A Big Bet on Blockchain and Gaming: Ripple and Forte Announce $100 Million Fund

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Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:42 pm

The cryptocurrency company Ripple on Tuesday announced an ambitious project to integrate blockchain technology into video games. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods.

The fund will be overseen by Forte, a San Francisco company founded this year by prominent gaming executives, and which is backed and advised by a host of big Silicon Valley names, including Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures.

“Video games have long been quick to adopt new technology, from console to the PC to mobile. Now, blockchain will help game designers who’ve had a hard time facilitating an economy that can serve all types of players,” said Ethan Beard, a senior executive with Ripple’s development arm Xpring, in an interview with Fortune.

Blockchain technology, which provides an indelible ledger run across multiple computers, holds promise for video games because it offers a verifiable way to track digital assets—say a sword or even a character—across different owners in a game.

This is significant because secondary markets for online games, even very popular ones, are clumsy or not entirely legal. Beard notes that people will buy other players’ accounts off eBay for hundreds of dollars, or turn to third party sites to buy in-game currency such as “gold” from World of Warcraft. By integrating blockchain technology into their platforms, game makers could bring such transactions inside the game.

The idea of using blockchain to trade digital goods is not new. In late 2017, a trading game called Crypto Kitties enjoyed a brief flurry of attention because it let users buy and sell unique digital cats, some of which sold for thousands of dollars. In retrospect, though, Crypto Kitties appears to have been more of a proof of concept than a viable game.
https://fortune.com/2019/03/12/ripple-f ... ain-games/
Not your keys, not your coins
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