Binance Reveals BNB’s Gaming Ambitions with $9.5M Ultiverse Stake
Binance’s venture capital arm has poured $5 million into the metaverse gaming startup Ultiverse. The investment comes just one week after Binance’s incubator led a $4.5 million seed round for the Web3 platform, suggesting that the largest cryptocurrency exchange has ambitious plans for the Web3 gaming industry.
Binance Invests $5 Million More in Ultiverse to Get Equity in the Business
Binance Labs, the venture capital and innovation incubator of Binance, has invested $5 million in the equity of Ultiverse. The investment was made to ensure Binance is tied with the metaverse project in a way that it would have “some sort of a say in terms of the team’s future path,” The Block reported, citing Nicole Zhang, director at Binance Labs.
The investment comes after Binance Labs co-led a $4.5 million seed investment in Ultiverse at a $50 million valuation last week. The funds were raised through the sale of Ultiverse’s governance token MXS. DeFiance Capital, a crypto-asset fund, also co-led the raise, while VC firms Three Arrows Capital and SkyVision Capital invested.
Ultiverse aims to build a Web3 social gaming metaverse and will use the funds to develop the product, attract talent, and further increase the growth of the community. Detailing about Ultiverse, Binance said in a statement:
“Ultiverse is working on connecting web3 with a VR-compatible virtual world that will be home to the first AAA blockchain game. As a first-of-its-kind MetaFi, Ultiverse’s tokenomics encourages mutually beneficial relationships among ecosystems, where players could benefit from building the community.”
Binance Prepares BNB Chain For Large-Scale Applications and Games
After leading the seed round for Ultiverse, Binance Labs announced that the metaverse project would be developed on BNB Chain. BNB Chain is the layer 1 blockchain of crypto exchange Binance, which rebranded from Binance Smart Chain (BSC) back in February.
BNB Chain, short for Build and Build, is devised to be suitable for large-scale applications offered by GameFi, SocialFi, and metaverse projects. Zhang has claimed BNB Chain is the only blockchain powerful enough to support gaming projects at scale. She said that other ecosystems often “crash” as soon as one of their projects takes off.
“The moment you get really popular, you crash the entire blockchain,” she said when referring to blockchain gaming projects. “We’re the only blockchain currently that has that kind of capacity.”
Before upgrading to BNB Chain, Binance’s previous network BSC also experienced some capacity issues. For instance, metaverse gaming projects BinaryX and Cryptoblades each have caused BSC issues in the past. Pointing this out, Zhang said they have recently added extra capacity to deal with similar situations. “Now we are super ready. We have the capacity,” she added.
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Blockchain, NFTs, and Gaming—How Things Can Evolve in the Future
Binance’s foray into crypto gaming comes at a time when the use of blockchain and NFTs in gaming is gathering momentum. According to a survey conducted by the insight agency Opinium, game developers believe NFTs and blockchain could create better player experiences and add value to games.
The survey revealed that more than 70% of game developers based in the US and the UK are interested in incorporating NFTs and blockchain into their future games. Moreover, around half of the participants said they have already integrated NFTs into their games, while around 60% expressed intentions to do so in the near future.
Chris Trew, CEO of Stratis, the company who commissioned the survey, said:
“We commissioned this research to solidify what we already assumed — that blockchain and NFTs are the future of video games. From our own experience supporting AA game developers [mid-market video games], we know first-hand how these technologies are already beginning to improve the player experience by rewarding players with the ability to earn real-world value.”
Do you think the BNB Chain could become the leading blockchain for gaming projects in the future? Let us know in the comments below.