team where they “helped be the connective tissue for the organization.”

Departures from Coinbase

In July, news broke that Tim Wagner, the vice president of engineering at Coinbase, was reportedly leaving the company. Wagner previously worked for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft before joining Coinbase.

That same month, Andrew L. Ridenour — who worked at Coinbase for just half a year longer than Wagner — left the crypto company to rejoin the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


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Coinbase has reportedly appointed Dan Yoo as vice president, replacing Emilie Choi

Samsung to Seek Collaboration With Platform Firms on Blockchain Innovation and 6G

Samsung to Seek Collaboration With Platform Firms on Blockchain Innovation and 6G

The vice chairman of Samsung says the firm will seek to collaborate with platform companies on the development of blockchain, AI and sixth-generation mobile networks

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The vice chairman of South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung says the firm will seek to collaborate with platform companies on the development of blockchain, artificial intelligence and sixth-generation mobile networks. The news was reported by Bloomberg on June 16.

The vice chairman, Jay Y. Lee — who reportedly serves as the firm’s de facto leader — held discussions with Samsung executives to discuss the potential collaborations last week, according to a company statement cited by Bloomberg. A platform company is an initial acquisition by a private equity firm for the purpose of making further acquisitions within a certain sector.

Per Bloomberg, the move to pursue bleeding-edge technologies such as blockchain and 6G comes amid a rapidly changing business climate and structural changes in the technology industry, which ostensibly presents new challenges for major firms. In the statement, Lee noted:

“We should challenge ourselves with a resolution to make new foundations, moving beyond the scope of protecting our past achievements.”

As reported this May, Samsung’s forthcoming budget smartphones will allegedly include cryptocurrency and blockchain features.

Crypto and blockchain-related functionality already confirmed for the Samsung S10 will thus ostensibly be included in other Galaxy smartphone models.

At the end of April, an anonymous source had claimed that Samsung could eventually develop a public-private blockchain complete with its own token.

A Cointelegraph analysis published earlier this month covered the burgeoning trend among South Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Naver and NHN to pursue blockchain innovation, despite the government’s tough stance toward decentralized cryptocurrencies.


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The vice chairman of Samsung says the firm will seek to collaborate with platform companies on the development of blockchain, AI and sixth-generation mobile networks