The worldwide video gaming market has grown to the extent that computer gaming is being touted as a potential future Olympic sport. In this context, an entire sub-industry has grown around trading and creating gaming assets that can be used by video gamers to enhance their playing experience. Gone are the days when the ecosystem was limited to one console and game at a time – nowadays video gamers are very interested in the players they compete against online or their favorite players they watch through live streams.
A budding global ecosystem
To understand just how massive the eSports industry is, consider that its revenues are forecast to hit an excess of $1.488 billion by 2020 and it will attract an audience of 600 million people globally within the next five years. All this is just a conservative estimate.
Within the space of just a few years, the popularity of in-game items increased far beyond what their creators envisioned. OPSkins, the world’s largest online marketplace for trading in-game items, is at the epicenter of this budding ecosystem. Although the market itself is fairly fragmented, with most marketplaces focusing on either a single geography or a particular game, the team behind OPSkins has made it their goal to facilitate fast, simple and secure trade for a multitude of diverse video gamers.
Their successes speak for themselves. In less than three years, OPSkins has successfully completed 150 million transactions for millions of users. The platform currently processes 2 million transactions per week and 200,000 new users sign up on the system every month. However, even a successful, secure and massive centralized platform such as OPSkins is unlikely to be able to cater to a growing and increasingly demanding eSports audience.
A launchpad for growth
To cater for the growing demands within the in-game item trading industry, the all-star team behind OPSkins is launching a new project: the Worldwide Asset eXchange, or WAX for short. WAX is a decentralized, blockchain-based platform for virtual asset trading, as well as a dedicated smart contract token for transactions on this platform. In essence, WAX will allow anyone to create a marketplace for trading virtual assets. The WAX Token will allow users to trade between these marketplaces seamlessly.
The WAX platform will address several distinct video gamer and marketplace needs which are impossible to cater to in a centralized fashion. The primary goal of the platform is to create additional liquidity within the virtual asset market. With the current market structure, a lot of the assets exist on siloed marketplaces. Users are limited due to geography, language or currency. Even the largest marketplaces, such as OPSkins, cannot cater to every single user’s needs. This means that some items may not find their buyers immediately, even though demand does exist. WAX Token is designed to service the thousands of companies and power sellers already participating in the global digital item trading industry. WAX smart contracts track and pay out to all parties of an item trade — the settlement agents, affiliates, listing sites and any other parties that facilitate digital item trading.
Through its innovative application of blockchain technology, WAX not only unites all these disparate parties into one ecosystem, but it also makes their interaction convenient. WAX’s unique Delegated-Proof-of-Stake system is designed to make transaction confirmations practically immediate. In fact, transactions on the WAX blockchain will be confirmed in about the same time as it takes to refresh a webpage.
In a league of its own
Unlike many projects currently issuing smart contract tokens, WAX actually requires proprietary blockchain technology and a dedicated token for the integrity of the platform. Microtransactions are a pressing necessity within the virtual assets market. Any cohesive system catering to this market should be able to accommodate an ever-increasing number of these transaction. In spite of recent improvements, both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains are unsuitable for seamless microtransactions due to their relative sluggishness and high transaction prices. As the demand for virtual assets inevitably increases, the need for a lightening fast and secure trading mechanism which works across multiple geographies will become more apparent. WAX is set out to cater precisely for this need.
Resolving a significant problem within a nascent industry, a transparent and justified application of blockchain technology and a team with a demonstrable business acumen place WAX in a league of its own in today’s overcrowded smart contract token market. The the involvement of investment firms like Hyperchain Capital and Pantera Capital, adds significantly to WAX’s credibility.