Hillrise Research
Published in

Hillrise Research

AMA Highlights: BlockchainSpace

By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.
November 25, 2021–9 min read.

On Thursday 25 November, we welcomed Peter Ing, Founder of BlockchainSpace into the Hillrise Group Telegram chat for an AMA.

BlockchainSpace endeavors to become the leading data and financial hub for Play-to-Earn Guilds in the metaverse.

Their approach is to offer critical tooling to these Guilds, including analytics and other key metrics. BlockchainSpace want to automate administrative tasks to save Guild operators time and allow them and their stakeholders to focus on scaling and performance.

Their Guild Discord bot, data feed, and community incentivization products are already live and actively servicing Guilds.

We were curious to learn more about how BlockchainSpace empowers Guild s and their managers with novel tools and financing.

In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.

Daniel Dal Bello
Hey Peter, welcome, and thanks for being here. It would be great to kick us off as always with some background on yourself and your project BlockchainSpace.

Peter Ing
I’m a British-Chinese that moved to the Philippines around 10 years ago. Worked in fintech and eCommerce for around 6 years in Manila, and in this time invested in a co-working space where I was able to dedicate our event space as a ‘Blockchain Education Venue’.

I was fortunate to meet the Axie founders back in 2018 as well as some pioneers in the NFT gaming space from the Philippines community.

I started one of the first Axie scholarships last year — Axie Academy — and was able to build some tooling around automating some of the pain points I was experiencing.

I made this tooling (predominantly a Discord bot) public in May of this year and it kinda went viral — there was so much demand for what we had built.

This bot now sits in 2,000+ Discord servers (aka PlayToEarn Guilds) and has positioned us as a major data aggregator of PlayToEarn data in the world.

Our bot now sits in 2,000+ Discord servers (aka PlayToEarn Guilds) and has positioned us as a major data aggregator of PlayToEarn data in the world.

Rowan Zwiers
Some of us are still completely oblivious to the magnitude and scope of what is taking place in Play-to-Earn gaming and online Guilds economically. To illustrate, as also mentioned in your documentation, Yield Guild Games (a partner of yours) reported over $845 million USD in its treasury this year.

This brings further legitimacy to the concept of digital Play-to-Earn “jobs”, and the guilds that provide the structure to those activities like companies would do in the traditional world. With BlockchainSpace you’ve clearly recognized the importance of this as you are creating the infrastructure and tooling that is so crucial for these Guilds.

How did you come to recognize the needs of Guilds (and Guild owners) for an overarching infrastructure, and what is your vision on how it should take shape?

Peter Ing
In a nutshell, as that YGG figure demonstrates, Guilds have become digitally native businesses that manage incredibly valuable assets. Assets that are native to this new metaverse space that we’re all getting accustomed to.

A lot of what we’re building today has stemmed from my own learning in the space and taking my own background and applying it to the pain points we’re facing.

What people don't realize is that these guilds that are starting up are run by regular people and not DeFi natives or fintech natives. Most are not familiar with building out their own tech.

So solutions like CRM, accounting, automated payroll were just clear solutions that anyone could have predicted these new sets of businesses would need.

I saw the opportunity to take it two steps further. Using the data we’ve been aggregating we can start to provide benchmarking (which is critical for any new industry) to gauge how well you are performing.

Solutions like CRM, accounting, automated payroll were just clear solutions that anyone could have predicted these new sets of businesses would need. I saw the opportunity to take it two steps further. Using the data we’ve been aggregating we can start to provide benchmarking.

This data could also be used to create automated financial instruments such as automated credit risk assessment and automated loans tied to the performance of Gamers within these Guilds.

Raymond Reijnders
Do you think the current economic dynamics are sustainable, and do you foresee their growth, or do you think there is also a bubble in the current economic activity that has to pop first before reaching a more tangible value proposition?

Peter Ing
To answer this we have to think about the demographics that are actually involved in these PlayToEarn games/Guilds.

Initially, the presumption was, computer/mobile gamers were the target audience in developing markets. However, it spiraled well beyond this.

If you come to the Philippines today, your regular worker, who is earning $250/month on average now has the chance to make $500-$1000/month by playing 2–3hrs computer games per day.

What does this mean? The market is much larger than we thought. Now think of every developing market where $500-$1000/month is significant, massive!

If you come to the Philippines today, your regular worker, who is earning $250/month on average now has the chance to make $500-$1000/month by playing 2–3hrs computer games per day.

Then think that Axie has only reached 2.2m players in the world… Think how much further this has got to go.

Rowan Zwiers
Yes, we came across articles about how BlockchainSpace has been an education hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency in the Philippines since 2018.

One of your core activities has been introducing locals to Axie Infinity by providing the necessary in-game assets (financially unattainable for them otherwise) and training.

We recognize the economic opportunity of these Play-to-Earn games for low-income countries, we also recognize the in-game asset thresholds creating a barrier to entry, and therefore the utility of a facilitator such as a Guild or ‘scholarship program’.

As the facilitating party resembles a commercial business, and the local participants resemble employees, does such activity fall under employment legislation in the Philippines?

Peter Ing
It’s a bit of a grey area, to be honest, but I think it should be regulated in the future.

Every Guild has their own take on engagement between Guild and Gamer.
I’ve heard of some Guilds hiring their players formally using a contract with set working hours and government-mandated sick/vacation leaves but I think the vast majority still see this as a flexible work opportunity that's more KPI driven.

I’ve heard of some Guilds hiring their players formally using a contract with set working hours and government-mandated sick/vacation leaves but I think the vast majority still see this as a flexible work opportunity that’s more KPI driven.

Daniel Dal Bello
That would be super complicated across borders too.

Peter Ing
Definitely, considering the rise of NFTs and valuations, you have to consider capital appreciation too, and taxation.

Rowan Zwiers
An insane and growing amount of activity (in hours) and participants (people or ‘workers’) are invested in this, and the dollar value extracted is equally impressive.

However, it’s still hard to explain the economic value and benefit created by Play-to-Earn participants.

In your opinion, what is the economic value created by Play-to-Earn participants?

Peter Ing
Play-to-Earn has turned the traditional gaming economic model on its head.

Game developers used to earn all the value from their participants in their in-game economy but Play-to-Earn has spun that around and given ownership to the participants.

What people don't know about Axie Infinity is that they only created the first (I think) 10,000 Axies in the game. The rest of the game characters were created by the community by participating in breeding activities.

That means the breeders are ‘owners’ of the game, giving them an economic incentive for the game to be as successful as possible.

There’s a reason why there are not more than 2.2 million players currently.
Axie could easily print a few million more game characters at will but that's not how the business model works, in Play-to-Earn games, the community is the one to create the assets in the game.

In Play-to-Earn games, the community is the one to create the assets in the game.

Raymond Reijnders
To build on this, to what extent do you see these players adding value, and does it make sense to extend the model at some point to reward more stakeholders (e.g. associated communities, content creators, and especially ‘modders’)?

We ask as these can add a lot of value to the game in terms of players (and thus opponents, ladders, etc).

Peter Ing
At its very core, Play-to-Earn is driven by aligned community activities.
Anyone that contributes to this narrative is a key stakeholder in the ecosystem.

Rowan Zwiers
Your token ($GUILD) will act as the transactional layer between all Play-to-Earn Guilds worldwide. However, I could imagine two separate Axie Guilds interacting outside of your channels and preferring transactions in their game’s native SLP.

You envision for $GUILD to be used for inter-guild transactions within the BlockchainSpace ecosystem.

How do you imagine these transactions being favored over game-native transactions and how do you see them taking place practically?

Peter Ing
I think we’ll see the emergence of many new tokens that are only native to a specific Guild, so I see $GUILD as an intermediary (Swiss-neutral) mode of exchange between Guilds with different tokens.

For example, YGG wants to invest in another Guild but the other Guild does not want YGG tokens or they prefer to hold something else in their treasury. In this scenario $YGG token can be locked up in exchange for $GUILD which can be either converted to another token that the other Guild prefers or $GUILD can be used to pay for services that $GUILD partners provide (e.g. 3rd party services like eSports tournament management, access to our SaaS product suite, or held to accrue value from the ecosystem).

Rowan Zwiers
That makes sense, but would they maybe not prefer a stablecoin or larger cryptocurrency considering volatility? How do you see to make your token attractive for this purpose given the alternatives?

Peter Ing
I think this depends on our partnerships in the future and the integrations of our tool suites.

We’re looking to become the defacto ‘oracle’ for Guild data worldwide. This will broaden our use cases well beyond just inter-guild investments.

We’re looking to become the defacto ‘oracle’ for Guild data worldwide. This will broaden our use cases well beyond just inter-guild investments.

Rowan Zwiers
Are we correctly seeing that the $GUILD utility token has been minted on the Ethereum blockchain in anticipation of distribution?

What were the strategic considerations when deciding the right native blockchain for your token?

Peter Ing
Observant! Yes, we minted the token on ETH already.

Mainly because the majority of the existing P2E community is ETH native. There are plans in the roadmap to bridge the token to other chains, especially those native to the blockchain games.

For example, we’ve been asking Axie to get onto Ronin but they’re not ready for external listings yet.

$GUILD will be available on multiple chains going forward.

Rowan Zwiers
We came across a mention of your upcoming ‘Guild Marketplace’, where Guild owners can opt-in to share performance-related statistics to demonstrate how they manage their assets, allowing other Guilds and investors to pinpoint performance and collaborate or invest in them.

How should we look at this marketplace exactly? It almost sounds like what we are used to from equity investing and balance sheets, cash flow and income statements, can this be seen as a less formal ‘digital alternative’ created to invest in guilds?

Peter Ing
Yes, I think so. The kind of data you can expect are:

  • Number of assets under management
  • Number of players under management
  • Average player performance data
  • Geography of Guilds
  • Size of community
  • Activeness of community
  • Duration of Scholarship Program (earnings history)

It's an emerging space with little to no data points publicly available. People throw around big numbers and the public assumes they’re all correct.

I’m sure the public still thinks the largest guilds (YGG, Merit Circle, Avocado Guild) manage the largest number of players in the world.

But that’s wrong.

In aggregate they might manage 50,000 accounts, but there are 2.2 million Axie accounts out there.

I know for a fact that 30% of these 2.2 million are from the Philippines. Then 90% of Philippines-based accounts are scholarship provided.

Let's say there are 600,000 scholarship accounts in the Philippines alone, if the largest guilds only manage 50,000 of them, then 550,000 are not managed by them.

Our services are focused on these 550,000. That's the long-tail of the market.

Rowan Zwiers
Congratulations on your Seed raise of $3.75 million announced last week. As the raise is led by Animoca Brands, how has their involvement been?

Have you been able to leverage their extensive network in order to increase the traction of your space amongst games and Guilds?

Peter Ing
It’s a bit of chicken and egg here. We could either go to the games first or to the Guilds first. I chose to go to the Guilds first, this gives me leverage when we amass a massive Guild community.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve to amass these Guilds, hooks that will make it attractive for Guilds to list with us.

Hillrise Group supports ambitious Web3 startups with early-stage venture capital and fundamental research.

BlockchainSpace is a guild hub for the metaverse that enables Play-to-Earn Guilds to scale.

Connect with Hillrise Group
https://hillrise.group
https://hillrisegroup.medium.com
https://twitter.com/hillrisegroup

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store