- Crypto exchange FTX will partner with gaming companies to integrate NFTs and blockchain into their titles.
- Players will own the digital assets they have earned, and can transfer their investments outside the games, FTX said.
- "There’s a future where two billion gamers get to own what they earn, and we want to help build it," FTX said.
Crypto exchange FTX’s US affiliate is launching a new gaming division that will offer "FTX-as-a-service" to games publishers that want to integrate NFTs and blockchain into their titles.
The initiative is a crossover between crypto and gaming, according to Brett Harrison, CEO of FTX.US.
"As game studios seek ways to bring ownership, transferability, and price discovery to their in-game economies, we intend to partner with them to provide backend exchange technology," he said in a tweet Monday.
The new gaming division is pitching its platform at companies and projects looking to step into web3, the next iteration of the internet often linked to metaverses.
Play-to-earn crypto games are gaining in popularity among developers, and nearly 60% of US and UK-based game builders have started to incorporate blockchain technology, according to a November study by Stratis. About half are using NFTs in their gameplay, it found.
These crypto games reward players with digital in-game assets such as NFTs, which can then be bought and sold — but these can be locked inside the game’s ecosystem.
Amy Wu, head of FTX Ventures & Gaming, said in a tweet that FTX wallets would allow people to own the assets they have earned. It could do this for many as 2 billion gamers in the future, the company believes.
"There’s a future where two billion gamers get to own what they earn, and we want to help build it," the company tweeted.
"We also believe that the power of blockchain technology can enable users to invest in their games in ways that carry over to worlds *outside* of in-game economies, including potential transferability of these investments to other games," Harrison said.
The all-time total of NFT sales on crypto metaverse game Axie Infinity broke through $4 billion on Monday, according to data from CryptoSlam. It was the first NFT collection to reach that level, with almost twice the volume the just over $2 billion racked up by the CryptoPunks collection of ape avatar NFTs.
The NFT market overall has seen a surge in interest and investment over the past year. It is expected to be worth more than $35 billion in 2022, and over $80 billion in 2025, according to research by Jeffries. NFTs are unique digital tokens that represent an asset, such as a piece of audio, video or even artwork and virtual real-estate.