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Animoca Brands' subsidiary raises $3.6 million to fund blockchain version of tokenised gaming platform

The company expects to launch The Sandbox’s decentralised marketplace in the third quarter of 2019 with the full blockchain version of the game to follow.

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Users can own their creations as non-fungible tokens, which are virtual tokens for digital scarcity, security and authenticity representing game items

Animoca Brands Corporation Ltd (ASX:AB1) subsidiary TSB Gaming Ltd has raised about $3.6 million in cash and Bitcoin through the issue of both SAND utility tokens and simple agreement on future equity (SAFE) convertible tokens.

Capital raised will go towards development of the upcoming blockchain version of The Sandbox mobile game franchise, with the existing version owned by Animoca subsidiary Pixowl boasting 1.2 million monthly users and 40 million installs.

The blockchain version will be an early-mover in decentralised, community-driven game platforms, providing users with true ownership of their creations as non-fungible tokens (NFT).

 

Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu said the company was honoured that domain-expert companies such as Hashed and Klaytn had chosen to join Animoca to help bring blockchain to consumers through gaming.

He said: “This is a major milestone for the company, validating our blockchain strategy and the NFT-centred blockchain and brand partnerships on which we have been working recently, such as Formula 1.

“One of the first of its kind”

The mobile gaming and technology company also entered into a partnership agreement with the recently established blockchain project Klaytn PTE Ltd, which is the blockchain platform and subsidiary of Korea’s largest instant-messenger corporation Kakao.

Klaytn project head Jason Han said they were very excited at the opportunity to bring The Sandbox to the Korean gaming market.

Han added: “This game is one of the first of its kind, allowing for user-generated NFTs to be traded in-game.”

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Kakao, with a market cap of about $13.3 billion and more than 50 million monthly active users worldwide, will distribute, promote and market The Sandbox game under the agreement.

A spin-off company of Pixowl, TSB Gaming was incorporated in September 2018 to hold all intellectual property for The Sandbox as well as manage development and operation of the platform.

Pixowl is currently in the processing of transferring the Sandbox intellectual property to TSB Gaming, which in return will issue 10 million new shares to Pixowl.   

READ: Animoca Brands partners with venture accelerator Brinc for gaming and esports opportunities

The investment into TSB Gaming comprised 40% cash and 60% cryptocurrency and was led by Distributed Protocols PTE Ltd (Hashed), the largest crypto assets fund and accelerator in South Korea.

Other investors included Helix Accelerator Limited, Mind Fund Group Ltd, Blocore (Gameberry Inc), Thundercore Token Ltd, Klaytn PTE Ltd and Alexis Bonte, a partner at European technology venture capital firm Atomico Ventures.

Summary of the uses for SAND

 

READ: Animoca Brands invests in blockchain games developer Experimental

Pixowl and TSB Gaming chief executive officer Arthur Madrid said: “The Sandbox offers everyone access to a new economic model where players and creators fully participate in the value creation chain and can benefit from the new paradigm where content is the platform.”

The subsidiary’s chief operating officer Sebastien Borget added its vision for the future of decentralised gaming is that NFTs were a catalyst for mass adoption.

Borget continued: “Players will benefit from NFT interoperability across games, giving items a value beyond their utility based on factors such as emotional attachment to their creator, the fame of previous owners or track record across games.”

READ: Animoca Brands plans to consolidate and manage growth in 2019

The Sandbox is already one of the world’s largest independent user-generated content (UGC) platforms with more than 40 million downloads and one million monthly active users.

Its upcoming blockchain version is based on the Ethereum platform, an open-source platform that enables thousands of decentralised cryptocurrencies and projects to be built and deployed on its public blockchain.

Animoca intends to capitalise on the popularity of UGC gaming with NFTs as assets in The Sandbox, allowing players to trade or sell them without restrictions.

User-generated digital assets in the blockchain version of the platform are ERC-721 or ERC-1155 tokens, depending on their scarcity.

SAND is the utility token used throughout The Sandbox ecosystem as the basis of transactions and interactions, using an ERC-20 utility token built on the Ethereum blockchain.

SAND can be used to purchase LAND, spaces or worlds in which users create and play.

LANDs are limited, non-fungible, transferable digital assets stored in an Ethereum smart contract.

As well as acquiring LAND, SAND can be used to purchase, create or develop in-game content in the form of NFTs, including digital items such as ASSETs (user-generated voxel items).

 

READ: Animoca Brands acquires aware-winning game studio Skytree

Hashed partner and leader of Hashed Labs Ethan Kim said Hashed considered crypto games to be one of the best testing grounds for experiencing the virtual world that blockchain will bring.

Kim said: “We expect real-world economic activities based on blockchain to come true when the value derived from the virtual world can be distributed and maximised under decentralised protocols.

“In the same vein, Hashed believes The Sandbox, where users can monetise their experience through user-generated contents, can be one of the leaders realising and pioneering this virtual world.

“With its first onset, Hashed aims to contribute to the soft landing of The Sandbox to the Asian market, along with building up a strong community full of talented developers, designers and users.”

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