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Blockstream’s Samson Mow Is Launching a Space Alien Gaming Token on Bitcoin

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An ardent critic of the hype surrounding crypto token sales is set to do the unlikely: launching a token.

Samson Mow, the CSO of bitcoin startup Blockstream, has also been serving as founder and CEO of the gaming company Pixelmatic since 2011. The new plan will see Pixelmatic use Blockstream’s new token platform for launching security tokens on bitcoin via a sidechain.

By way of that platform, Pixelmatic will create a token for its upcoming game Infinite Fleet, a science fiction, humans-versus aliens space fighting game. “Take command of a fleet and join the epic war for humanity’s survival!” as the game’s Twitter profile reads.

Yet perhaps the most unusual part of the plan is that it will be launched on bitcoin – or, at least, a network that is tied to the bitcoin blockchain.

Part of why Mow has been so critical of token sales, he argued in conversation with CoinDesk, is that so many of them have been launched on the smart-contract platform ethereum. (He went so far as to contend ethereum has “failed” investors because of its scalability problems.)

But perhaps most of all, he’s skeptical of pervasive fraud in the space. “My main criticism is there’s no substance. The leaders have no intention of actually creating something,” Mow told CoinDesk.

Mow thinks Infinite Fleet offers substance. “That’s why we’re doing a security token, not a token with no obligation,” Mow said, adding that they’re trying to pioneer a new token model called a “dual-token model,” which effectively uses two tokens for two different purposes.

To raise funds, they’re in the process of selling a so-called “security token,” a breed of crypto-token that’s gotten quite a bit of attention recently, as they’re subject to regulation and require investors get a return on their investment.

The security token sale is private, with a few “bitcoin OGs” participating so far. With this token, Infinite Fleet is aiming to raise $16 million by the end of the year, when they expect more exchanges to be processing security tokens.

Then, the utility token will be disbursed randomly to players in the game. Users will receive coins based on “proof-of-participation,” or how much time they put into the game.

Currency battles… in space!

The idea of creating completely virtual currencies for in-game economies isn’t new, but according to Mow, Pixelmatic is looking to put a unique spin on the idea given its characteristics.

For example, one of the most popular MMOs, the World of Warcraft, utilizes in-game gold as a means of payment for items and between players. But persistent issues with so-called “gold farmers” who were selling their funds to other players led game maker Blizzard to effectively peg the value of gold to a “WoW Token” that can be bought and exchanged for either gold or 30 days of play-time. Conversely, in-game gold can be spent on such tokens.

Then there’s EVE Online, a similarly sci-fi focused game that utilizes several different currencies across its galactic economy. Such designs can grow complicated and have real-world ramifications: EVE once hired an economist in an attempt to steer the economy away from recessions that could have a negative impact on a user’s gaming experience. Not to mention, the population playing the game is larger than Iceland’s, and one of its “wars” cost an estimated $300,000 based on the value of in-game assets lost.

It’s against this backdrop, Mow told CoinDesk last fall, that he originally got interested in bitcoin specifically because he saw a path for disruption of these gaming economies.

With Infinite Fleet, Mow envisions this same model, but with a cryptocurrency thrown in, giving it the same benefits.

“Our token will be like that but not under anyone’s control,” he said.

As far as use cases, Mow highlighted one that addresses an issue experienced by players in MMOs where players can pool resources, only to suffer when one bad actor walks away with the loot unseen.

“People have been known to infiltrate guilds and steal the funds,” Mow said, arguing that with bitcoin, guild members can build a more secure guild model governed by certain rules, like “multi-signature” bitcoin transactions, which require, say, five of 10 guild members to sign the coins with their private keys before they can be released.

“There are many interesting applications,“ he argued.

Why Liquid?

So, why is Pixelmatic launching the token on Liquid? Is it because Mow is the CSO of Blockstream, the company the built the sidechain tech?

“I do believe in the technology,” Mow said, arguing its “well-suited” for financial transactions because it doesn’t “stuff smart contracts in the chain.”

He added that Liquid allows for more privacy than the main bitcoin blockchain because it uses “confidential assets,” an experimental privacy technology that shields the types of assets associated with transactions.

He added that, down the road, there are other features that Blockstream plans to add to Liquid, including the lightning network, a technology that could help bitcoin improve its overall scalability.

Blockstream has been working on an implementation of lightning specifically for Liquid, which Mow sees as a useful feature that could be used in the game if enough people play it and transact with the native digital currency.

“In case of a game, if you have critical mass you can use lightning,” Mow said.

Game image via Infinite Fleet trailer video

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NYSE files a trademark application for trading NFTs

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The world’s largest stock exchange may be planning to bring business into the Metaverse.

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Traders say $4,000 Ethereum back on the cards ‘if’ this bullish chart pattern plays out

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Global tensions that could trigger a correction in markets abound, but traders say ETH’s current setup could result in a swift return to the $4,000 level.

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CryptoPunks community reacts to the ongoing copyright battle between V1 and V2

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Although the collection is no longer deemed authentic by Larva Labs, its creators alleged sold 210 ETH worth of CryptoPunks V1 when the wrapped versions first gained traction.

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Binance.US is under investigation from SEC over trading affiliates: Report

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Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao allegedly has connections to two market makers buying and selling crypto on Binance.US.

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Boost Insurance unveils product covering against crypto theft from qualified custodians

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Boost Insurance, an insurance infrastructure-as-a-service platform, alongside go-to-market partner, Breach Insurance, a company that provides insurance technology and regulated insurance products for the cryptocurrency market, today announced the launch of Crypto Shield, an insurance product for cryptocurrency available to retail wallet holders.

Crypto Shield covers the theft of cryptocurrency while in the custody of a qualified custodian.

The Crypto Shield product allows individuals to purchase protection for their crypto wallets held by select custodians. In the case that the custodian is breached or suffers a social engineering attack resulting in lost assets, individuals insured under Crypto Shield can be reimbursed for the value of their policy.

Boost + Breach

While there is some commercial insurance available to cryptocurrency institutions, Breach envisioned Crypto Shield as a solution to the protection gap that currently exists for individuals holding crypto, securing a partnership with Boost to assist in bringing the Crypto Shield product to life.

Boost’s insurance infrastructure-as-a-service packages the necessary operational, technological, compliance, and capital requirements for new insurance programs into a white-label solution, enabling insurtechs like Breach to swiftly launch new lines of business.

“Boost’s deep expertise and insurance infrastructure-as-a-service platform, and Relm’s industry-leading crypto reinsurance capabilities, have positioned Breach to bring a highly complex insurance product to the market in a beautifully delivered customer experience.”
– Eyhab Aejaz, Co-Founder & CEO at Breach

To deliver that product in a seamless experience, Boost and Breach’s platforms connect via API, allowing Boost’s policy administration system to deliver back-end management for the Crypto Shield product. Breach’s customers are then able to purchase and manage every part of their policy and claims process, all from within Breach’s proprietary crypto insurance platform.

“With Boost’s infrastructure-as-a-service platform, companies like Breach can launch and deliver innovative new insurance offerings, at a fraction of the time and cost required to build a full-stack insurance program from scratch.”
– Alex Maffeo, CEO & Founder of Boost

In addition to powering the new product, Boost and Breach partnered to source and secure the necessary reinsurance backing from industry expert Relm Insurance Ltd. (Relm), underwritten by Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Operating out of Bermuda, Relm is a capacity provider to the crypto sector with a track record of insuring companies across the ecosystem. Relm has recently been awarded an ‘A Exceptional’ Financial Stability Rating (FSR) by Demotech.

“Relm’s partnership with Boost and Breach to reinsure the US’s first cryptocurrency insurance product for retail wallet holders is a milestone in supporting the development of crypto and blockchain technologies.”
– Joe Ziolkowski, CEO at Relm

The post Boost Insurance unveils product covering against crypto theft from qualified custodians appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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