Blockchain.com Ventures, the venture capital arm of the blockchain development company Blockchain Luxembourg S.A., today announced an equity investment in the digital ledger blockchain gaming company Enjin.
Enjin provides blockchain infrastructure for gaming companies, which enables developers to integrate tradable virtual assets into their games, apps and other software. Oddly, the companies declined to say how much the investment was.
“Enjin is a rare example of a blockchain business with meaningful traction that decisively solves a problem that can’t be addressed in today’s centralized computing and database paradigm,” said Samuel Harrison, managing partner of Blockchain.com Ventures.
With blockchain technology, games and apps can provide tokens or actual ownership of virtual assets within a software ecosystem. Because these virtual assets can be stored, sold and traded outside of the game environment itself, these blockchain-based assets can be used to meet goals for user acquisition, retention, engagement and game monetization.
Enjin has already raised $18.9 million during 2017 in investments by selling its own Ethereum-based native tokens on the platform in what’s known as an Initial Coin Offering or ICO. Since then, the company has brought over 40 games to the Ethereum blockchain and grown to more than 20 million users on its platform.
Every asset minted on the Enjin platform is an ERC-1155 token backed by the native token of the ecosystem called ENJ. The ENJ tokens act as a sort of tradable certificate of authenticity and proof of value, which can be traded between players and represent individual items such as clothing, armor, equipment and weapons, for example.
The platform is capable of allowing the trade of piles of coins and tracking the unique history, provenance and identity of every copy of a certain weapon or even unique weapons.
In an email with SiliconANGLE, Enjin vice president of operations Bryana Kortendick said that part of the goal of the company’s platform is to empower players.
“You may have heard about Blizzard recently banning a gamer over statements made in support of Hong Kong protesters, or EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II debacle,” Kortendick said. “Putting a stop to this kind of behavior, empowering players, and putting ownership of gaming items in their hands is what our tech is all about.”
She also commented on how in Blockchain.com’s blog post on the investment, the company mentioned the “Enjin multiverse,” where players not only own all of their assets but can carry them across games (at least through those that support said items).
“If you’re familiar with Ready Player One, this is essentially what we are trying to create in real life—only better and decentralized,” Kortendick added. “We hope to democratize blockchain technology and improve gaming for players and developers alike.”
To increase discovery and provide a proof of concept for its token ecosystem, the company launched the Enjin Marketplace earlier this month.
Within the Marketplace players can trade items not just from within the same game but between games. Although it might not be possible to use items from a game they were not intended, the items themselves can still be owned and collected by players external to those games. It also opens up the possibility that different games, connected by the Enjin blockchain, could share economies.
To date, more than 59 million ERC-1155 assets have been minted using the Enjin Platform. That has resulted in approximately 1% of the total supply of ENJ tokens being locked in digital assets, where it acts as a certificate of authenticity for those items.
Blockchain.com Ventures makes long-term investments in businesses developing and using blockchain technology to provide practical services and products that differentiate themselves in the industry. Other investments include shared economy platform Origin Protocol Inc., esports entertainment service Silver.tv, digital securities management platform Securitize Inc., “internet of things” network provider Nodle.io and distributed app tracker DappRadar UAB.
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