When it comes to online technologies there are a few major industries that drive the majority of innovations. Porn comes to mind as a huge driver of online tech (don't get me started on the puns!), but one of the fastest growing industries seems to not get the attention they deserve when it comes to advancements in online technology. The gaming industry has had a hand in tons of major advancements in online tech, but it is a world that, unless you are a gamer, you probably have no idea how huge it really is. As we see a major shift towards cryptocurrency & blockchain based systems online, the gaming industry has already been using digital assets for years. The "in-game asset" market nears around $50 Billion dollars a year and now major players are stepping into the blockchain spotlight. Enter in the Worldwide Asset eXchange, or WAX for short. Follow The 'Stache as I get my game on and cover the basics of this already established giant in the gaming asset industry.
What Is The Worldwide Asset eXchange?
Before I can really talk about what WAX is I think a little background on their parent company is in order. WAX is being developed by the same people that run OPSkins.com. OPSkins is an online centralized marketplace for gamers to buy and sell digital assets for popular games like Counter-Strike: GO, H1Z1, Dota 2, Unturned, and many more. These gaming assets are essentially just "skins" for models in the game. For instance, you can buy this sweet Neko-chan Hoodie chest piece for your character in the game H1Z1 ( a zombie survival mmo). OPSkins has been in business since 2015 and it seems business has been booming as they are now the largest marketplace for trading virtual game assets in the world. The company has facilitated over 100+ million purchases annually for millions of customers across 95 countries. So if business is great, why the need for the Worldwide Asset eXchange?
Err Body In The Club Gettin' WAX-ie!
While the market for digital assets is huge, it is quite fragmented. Many games have their own specific markets (like the one I play, Shroud of the Avatar), and then others are strewn across multiple outlets. This makes it pretty hard to trade in-game assets with any kind of security. I have made a few in-game asset purchases and I always had to rely on the sellers "community reputation", hoping that after I paypal him the money, he will meet me in-game to hand over the goods. WAX is essentially building a global virtual item repository that operates in a decentralized way where anyone can use their widgets to start selling immediately without the worries of security, payment systems, and more. This should lower the transaction costs and increase the on-demand availability of gaming assets due to the in-place trust mechanics of a decentralized blockchain purchasing model.
The WAX Token
So where does the WAX token come in? Like all good crypto platforms that use a token, it must have an intrinsic value to the platform. The WAX platform will be developed on top of Ethereum and will make use of Ethereum's smart contract features. The WAX token is an essential part of the ecosystem and is the only way gamers buy, sell, rent, and trade assets on the exchange. On top of the buying & selling the WAX token is also used in the platforms Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm where delegated nodes or "Guilds" confirm transactions for a specific game.
A Gamers ICO
Of course, WAX is holding their own ICO (which ends TODAY, November 29th, 2018). For the main sale they are looking at 150 WAX = 1 ETH. The WAX Token hard cap or total supply is set at 185,000,000. With today's price of ETH (around $475) that puts the value of your WAX token purchase at about $3 USD per WAX Token. I think this is a pretty good price point for this ICO, but with a pretty large supply I would not be surprised to see the price dip at exchange launch. Here is how they break down the tokens:
45% of all tokens are going to the team, founders, contributors and advisers, while 30% goes to development and 35% to the token sale. While these may not be the best numbers I have seen for an ICO, I do have some VERY good reasons why I am strong on this company.
The 'Stache Position
When I decided to make my WAX purchase the "gamers pre-sale" had just ended. ETH was at around $300 a coin and I decided to invest 0.2 ETH for a total of 30 WAX. Not a huge investment, but I was a little sad I missed the Gamer pre-sale so it made me a bit sour (my own fault for sleeping this one!). The reason why I think this is going to be a crypto powerhouse is two fold. Firstly, OPSkins.com is a thriving business model with a solid working product that is used by millions of people already. This is no startup business with just a whitepaper and dream, they are generating millions of dollars in sales every year. Compare this to most other ICO's and this factor alone blows many of them away. Combine this with my second point and we have a true winner.
While we are still in the very early adoptions phase of cryptocurrencies where only a few million people are actually using crypto, there are 400+ million gamers out there that have already been trading in digital assets. They are familiar and VERY comfortable with this and do it on the daily. Think what will happen when you put crypto in the hands of these 400+ million gamers. It will boost adoption very rapidly, especially if you consider that the current digital asset trading community represents roughly 22% of the 1.8 billion people who play video games.
Based on these two factors alone I think that the WAX platform will be extremely successful in the long term. You can't deny the power of gamers, and if you don't know... now ya know!