Michaël van de Poppe - 23 March 2022
The topic of today’s blogpost is yet again crypto exchange FTX. This company has been on a roll this past year and is building a true crypto empire with its tentacles in all different kinds of sectors of the industry. In this post, we are going to shine a light on their recent investment plans regarding crypto gaming.
Crypto gaming hype
The crypto gaming hype really took off last year. Axie Infinity showed the power of play-2-earn gaming and how valuable the integration of NFTs in the game was for its users. It led to the blossoming of a bunch of metaverse/P2E crypto projects, among others were GALA, SAND, ILV, and MANA.
It didn’t take long for FTX to play into the opportunities created by this hype. On November 5th of 2021, the company launched a $100mln crypto gaming fund in partnership with Solana Ventures and Lightspeed. The fund was dedicated to investments in studios, projects and technology in the crypto gaming space with a slight focus on Solana-based projects.
Amy Wu, at that time partner at Lightspeed, stated that Solana has attracted a lot of blockchain gaming devs and that has created a lot of investment opportunities on the chain.
The $2 billion Venture Fund
In January of 2022, FTX announced that Amy Wu would join the crypto exchange to lead a newly formed venture fund called FTX Ventures. This fund has $2bln to its disposal and would largely focus on crypto and blockchain industry investments. According to Wu, FTX Ventures would specifically target investments in web3 gaming and social web3 applications.
Additionally, Wu also took the lead over FTX’s gaming business. These and the previous $100mln funds showed that FTX is a strong believer in the future success of crypto gaming and the power of NFTs inside games.
A new business arm
Besides plain researching, and investing through these multi-million funds, FTX launched a new business arm on February 21st of 2022. The new ‘department’ is called FTX Gaming and acts as a facilitating unit to traditional gaming studios to help them integrate blockchain technology and NFTs into their games. FTX has been hiring employees for various positions including programmers in C# and Unity, both well-known game development programming languages.
FTX Gaming can best be described as “crypto-as-a-service”, a type of business that could possibly grow in 2022. It shows the growth in the sector and the fact that FTX identified opportunities to leverage its blockchain knowledge. With the unit, they will be able to drive more adoption of crypto and NFTs in upcoming games which is quite exciting to see.
FTX is by far one of the most influential crypto companies in the world. Through sponsorships, investment funds, and other activities they have managed to make their brand a household name in the crypto industry, but also increasingly a household global brand. One of the main conclusions of this blog is that this monolithic company is betting heavily on the succession of crypto gaming. Through investments and now a new business operation, FTX is setting itself up to become a huge player in the development scene of the P2E industry.