SBI eSports Signs Pro FIFA and Super Smash Bros Ultimate Players; Will Be Paid in XRP

SBI eSports, a subsidiary gaming venture of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has signed two professional players to its e-team. In an official announcement made on 16th October, the SBI e-sports subsidiary also revealed that they would be paying its player’s salaries in XRP.

Back in September, the firm revealed that they were planning on paying their player’s salaries in cryptocurrencies. The official announcement read,

“The company aims to raise awareness of the SBI Group by strengthening contact points with the digital generation, and to create synergies with the various financial services businesses of the SBI Group.”

The payment of salary in the digital token would be facilitated via SBI’s crypto-asset trading division called SBI VC Trade. However, the final decision to accept salaries in XRP tokens would lie in the players’ hands. The official signing read,

“Players will be paid in the crypto asset ‘XRP’ instead of Japanese yen based on the wishes of the player and the sponsorship contract with SBI VC Trade Co., Ltd.”

The two pro players signed by the SBI eSports include one of Japan’s top pros in the Nintendo Switch fighting game, Super Smash Bros, Ultimate player Kenji “Ken” Suzuki, and FIFA 21 player Subaru “Mikey” Sagano, who has represented the German soccer club 1. FC Nürnberg.

The signings made by the SBI e-Sports is one of a kind because of the digital asset salary clause, which was not only highlighted in the official announcement but also in the personal tweets made by the signed players.

SBI to Conduct a Security Token Offering for SBI eSports

The SBI Group is also set to conduct a security token offering for the eSports subsidiary expected to occur on October 30. The offering would see 1000 total shares up for grabs valued at 50,000 yen (about $475) per share.

SBI Group is a Ripple partner and one of the significant stakeholders in the digital asset firm.

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Author: James W

SEC Hits eSports Platform With $6.1M Penalty For An Unregistered ICO; Hester Peirce Dissents

Quick Read:

  • SEC charges the e-sports gaming platform, Unikrn, for “conducting an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO)” in 2017.
  • The e-sports firm agreed to pay a $6.1 million fine without admitting or denying the charges.
  • Notable investors include Shark Tank & Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, and Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Lorio.
  • SEC Commissioner, Heister Pierce, filed a statement of dissent stating the company was not charged for any fraud.

On September 15, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Seattle-based eSports gaming firm, Unikrn, for conducting an unregulated ICO between June and October 2017. The statement from SEC claims Unikrn made an ICO raise of $31 million from selling its native UnikoinGold (UKG) token, promising to add more features to the gaming platform and providing more utilities to the UKG token.

However, three years ago, the authorities find the sale of UKG as a violation of registration laws. SEC finds Unikrn guilty of not registering the token through it as UKG represents an investment contract. The statement reads,

“The order finds that Unikrn offered and sold UKG as investment contracts, which constituted securities, yet failed to register the offering or qualify for an exemption.”

According to Kristina Littman, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, failure to follow the registration laws impedes the market rules hence “harming investors and [the] markets.”

Unikrn has since accepted to pay the $6.1 million penalty imposed by the SEC – a substantial amount of all company funds – without admitting or denying any wrongdoings. The fine will then be distributed to all UKG investors through a Fair Fund. Unikn also agreed to disable any buying, selling, and use of the UKG token by Sept. 25th. Littman said,

“This resolution allows us to return all of Unikrn’s assets substantially to already-harmed investors and includes measures to prevent future sales to retail investors, including the disabling of the tokens.”

Speaking to Coindesk, Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn, said they had been working with the SEC to find a resolution on moving the business forward. He further stated the discontinuation of UKG services would help the company focus on building better products in the future. He said,

“The common ground we found requires Unikrn to completely stop supporting UKG and help provide a fund for purchasers of UnikoinGold. This gives us clearance to focus on continuing to build our industry-leading business.”

Crypto mom files statement of dissent

SEC Commissioner and crypto enthusiast, Hester Peirce, also known in the crypto space as Crypto Mom, filed a statement for dissent on the charges SEC found in Unikrn. Pierce states the company did not commit any fraud during its ICO – only a registration offense was committed. Despite condemning registration offenses, Crypto Mom claims such enforcement actions could lead to stifling of innovation in the crypto arena.

“Registration violations, even standing alone, are serious, and our enforcement actions can serve to deter such violations and protect harmed investors,” she said.

“We should strive to avoid enforcement actions and sanctions, however, that enervate innovation and stifle the economic growth that innovation brings. I believe that this action and its accompanying sanctions will have such consequences.”

Furthermore, she disagrees that UKG token sale constituted as a security because the SEC has not placed clear guidelines for entrepreneurs and businesses to follow in token sales. The securities regulator is lagging behind in implementing laws that set a dilemma for several innovators – choosing whether to drop the project or continue developing with a dark cloud of enforcement hanging over their heads.

Pierce suggested the implementation of a regulatory safe harbor that allows the SEC to implement and regulate projects on antifraud laws while providing a safe space for innovation to continue. “A regulatory safe harbor could resolve this unhappy dilemma,” she states.

“Affording a company like Unikrn a three-year regulatory window within which to further develop and refine its platform—while still subjecting it to the antifraud laws—would provide benefits to token purchasers, token issuers, and the Commission.”

She ended her statement calling for better regulation policies and experimentation of new approaches to prevent stifling of innovation within the U.S.

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Author: Lujan Odera

ESPN to Launch Blockchain-based Gaming Platform With Bitcoin & Crypto Payments

E-Sports Programming Network (ESPN Global) has integrated online gaming with blockchain technology.

Currently, the platform — a “blockchain-based gaming revolution,” is under the pre-launch phase, which will allow users to win cash by winning battles and tournaments. It will further allow players to make “deposits and withdrawals using bitcoin and other variety of crypto-currencies.”

In the press statement, ESPN Global will be using crypto payment specialist “Cryptopay” to speed up the integration process.

Chris Parker, one of the directors of ESPN Global, noted that e-sports and online gaming is a “$140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies,” as such can benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of blockchain technology.

The UK-based mobile e-Sports platform is also integrating its recently launched blockchain-based game, Satoshi’s Treasure.

“With this $1 million puzzle game Satoshi’s Treasure, we are promising a bounty-laden bitcoin wallet whose keys will be divided into 1,000 fragments, spawning a global hunt for the prize pieces,” said Parker.

The company is also planning to launch an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) for its own ERC-20 based token, Smart Gaming Token (SGT). The tokens will be airdropped to all registered players as a gift, which currently has a value of $0.001.

According to Parker, any player who loses money by participating in any of the games or tournaments, their losses will be covered by the corporation. Also, their crypto wallets will be credited with our SGT airdrops equivalent to their losses.

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Author: AnTy

Atari and Arkane Network Partner to Allow Developers to Integrate Digital Assets Into Gaming

Atari, one of the most recognizable gaming brands has partnered with Arkane Network which offers blockchain as a service to help developers integrate digital assets into the gaming ecosystem.

The partnership would see the launch of the Atari token on the Arkane network which can be used by the players to buy, sell, and trade assets. The developers would be able to build various utility tokens based on the Atari token that can be integrated on a number of decentralized gaming applications. Tim Dierckxsens, co-founder and CSO of Arkane network commented on the partnership saying,

“Atari has always been a pioneer in the video game industry, and it is great to see how they understand blockchain technology’s increasing role in the development of the economic landscape within video games and entertainment.

With this partnership, we will bring game developers, the gaming community, and the Atari brand together to embrace blockchain technology as a solution to record digital assets and value transactions.”

Atari Plans to Lead the Decentralized Gaming and Entertainment Industry

Atari has been a flag bearer of the gaming industry for quite some time and has transitioned to incorporate one of the fastest evolving blockchain industry. The gaming brand announced its token offering back in March in the form of Atari token, and also revealed about their plans of exploring a decentralized platform that would offer movies, music, and games through a single platform.

Atari is currently holding a presale of its native token which will be followed by several other presale rounds before it is open to public sale. The firm plans to mint 7.72 billion Atari tokens along with launching their own exchange by the end of this summer. Atari believes Arkane is the perfect partner to help them propel in the decentralized ecosystem

Arkane Network, on the other hand, is a BaaS provider that offers a developer framework for crypto wallets, APIs, and multiple other services. The blockchain firm also helps developers to integrate decentralized elements into different games and is also a member of Blockchain Game Alliance founded by another gaming giant Ubisoft and comprises of Enjin and Forte as other notable members.

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Author: James W

Enjin’s Blockchain Gaming Ecosystem Upgrades Its ENJ Wallet Before China Roll Out

Blockchain gaming platform Enjin is all set to expand its business in South Asia where China will be its biggest target given the world’s most populous country has invested heavily in blockchain and is a hub for gamers. The gaming platform has made a few upgrades to its wallet right before it opens its services for the Chinese consumers.

The firm made an announcement on 13th April revealing that the native wallet for the Enjin Coin has been tweaked to meet the regulatory requirements of the country. The blockchain gaming firm noted that the new changes to their wallet make it “certified and compliant in China,” and the approval for the same has been granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Bryana Kortendick, vice president of marketing at Enjin revealed said,

“The infrastructure running our services and products, including the Enjin Wallet, has been certified/licensed by [the] Chinese state agency. The wallet app itself complies with all local laws and regulations set forth by the Chinese government and communicates with the … compliant licensed infrastructure.”

Enjin Wallet Made Easier To Use

The announcement also revealed several new changes to the native wallet which would make it much easier for everyone to use, send and receive funds and transact in a few simple clicks. The Enjin wallet has also introduced Ethereum Naming Services (ENS), a feature that helps in shorting the complex crypto wallet addresses to simple human-readable ones.

A few other highlights of the news changes include,

  • Added native support for ERC-1155 blockchain assets
  • Introduced Enjin Beam, so you can receive assets by scanning a QR code
  • An in-app exchange featuring the world’s first multi-swap support
  • Built-in a fast, flexible DApp browser
  • Enabled buying and selling option for blockchain assets on the Enjin Marketplace
  • Ability to create and manage an infinite number of wallets

Enjin wallet was launched back in early 2018 and grabbed the public eye after its strategic partnership with South Korean Electronic giants Samsung back in 2019. The wallet was featured in Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore. The Samsung news also boosted the value of its native token Enjin Coin which gained over 70% in the aftermath of the announcement. The wallet then also made headlines when it partnered with Microsoft for its crypto collectable reward scheme on the Azure platform.

China is the largest producer and consumer market of the world and despite the outbreak of COVID-19 and the scrutiny the country has faced for not taking appropriate measures to contain the outbreak, it remains the lucrative hub for any kind of product. With their focus on the launch of their digital DCEP and aggressive blockchain promotion, many decentralized blockchain firms are eying to enter the Chinese market.

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Author: James W

Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry Creator Ubisoft Will Become Block Producer For Ultra’s Blockchain Gaming

Blockchain applications in the gaming industry have proven to be the most practical so far. Just recently, Ubisoft partnered with Ultra, a blockchain-oriented gaming platform. The move marks a major milestone for blockchain integration given Ubisoft’s prominence in the traditional gaming space.

The Game-Changing Partnership

According to Ultra, the collaboration with Ubisoft will be mutually beneficial given the latter will learn about blockchain tech in detail. Ubisoft has since been tasked the role of block producer within the UOS blockchain network. Ultra is also confident that Ubisoft’s trusted brand will be a plus to its fundamental value going forward.

Ubisoft will further provide 3rd party services that enable users to send transactions; this is through web-based services functioning real-time. The gaming giant is popular for the production of mainstream games like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed placing it at a better position in terms of product implementation.

Ultra revealed that they are considering to upgrade Ubisoft to a Technical Block producer within their blockchain ecosystem. This simply means that Ubisoft will be able to contribute to its platform development and provide support to the existing infrastructure.

Blockchain and Gaming Future

The move by Ubisoft and Ultra has raised the hopes of leveraging blockchain tech on a bigger scale than stakeholders anticipated. As it stands, blockchain applications in the gaming space are mostly small scale and enterprise oriented. However, this seems to be taking a different turn despite the regulatory uncertainty surrounding blockchain tech and crypto tokens.

Given the current information, only speculations can be derived from the nature of this Ubisoft Ultra partnership. Some Fintech analysts are optimistic that Ubisoft will eventually begin developing games with blockchain tech as the fundamental layer. Ultra is also confident that this gaming giant is ahead of its competitors in terms of investing in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) for its products. Other prominent players that have partnered with Ultra include AMD, the graphics card producer. The firm however noted that its main goal in collaborations is quality over quantity.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Nvidia Shows Good Results By Focusing on Gaming Chips, Not Crypto Miners

Nvidia is set to be focused on gaming in the future. Despite two profitable years in which the company made a lot of money selling its GPUs to crypto miners, the truth is that the company doesn’t seem eager to be reliant on this earning source anymore.

In the Second Quarter Fiscal 2020 report (which is focused on Q2 2019), Nvidia earned less revenue than in the previous year, but was still above the expectations of some analysts. Also, the stocks of the company went up by 6% during this time.

The earnings of the quarter were $1.24 USD per share. Analysts were expecting $1.15 USD, so they were pleasantly surprised. The estimations of revenue were wrong, as Nvidia had a revenue of $2.58 billion USD against $2.4 billion projected by the analysts.

This year’s earnings, were, far less than the $3.12 billion that the company was able to get last year. This was mostly due to how many people stopped to buy GPUs to mine tokens.

With so much money coming from gamers and not a lot from miners, the main objective of the company is pretty obvious: forget the miners, focus on the gamers instead.

The CEO of the company, Jensen Huang, affirmed that real-time ray tracing, a technology used in games, was one of the main innovations of the decade. With great expectations on the gaming side and a stiff competition on the crypto one, there is not really a choice.

Nvidia is, however, starting to invest in AI technology, too, so we’ll probably see some interesting news related to this, too.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Parsec Media to Tokenize Advertisement Contracts via AFOX Platform on R3 Corda Blockchain

Parsec-Media-to-Tokenize-Advertisement-Contracts-via-AFOX-Platform-on-R3-Corda-Blockchain

Parsec Media, a software company primarily used for cloud-based gaming, is launching the AFOX on the R3 Corda blockchain to provide a solution to the unpredictability of the advertising market.

Looking back at the 50s and 60s, advertising was mostly done through radio and saw a revamp as it gradually turned to print and visualization. Ads across newspapers, posters and TV’s was the norm until the internet changed everything.

In the new millennium, especially after the spread of smartphones, ads are mostly viewed on the internet – social media playing king. The industry has turned into a volatile arena hence the presence of futures and contracts on advertisements and media products. Parsec, an advertising firm, is utilizing the enterprise-based R3 Corda blockchain to settle digital advertising contracts and trade futures and options in the advertising market.

The Unpredictability in Advertisement Industry

In a statement to the press, Parsec highlighted the current problems facing the advertising world saying,

“Current media contracts don’t enforce quality standards, so buyers demand favorable cancellation terms. Since contracts are cancellable, a publisher’s business is unpredictable.”

The unpredictability of the media companies’ jobs causes volatility in the ad companies’ revenues and financial structures as pointed out by Charlie Fiordalis, managing partner of MediaCom. Charlie says that contracts in the advertisement industry can sometimes take days to be constructed and even months to reconcile only for them to be pulled to a stop barely 48 hours after completion.

While this is a common feat to most of the ads set to air on media platforms, ads at the Superbowl – probably the best period in the year in the ad market – are non-cancellable. The event provides assurance of value for the company buying it and “per second” value is easily measurable. Parsec wants to launch a solution that will be non-cancellable and easily measure the attention value.

The AFOX Solution

Parsec provides a solution to the unpredictability and volatility risks encountered in the advertisement industry through the Advertising Futures and Options Exchange (AFOX) platform. The AFOX platform utilizes a complex algorithm to measure the value of one second of attention to an advertisement. The data is then analyzed and stored on the blockchain providing immutable storage shared over a distributed network.

The platform is set to tokenize futures and options contracts stored on the blockchain allowing investors in the secondary market to get a hold of the advertisements. While providing additional liquidity to the media firms through capital raised in these secondary markets, AFOX will also provide hedging and discounts on their adverts purchases.

Despite the continued efforts in putting up the AFOX platform and promoting the sale of futures and options on a blockchain, Parsec does not intend on staying in the field for long. The CEO Marc Guldimann said he hopes the future of advertising futures and options is totally decentralized cutting off middlemen such as the Parsec Media Company.

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Author: Lujan Odera