Platforms Featured Global

Solana launches first-ever debit card SolSwipe 

Singapore – Public blockchain platform Solana has announced the official launch of SolSwipe, their first-ever debit card, on a global scale. Solana also holds its native currency of the same name, and is one of the well-known cryptocurrencies, aside Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The debit card launch is in line with SolSwipe’s roadmap of providing a unique service for Solana holders to transact in a seamless and convenient fashion through popular cryptocurrencies. 

In addition, it allows Web3 reloading with Phantom, a Solana-based wallet built for Defi and NFTs. The debit card is created for accessibility and supports Solana (SOL) and USD Coin (USDC) as well as other major chains, such as Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.

They can be used globally for digital purchases, point of sale (POS) and on any Visa-compatible ATMs. 

Aside from the debit card launch, SolSwipe also debuted its NFT collection on September 12. The SolSwipe NFTs are available for mint at 1.25 Sol with a low supply of 6666 NFTs. Holders will enjoy reduced loading fees and are eligible for exclusive rewards shared from a portion of the royalties and loading fees incurred.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH actress Yassi Pressman launches local play-to-earn platform

Manila, Philippines – Local actress and host Yassi Pressman has recently launched a local play-to-earn (P2E) platform called ‘Players Elite Guild’ (PEG), allowing Filipinos to earn from the current Web3 economy.

The new P2E platform is developed by blockchain architect Liezl Pecson, and is secured via the BLOX, a decentralised blockchain that will help process and validate transactions via smart contracts executed via their own token.

According to Pressman, her new venture will help all types of gamers have the greatest experience possible.

“For example, the platform’s features will help professionalise and stabilise the income of full-time players, while reducing the learning curve – and friction – of casual players who wish to dabble in different games,” she explained.

PEG invites its community members into an inclusive business culture that promotes self-improvement and unity, while focusing on sharing the educational tools that target the individual opportunities that exist for community members to use Web3.0 to develop financial freedom for themselves and their families.

Pressman added, “Our platform will cater to gamers from all backgrounds. We want to show that P2E – like e-commerce – can be for every Filipino forward-thinking enough to give the space a try.”

She also explained that they also want to build winning relationships with game developers, game operators, and other industry stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Pecson commented, “Our development is guided entirely by the needs of our users – in this case, both gamers and game developers. For game developers, we’re enabling them to incorporate P2E models right into their ecosystem with a full suite of tools. For gamers, we’re enabling them to do what they do best: have fun while earning.”

Pressman also appreciated that BLOX, like PEG, is inherently democratic. Filipinos can participate in the success of BLOX by mining BLX, its native token, on their Mac or PC. Doing so rewards miners with BLX, which will be publicly listed in August on Coexstar, which is licensed by both the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

“It’s rare for Filipinos to get the opportunity to participate in the broader success of an ecosystem. That’s why I would encourage them to mine BLX from their desktop. By mining, they gain a foothold in the future of BLX, PEG, and indeed the very foundation of Web3.0 in the Philippines,” she concluded.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam-based blockchain firm Ancient8 raises US$6m funding to develop software infrastructure for GameFi

Vietnam – Ancient8, a blockchain gaming guild in Vietnam, has closed a US$6m private round of financing led by Makers Fund and C² Ventures, with participation from existing and new investors Pantera Capital, 6th Man Ventures, and IOSG Ventures, amongst others. This round of financing brings Ancient8’s total capital raised to US$10m.

Ancient8 helps GameFi studios reach passionate gamers and run web3-native targeted advertising through its GameFi Identity product and launchpads. Gamers and crypto communities will soon be able to create GameFi identity profiles to track and showcase their achievements in Web3, discover high-quality blockchain games, and access guild scholarships and blockchain education more effectively.

With this round of financing, Ancient8 will be accelerating the development of the infrastructure for GameFi and the Metaverse by building its next-generation software products, community, and guild. It is also developing a number of software products designed to underpin the future of blockchain-based game development. 

In the coming months, Ancient8 will be launching its GameFi Identity product and a pair of GameFi Token and NFT Launchpads designed to enhance the go-to-market strategy of Web3 games. These products will help the platform connect top blockchain games with its deeply engaged global community of GameFi enthusiasts and enable users to enjoy the most intuitive experience possible in the world of Web3.

Howard Xu, Ancient8’s co-founder, noted that they will continue to expand their product offerings, partner with more innovative projects and games, and grow their influence and reach with a large global community.

“As cultivators of the first native generation of Metaverse citizens, we are excited to be building the foundational infrastructure that will drive mainstream GameFi adoption,” said Xu.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam-based entertainment company Appota secures new funding for blockchain initiatives

Hanoi, Vietnam – Vietnam’s technology solutions and digital entertainment content provider Appota Group has closed a financing round led by Mirae Asset Venture Investment, with participation from other strategic partners. The investment is earmarked for developing the company’s blockchain ecosystem based on its 10-year gaming publishing business.

Anthony Tran, Appota’s group co-founder and COO, commented, “We are excited to have Mirae Venture on this journey. As an Appota investor since 2017, Mirae’s guidance has been crucial to our focus on continuous innovation. This initiative will make blockchain technology more accessible to gamers, developers, and community members.”

One project, ChainVerse, aims to serve hundreds of local independent game studios by removing the steep learning curve and letting developers focus on building great games. Tuan Nguyen, ChainVerse’s CEO, said: “We provide developers with powerful, effective, and affordable tools for integrating blockchain digital assets and reaching 50 million mobile users in Appota’s ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, another project initiative, AceStarter, is a next-generation launchpad that curates and launches world-class blockchain projects globally. The platform is a bridge that connects communities and investors with high-potential, early-stage offerings.

Tran shared, “With ChainVerse and AceStarter, we are well poised to capitalise on opportunities, not unlike the early Internet revolution. Appota will debut products relating to game guilds management platform and web3 game streaming platform by the end of this year.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam Blockchain Association officially launches

Hanoi, Vietnam — The Vietnam Blockchain Association held its inaugural ceremony on May 17th, 2021, becoming the first organization with a legal entity that will represent blockchain researchers, business owners and consultants in the whole country.

The inauguration marked the official start of the association and the principles and the directions for future activities. The event’s focus was on the series of Action Programs that promote blockchain technology’s application in a digital economy and leverage Vietnam’s position on the global technology map. The programs aim to bolster the research and application of blockchain technology solutions to every economic aspect

The association’s missions are; to establish and develop a sustainable relationship with global Blockchain organizations and community; to share insights and resources for in-depth research, experiment, and application of Blockchain, to develop products and services and conducting business in compliance with Vietnamese law, and to attract investment to blockchain industry activities, and develop high – quality human resource in digital technology.

Vietnam has witnessed the rapid introduction and development of Blockchain technology. As the number of enterprises, researchers, and engineers pursuing the technology increases, the need for collaboration, sharing, and support with the government agencies also needs to be increased. Therefore, an official organisation with a complete legal entity to adapt to the Vietnamese Blockchain community’s expansion speed and strong development goals is vital.

At the ceremony, Tran Van Tung, deputy minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said, “Hopefully the Association will utilize its resources for technology and science projects in blockchain so Vietnam can create outstanding products, become an active player in the global blockchain market, and nurture the industry talents for the future.”

Meanwhile, Hoang Van Huay, chairman of the Vietnam Blockchain Association, shared their vision, commenting, “Vietnam Blockchain Association is committed to raising the community awareness and providing consultation on building legal framework, regulations, and standards in developing services and products on Blockchain. We hope to see many enterprises and individuals joining us to grow the Association into a strong organization to accelerate the growth of blockchain technology in Vietnam.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Aussie fintech Block Earner launches first-ever OOH campaign in Sydney

Sydney Australia – Block Earner, a blockchain-powered fintech company, is moving blockchain and decentralised finance out of tech savvy circles by embracing standard advertising codes with its first-ever OOH campaign in Sydney. The campaign is designed to increase awareness and brand recognition in an increasingly competitive space, and deliver the next generation of financial products to Australians. 

With a minimalist design, the ad simply invites on-the-move people to search for Block Earner online, where a multi-channel digital marketing campaign has been designed to boost awareness, engagement and conversion. Search results also provide curious consumers with a flurry of established and trusted sources that detail the Block Earner story, but also invite them to learn what decentralised finance has in store for them. 

About the choice of an outdoor campaign, Colin Williamson, head of digital and growth at Block Earner, said they want to be in the mainstream consciousness.

“Decentralised finance has many benefits for consumers, but it’s a new space, and we need to help grow the general awareness of it, overcome scepticism and build trust with the people, and give them the tools to grasp the concept, Williamson said.

“This outdoor campaign acts as a portal to a discovery journey inviting visitors to reflect on a new financial way forward, with three layers of narrative around overcoming rising inflation, moving on from legacy financial services that do not benefit them, and unlocking the future of finance,” Williamson added.

The campaign sees a full tram, 50 buses, a double decker, 500 seats, 10 billboards and 82 urban lights wearing the Aussie fintech’s colours for three months. Block Earner worked with Adholics for the campaign planning, Torch Media, Move Media and JCDecaux for outdoor assets and placements, and Studio 3am for the creative and design. 

The digital campaign includes social media amplification, programmatic advertising, and in-game advertising in online and Web3 video games, as well as different landing pages on Block Earner’s website that will be served to visitors based on where they are on their journey through the marketing funnel.

Williamson continued, “Coupling outdoor and digital advertising, with a high-level and simple messaging, Block Earner is aiming to stimulate the curiosity of Australians who understand alternative savings options exist but feel unsure of where to start, and commonly associate decentralised finance with volatility, scams and risk. Instead, we want them to see a wide scope of possibilities, without hurdles, risk or complexity, just better yields for the people to go through these tough times.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Monopolon, IKONIC unveils partnership to streamline the blockchain market

Singapore Play to earn board game Monopolon announces strategic partnership with IKONIC, an NFT marketplace for Esports. Monopolon and IKONIC will strive to work together to create a better web 3 world and maximise blockchain technology. 

IKONIC is a dedicated marketplace for Esports. Its aim is to bring forth a revolution for gamers. It is a full-service NFT marketplace where the pro-players, gamers, and teams can create digital items on their own. Players can create their unique NFTs easily here. Thus, they will be listed and ready to trade on IKONIC’S marketplace. IKONIC has its own unique $IKONIC token, which is the key to unlocking rewards for players. Users can get a discount and some special bonuses while using this token.

Monopolon is the virtual manifestation of our childhood board game Monopoly. It combines PVP (Player Vs Player) and PVE (Player vs Environment) game mode. It is a pentagon-shaped battlefield where the players would roll dice and move their characters. There are many ways to earn from the game. Besides, a lot of excitement is waiting for you in every sphere of the game.

The CEO of Monopolon, Manfred NG, said, “It is an honour to be partnering with IKONIC. We are very happy to have them on board. Basically, we can promote our Monopolon’s gaming moments on their website.” 

IKONIC aims to maximise blockchain technology and to increase the financial freedom of gamers by increasing their numbers and making a profit from their gameplay. Monopolon, on the other hand, is futuristic in the gamefi project. Players could create their metaverse with virtual buildings and land. It is a DeFi board game built on the BSC blockchain. Monopolon needs its own NFT to play the game.

The partnership of Monopolon and IKONIC is a cross-pollination of each other’s communities. IKONIC is already partnered with 30 NFT and gamefi projects which makes Monopolon trusted by many other communities and projects. Thus, Monopolon is set to receive more exposure in which investors could be interested in.

Platforms Featured East Asia

Blockchain gaming Catheon Gaming announces appointment of board of advisors

Hong Kong – Integrated blockchain gaming and entertainment company Catheon Gaming has appointed a roster of board of advisors, composed of industry-leading veterans who collectively bring over a century of experience from some well-known gaming and entertainment enterprises globally, including Activision Blizzard, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Viacom, and King Digital.

The new board of advisor members are namely Philip Earl, Nainan Shah, Marcus Jacobs, Alex Xu, Daniel Yang, and Jason Hung.

With 14 years of global gaming and over 30 years of extensive corporate management experience, Earl was formerly the executive vice president at Activision Blizzard for over a decade and held roles including global leadership of the Call of Duty, Destiny and Skylanders franchises in Santa Monica, head of APAC in Shanghai and Sydney, as well as head of the international division in London, and chairman of the European Video Games Industry Association.

Meanwhile, Shah is a senior industry executive and advisor with over 25 years of experience in the video game industry. He was formerly the senior vice president for corporate strategy and development at Sony Interactive Entertainment, where he was responsible for merger and acquisitions, strategy, and the securing of new content for the platform. 

In addition, Jacobs brings with him over 20 years of experience across the gaming and online casino industries, half of which were spent at an executive level. He was a standing member of the executive management team at King Digital from 2012 to 2019.

Xu is the current CEO at top Chinese animation group and Aotu World IP-owner MultiMetaverse Inc. Having previously held the position of CEO at Leyou Technologies up until its US$1.5n acquisition by Tencent, and formerly served as chief business officer at Perfect World.

Hung has more than 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur in mobile technology and blockchain. He has advised more than 50 blockchain companies including Catheon Gaming, Evveland Metaverse, SoundofThings, Debond Protocol, and over 30 ICOs.

Lastly, Yang joins the advisory board with over 20 years of experience in driving growth and as a deal maker across blue chip gaming and media enterprises. He is currently the chief strategy officer at Aristocrat, a global gaming content and technology provider, where he leads their group strategy, long range planning, and corporate development efforts.

William Wu, chief executive officer at Catheon Gaming, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Philip, Nainan, Jason, Daniel, Marcus, and Alex to Catheon Gaming’s Advisory Board. Their expertise and proven track records in driving value creation across businesses will be critical in helping Catheon solidify its position as the leading blockchain gaming and entertainment company, and further accelerate the tremendous growth that Catheon has already seen to date.”

Platforms Featured APAC

Star Atlas unveils partnership with The Sandbox

Hong Kong – Star Atlas, a next-gen metaverse with triple-a game design and Unreal Engine 5 graphics built on the Solana blockchain, and The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming metaverse and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, today announced a partnership that aims to revolutionize gaming interoperability between the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. The relationship between the two metaverse environments launches with the Star Atlas VoxEdit contest which opens for submissions from 2 May until 15 May. 

The Star Atlas VoxEdit Contest gives players the opportunity to act as an envoy from The Sandbox with the task of visiting one of the three main galactic factions in the Star Atlas metaverse – the ONI, Ustur, and MUD. Envoys are then tasked with creating a report on what they find by designing a portrait of one of the faction’s inhabitants using The Sandbox’s free VoxEdit software. 

Winners will be voted on by the teams of both The Sandbox and Star Atlas with the results being announced on June 11. The top four winners will split 50,000 in SAND, The Sandbox’s in-game currency, and a fleet of coveted Star Atlas spaceship NFTs. 

The VoxEdit Contest is also joined by BLOND:ISH, the renowned producer, DJ, and sustainability activist, who has an existing presence in both metaverse ecosystems. Envoys exploring the Star Atlas metaverse are invited to get inspired by the cosmic sounds and create a headpiece for an intergalactic Star Atlas faction member by designing it with VoxEdit. The entry that can best immerse and entertain a space traveller will be selected by BLOND:ISH and receive lustrous Star Atlas spaceships when the Contest concludes on June 11. 

“We’re excited to announce the first of many cross-platform integrations, connecting the ecosystems of Star Atlas and The Sandbox,” said Michael Wagner, co-founder and CEO of ATMTA, Inc., the principal development studio of Star Atlas. 

“We share ambitious goals with respect to our developments within the broader metaverse, and we see this relationship as a pivotal moment to demonstrate the potential of interoperability of both game environments and blockchain protocols. The bridges we build today will serve as infrastructure of the future in seamless exploration of the infinite experiences digital world builders will create in the years to follow,” added Wagner. 

Star Atlas is a next-gen metaverse that looks to take the best of blockchain technology and real-time graphics technology to build an innovative gaming experience. Since last year, the company has brought many unique NFT products to market, including playable spaceships, that have allowed Star Atlas to generate nearly $200 million in revenue to date. 

As the metaverse’s leading decentralized gaming virtual world, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and brands collide to make magic and create real utility and economies. StarAtlas joins over 200 existing partnerships including Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Gucci, Warner Music Group, Ledger, HSBC, and Ubisoft, among others. 

“We are proud to be partnering with Star Atlas and are excited to develop new projects with the franchise,” said Sebastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox. 

“This contest is the beginning of a new bridge linking metaverses to each other, with the goal to bring more content and cross-platform integration to both of our audiences. We can’t wait to see the amazing assets that our communities will create!” added Borget. 

Meanwhile, BLOND:ISH commented, “The coming together of metaverse ecosystems opens up a new world of possibilities for artistic expression. This innovative and collaborative Star Atlas and The Sandbox partnership is exactly what web3 is about and has the potential to create fully sustainable NFT future experiences while rallying the worldwide community around a message of creativity, curiosity and boldness to dream of what we might become. I am thrilled to activate my entire community and see what fantastic creations this contest will bring. LFG!” 

BLOND:ISH is a Canadian producer, and DJ solo act, and has collaborated with Star Atlas on augmented reality NFT experiences as well as with The Sandbox on bringing her brand to the metaverse. Her music collaboration acts include Depeche Mode, Pete Tong, and playing at festivals such as Coachella, Burning Man, and Ultra Music Festival.

Star Atlas shared that for 2022, it will be launching several major feature releases including a web-based mini-game and a full production release known as the Volant Studio Showroom, which will present cinematic quality video game visuals using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite technology. 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Velo labs partners with iRemit to boost cross-border payments in blockchain tech

Manila, Philippines – Velo Labs, a blockchain infrastructure company have announce its partnership with iRemit, the Filipino-owned, non-bank remittance service provider, to provide individuals and businesses access to improved cross-border payments using blockchain technology and Velo Digital Credits.

Velo Labs and iRemit will both provide the technology and settlement network with the aim to ensure that these cross-border payments may be sent and received at a cheaper cost, faster, and with higher security than is now feasible through traditional financial institutions.

Notably, by connecting with the Velo network, iRemit can now work directly with its trusted partners to settle transactions relatively instantaneously, eliminating the need for middlemen. The efficiency brought about by combining Velo Labs’ blockchain payment infrastructure with iRemit’s robust domestic settlement network would allow iRemit’s users – including overseas Filipinos, migrant workers, and local businesses and people – to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Mike Kennedy, CEO of Velo Labs, said that their partnership with iRemit is a direct reflection of Velo Labs’ core mission: to build a global, decentralized, and interoperable settlement network that provides fast, reliable, secure cross-border payments.

Kennedy emphasised, “As they grow their global settlement network, they are excited to partner with institutions like iRemit, who share their vision of empowering those who rely so heavily on cross-border payments.”