Animoca Brands, the company driving digital property rights to help build the open metaverse, and Hex Trust, Asia’s leading digital asset custodian, announced today they have formed a joint venture to provide institutional digital asset wallets and financial services for online gamers.
Hex Trust will provide its highly secure digital asset wallet technology and custody infrastructure to connect seamlessly with Animoca Brands’ blockchain-based games to support the growth of the rapidly expanding GameFi ecosystem.
Hex Trust is a fully licensed financial institution that adopts a comprehensive compliance-first approach and has licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore. Serving as custodian, Hex Trust will utilize its financial institution infrastructure to provide financial services to gamers in Animoca Brands’ ecosystem, including banking services for NFTs and other crypto assets.
Animoca Brands has emerged as a global leader in blockchain gaming, and is recognized as one of the foremost proponents of the open metaverse. Its gaming portfolio includes various titles based on crypto assets, including both fungible utility tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These games include The Sandbox, the Arc8 platform, REVV Racing, F1® Delta Time, MotoGP™ Ignition, Formula E: High Voltage, and the upcoming Phantom Galaxies. Animoca Brands has a portfolio of over 100 investments in blockchain companies including industry leaders such as Sky Mavis (Axie Infinity), Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot), and OpenSea.
One of the most significant issues facing the blockchain gaming industry today is the lack of online wallet solutions that conveniently and safely store users’ gaming-based crypto tokens while providing access to financial services. Hex Trust and Animoca Brands are collaborating to solve this problem and seeking to tap into a multi-billion dollar opportunity.
Play-to-earn blockchain-based games such as Axie Infinity and The Sandbox are going mainstream, boasting millions of daily active users and aggregating billions of dollars worth of transactions. One of the driving factors behind the growth of GameFi titles is that these games enable users to own their in-game content and enjoy benefits from that content.
The metaverse is becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors as companies like Coca-cola, The New York Times, Sotheby’s and Facebook have joined the race to build metaverse products. The opportunities in the metaverse are various, but gaming is the entrance point currently bringing in the masses, attracted by the popularity of game reward models made possible by blockchain. There are an estimated 3.24 billion gamers worldwide, and the video game industry is estimated to be worth over US$268 billion by 2025 (Sources: Statista, NewZoo, 2021).
Yat Siu, the executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, commented: “Animoca Brands seeks to create a new asset class, play-to-earn economies and a more equitable digital framework in order to contribute to making the open metaverse a reality. The joint venture with Hex Trust will enable gamers to access a greater range of financial opportunities and services without the complexity and concerns that first-time blockchain users might encounter when first entering the world of DeFi and GameFi.”
Alessio Quaglini, CEO and co-founder of Hex Trust, commented: “GameFi is proving to be the second killer app and will further increase adoption of blockchain outside, or in parallel with, financial markets. We believe that GameFi will follow the same process of institutionalization we experienced in the cryptocurrency market and we want Hex Trust to be at the forefront of this incredibly interesting market. This partnership will be a deep collaboration that will bring cutting-edge solutions to millions of clients.”
Animoca Brands, ranked in the Financial Times list of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021, is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. It develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Formula 1®, Disney, WWE, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Doraemon. The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, and Lympo. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 100 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Bitski, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others.
Hex Trust is the leading fully-licensed and insured provider of bank-grade custody for digital assets in Asia. Led by veteran banking technologists and award-winning financial services experts, Hex Trust has built Hex Safe, a proprietary bank-grade platform that delivers custody, financing, and brokerage solutions for financial institutions, digital asset service providers, and private clients.
Hex Trust has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam and is expanding across Europe and the Middle East. In Hong Kong, Hex Trust is registered as a Trust Company under the Hong Kong Trust Ordinance and holds a Trust or Company Service Provider (TCSP) license under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance. In Singapore, Hex Trust holds a Capital Markets Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) allowing the company to provide custodial services regulated under Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act.