We’ve been hard at work the last couple of months getting the architecture for the card exchange and proof of stake built. This is the foundation that everything else is built on. It’s got to be good, and it’s got to be built in the right way — there’s no take-backs in the world of smart contracts. While we’ve been making great progress on it, and we know it’s going to be great once it’s complete, we’re now in a process of redesign and rebuild, to navigate around a few new issues that have cropped up in the last month.
You don’t get anywhere without dodging a few wrenches, and the first wrench we’ve faced is FinCEN. They’ve recently given guidance that much more of the crypto space falls under their “money transmitter” rules than they’d previously indicated. This has a pretty large knock-on effect for us— we’re a US company, and we’re partnering with other US companies, so we have to remain 100% compliant here.
Note — there are many fly-by-night companies who are simply ignoring laws right now; we encourage everyone to pay attention to the compliance efforts of companies in the crypto space, and steer clear of anyone who’s not actively working on compliance efforts.
The architecture we’d previously designed and built is classified as money transmission under the new rules. So, we have no choice but to redesign and eliminate that risk. The redesign is a big project — just the fact that we’re redesigning means lots of rework, and the new architecture is more decentralized and more complex than the previous architecture, so that’s an additional layer of more work, and much more rigorous testing. As a result, the card staking and Nova Blitz integration won’t happen until Q3.
Some background: “Money Transmitter” laws are what regulates companies like Western Union. Anyone who falls under those laws have to follow a large number of rules, processes, and procedures, including full KYC for every customer , and registration and bonding in each of 49 US states — a process that takes around two years and a multi-million-dollar investment. Needless to say, this is a non-starter for game applications!
Tournaments & New Partners
We’ve had a lot of other movement in the last few months. More and more game devs are reaching out to us to use the Nova Token platform. We’d initially expected that the object ownership and marketplace features would be the most attractive. What’s interesting is that the majority of devs who contact us are also interested in the tournaments and esports side of things — even the team at Unity reached out to us, as tournament support is a big gap in their product portfolio right now.
The gap in the market for tournament and esports systems is clearly much bigger that we originally thought. We’re perfectly placed to take advantage of that gap, so we’ll be putting more focus on building the tournament systems, so we can best serve those users.
Our new roadmap will reflect the two changes we mentioned above — more focus on esports support, and the new release schedule for the card exchange. Here’s what the new roadmap looks like, in a nutshell:
- Late Q2/Early Q3: Mobile test market release for Nova Blitz
- Mid Q3: Staking for cards
- Late Q3: Major marketing push, and tournaments system
- Q4: Card Exchange, and continued marketing push
In addition, we’ll see other games using the Nova Token platform in Q2, Q3, and Q4, as we build out the infrastructure and the ecosystem.
Speaking of that…
Look for announcement next week for the first game to be released that integrates Nova Tokens, initially for purchasing heroes, and later for a fully integrated tournaments system. You’ll be able to use Nova Tokens to play it by the end of the month. Yes, that’s this month — April!