White Star Capital Announces Second Digital Asset Fund Anchored by Ubisoft

Multi-stage investment platform, White Star Capital, has announced the first close of its second Digital Asset Fund (DAF II),  with backing from top investors like Ubisoft, the named anchor LP provider.


As announced by the company, the DAF II project will propound its core strategies of investing in crypto firms and innovative blockchain protocols, however, with a central focus on Gaming and Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

“White Star Capital has a track record of backing many of today’s top up-and-coming Defi startups and their experience has been very helpful as we grow our company,” said Dr. Chiente Hsu, CEO of ALEX. “The team is passionate, driven, and understands the steps entrepreneurs need to take to lead tomorrow’s decentralized world.”

White Star Capital is an active player in the crypto investment landscape whose operations span several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and France. As unveiled by the firm, its DAF II will be managed by its Managing Partner Sep Alavi and is supported by Eddie Lee and Luke Xiao in New York, Florent Jouanneau in London, Sanjay Zimmermann in Toronto, and Dimitri Nitchoun in Paris.

Since its inception, White Star Capital has backed a number of protocols, including but not limited to Ledn, ALEX, Multis, Paraswap, Exlusible, and Rally. Per the DAF II allocation strategy, it earmarked as much as $1 million to $7 million for the new projects it will back and particularly focus on startups in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Funding for Web3.0 protocols is becoming a very common event in the digital currency ecosystem. The closure of the DAF II fund is a testament to investors’ unquenchable thirst to back innovative protocols being introduced daily. As reported earlier by Blockchain.News, eToro also floated a $20 million fund last week to make strategic investments in exquisite Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Image source: Blockchain.News


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Polygon NFT Gaming Firm Cross the Ages Secures $12m in Seed Round, Backed by Ubisoft, Animoca

Blockchain game “Cross the Ages”  (CTA) has received a $12 million in seed round from gaming crypto investment firm Animoca Brands, video game developer Ubisoft, and Sebastian Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox.

The funds raised will be used for development programs, expansion of the current team of more than 140 people and go-to-market activities. Across Ages plans to release a beta version of the game at the end of May, with digital and physical cards to be released in June.

Subsequently, the developer plans to implant non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol suites such as yield farms into the game to earn rewards and plans to launch into the metaverse in 2023.

CTA co-founder and CEO Sami Chlagou said that:

“The CTA DeFi product will be accessible via the main user interface, but it will operate as its own standalone platform. We want to keep the gaming experience somewhat separate to ensure that the more commercial aspects of the CTA experiences do not distract from what will be a dynamic and unique metaverse gaming experience.”

“Cross the Ages” (CTA) is a dystopian free-to-play digital card game built on the Polygon blockchain, Ethereum’s sidechain scaling solution, where players can also choose to convert these digital cards into physical trading cards.

Likewise, one of the most prominent gaming firms, Animoca Brands, has raised $358.88 million from investors led by Liberty City Ventures in January.

As reported by Blockchain.News on December 8, Ubisoft, a video game developer and publisher launched a platform called “Digits” on its own Ubisoft Quartz NFT platform, stepping into the field of encrypted NFT.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Game Giant Konami Joins NFT Race, To Launch With Castlevania Video Game Franchise

Video Game Giant Konami is launching a NFT auction to commemorate the “Castlevania” franchise. The box will include 14 tokens, audio files, and poster art showing scenes from early Nintendo games. The auction will begin the next week, January 12, 2022.

Konami To Launch With Castlevania Commemorative NFTs

The Castlevania 35th Anniversary NFT collection online portal was unveiled by Konami on Thursday. The collection will be auctioned off on the NFT marketplace Opensea. The NFTs from Konami will pay tribute to the franchise, which began with the Nintendo Entertainment System game “Castlevania” in 1986. (NES).

Scenes from several series entries on the NES and its Japanese equivalent, the Famicom, are included in the NFT collection. Original pixel graphics of Dracula’s Castle, poster art for the Title Boy Advance game “Castlevania: Circle of the Moon,” and audio for the recurring music theme “Vampire Killer” are among the other tokens in the collection.

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 Unlike other non-fungible tokens from gaming firms, these NFTs will not have any in-game utility.. They’re just trinkets to commemorate the series’ 35th anniversary.

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ETH/USD falls to $3,200. Source: TradingView

Other Gaming Companies Have Jumped On NFTs

Several game companies are interested in NFTs. Ubisoft, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and GameStop have all announced plans to deploy NFT products and services, or have tentative plans to do so.

Ubisoft, has previously released NFTs for use in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint on a PC (PC). The move was chastised for the NFTs aspects and for the usability of NFT products.

The news from Konami coincides with SEGA’s recent revelation that it may abandon its NFT plans owing to poor reception. SEGA first unveiled its plans for NFT in March 2020.

Konami’s debut into the NFT space has been mocked by some video game players. Conversations regarding the company’s NFTs have been strewn across social media since Thursday.

Related article | How NFTs are Fueling the Anime Community in Japan

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GameStop Turn To NFTs, Plans To Launch Marketplace Later In The Year

Video game retailer GameStop has entered the non-fungible token (NFT) space. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is forming a division to develop a marketplace for non-fungible tokens and form cryptocurrency partnerships with crypto firms.

GameStop To Build NFT Marketplace

According to the WSJ story, the company has employed more than 20 individuals to oversee the unit, which is developing an online hub for buying, selling, and trading NFTs of virtual videogame artifacts like avatar clothing and weaponry.

GameStop launched its NFT website last year and has been inviting creators to join the platform.

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The company is also close to signing deals with two crypto startups to exchange technology and co-invest in the creation of blockchain and NFT-based games, as well as other NFT-related initiatives. According to the report, the store plans to get into similar deals with a dozen or more crypto startups this year and invest millions of dollars in them.

GameStop restructured its leadership team and board of directors last year, appointing activist investor Ryan Cohen as chairman.This has has pushed GameStop to become more tech-focused.

Related article | Only In Crypto: A Croissant Breaks Down How GameStop & NFTs Will Boost Ethereum

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GME Price Rise In Response

Last January, GameStop’s stock skyrocketed after Reddit stock traders began buying the shares. The stock began trading at $18 in 2021 and reached a high of $483 a year later. Multiple congressional hearings and federal agency probes were held as a result of the unprecedented volatility.

The stock of GameStop ended at $131 on Thursday, but has already risen to $172 in after-hours trading.


GME trading at $163 post-market following the news. Source: TradingView

The news propelled GME shares substantially higher after hours in what appears to be yet another short squeeze, which will be great news to longs who had seen the stock price fall.

Some of the industry’s largest companies in the videogame business, including Ubisoft Entertainment, Zynga Inc., and Square Enix Holdings Co., have started or announced plans to sell NFTs in recent weeks. However, some industry leaders and players have expressed reservations about the value of NFTs and the motivations of their developers.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on GameStop’s physical storefronts, the WS Journal’s report presented the GameStop NFT strategy as one targeted at increasing the company’s overall financial performance.

Related article | Why was 2021 an important year for NFT?


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Riding On Recent NFT boom, Game Publisher Ubisoft Pushes For NFT Adoption

Ubisoft entered the NFT market after Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint was announced as the first game to provide NFTs in a beta trial in select countries.

Ubisoft Quartz, an NFT venture that allows players to buy artificially rare digital products with bitcoin, was launched earlier this month. The AAA industry’s first real venture into NFTs was announced with this announcement.

How successful has Ubisoft’s entrance into the blockchain been in just over a month after its announcement?

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Ubisoft’s NFTs Fail At Launch

The publisher’s initial blockchain-based virtual items, unique numbered items for Ghost Recon Breakpoint players, aren’t exactly in high demand.

Ubisoft Digits are in-game virtual items with distinct serial numbers that are part of Ubisoft’s Quartz “experience.” Rather than slightly different photos of poorly drawn monkeys, Digits are in-game cosmetic objects with unique serial numbers. A rifle skin that requires users to reach XP level five, a pair of pants that requires 100 hours of play, and a mask that takes 600 hours of play are among the first items available for free to players who meet specified playtime or account level requirements.

However, it doesn’t look like the virtual items sold much at launch.

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According to Eurogamer, Quartz has only sold 15 NFTs of a Ghost Recon Breakpoint gun skin as of yesterday. It looks to have sold two more M4A1 tactical weapons and one Wolf Enhance Pants #76 for a total of 18 M4A1 tactical weapons as of yesterday. That amounts to around $1,755.30 in revenue, based on their prices. However, Ubisoft appears to have produced around 3,000 NFTs in all. Breakpoint doesn’t have the most appealing visual aesthetic — nor is it the largest Ubisoft IP — making it a strange pick to begin off Ubisoft’s NFT efforts, as many have pointed out.

However, it should be noted that Ubisoft is giving away the majority of its NFTs at first, which will restrict the number of purchases. Nonetheless, it appears that the publisher’s experiment with NFTs hasn’t gone as planned.

Furthermore, Quartz is built such that only Ubisoft game players can purchase an NFT, making it less appealing to those trying to make quick cash. Getting non-players to put in hundreds of hours in order to “own” a helmet that they can only resale to other players who have put in hundreds of hours is a futile endeavor.

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Related article | Ethereum Recovers 6%: Are Investors Compelled by Ubisoft Experimenting With Blockchain?

Ubisoft Doubles Down

It appears that Ubisoft is bent on NFT adoption despite the fail of its initial offerings.

Didier Genevois, Ubisoft’s blockchain director, told Decrypt that the publisher will go through with its NFT plans while adhering to its “principles,” as he puts it:

“This experiment is designed to see how our gamers respond to and accept the value proposition of decentralization. We recognize that this is a significant adjustment that will take time, but we will stick to our three principles.”

“Use the technology responsibly and build a safe environment” for players to explore the new frontier of NFTs, “only leverage energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains,” and “focus on the meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience,” are the three principles he’s referring to. At this time, it’s unclear how any of these three ideas are being implemented.

It’s apparent that AAA game publishers may have a hard time jumping on the NFT train as it seems the gaming world is not ready for play-to-earn games. It might also be that Ubisoft purported launch was a fail becuase of the strategy and virtual items involved. Time will tell as more big players enter the game.

Related article | CryptoKitties Team To Join Ubisoft at Blockchain Heroes Hackathon

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Ubisoft Will Pursue NFT Plans Despite Blowback

Key Takeaways

  • Ubisoft’s Blockchain Technical Director says that the company will continue to pursue its NFT plans despite blowback.
  • Ubisoft also announced a partnership with Aleph.im to provide decentralized storage for its Quartz NFT platform.
  • The firm has committed to using energy-efficient blockchains.

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Ubisoft will continue to pursue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) despite blowback, according to recent statements made to Decrypt.

Ubisoft Will Stay True to Principles

Despite intense backlash, Ubisoft has no intention of abandoning its NFT plans.

Ubisoft launched its NFT platform, Ubisoft Quartz, earlier this month and began to offer tokens for its Ghost Recon franchise. Now Didier Genevois, Ubisoft’s Blockchain Technical Director, says the company still plans to work with NFTs despite backlash.

Genevois said that the firm has listened to “both the encouragement and the concerns” of those who sent feedback. He also called the adoption of NFTs “a major change that will take time.”

He added that the company will “stay true to…three principles”—namely, the responsible use of technology, the commitment to a safe environment for users, and the exclusive use of energy-efficient blockchains.

Not only will Ubisoft continue with its plans, the company will also partner with the blockchain startup Aleph.im to provide decentralized storage for NFTs on the Ubisoft Quartz platform. That partnership was announced in a press release on Dec. 21.

Ubisoft Faces Low NFT Sales, Backlash

Ubisoft’s Quartz announcement saw massive backlash, as a trailer for the platform received 95% dislikes after it was posted on YouTube on Dec. 8.

The energy cost of crypto mining seems to be the reason for the criticism, with the French trade union Solidaires Informatique calling the plan “a useless, costly, ecologically mortifying technology.”

That complaint overlooks the fact that Ubisoft has chosen to use Tezos, an energy-efficient blockchain that does not rely on mining at all. In fact, Tezos Foundation representatives claim that the chain’s last 50 million transactions used “less energy than just 17 people.”

Nevertheless, Ubisoft’s NFT plans appear to be underwhelming. On Sunday, Liz Edwards, a member of EA’s Apex Legends team, highlighted the fact that Ubisoft’s NFTs have sold just 15 non-fungible tokens to date, amounting to a mere $400 in transaction volume.

Ubisoft is also facing employee resignations due to unrelated reasons such as low pay and misconduct—though some speculate that the PR issues around NFTs have played a part.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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Gamer-hate: Ubisoft’s new NFT project vid gets 96% dislike ratio

French gaming giant Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s new nonfungbile token (NFT) project Quartz is facing strong pushback from the gaming community.

Ubisoft unveiled the Beta launch of Quartz via a brief YouTube video on Dec. 8 that has 214,721 views at the time of writing. The project aims to combine NFTs and blockchain technology with existing Triple-A game titles, and announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint as its first game to officially integrate NFTs.

The video introduces Quartz as a platform that enables gamers to “collect the first playable and energy-efficient Ubisoft NFTs” that are dubbed as “Digits.”

YouTube recently changed its policy to hide the number of dislikes a video on the platform gets, however the number can still be accessed by Google Chrome extensions. Upon using an extension, the video currently shows 1,400 likes and 37,000 dislikes which equates to a dislike ratio of roughly 96%.

One of the top comments on the video from user “OperatorDrewski” currently has 2,600 likes with zero dislikes, and blasts Ubisoft’s NFT project as a quick cash grab as opposed to improving the overall gaming experience:

“To me, this is a blatant signal that you’re just milking the Ghost Recon franchise for literally every cent while putting in minimal effort into the actual game itself. Not playing a GR game in the future if there’s this level of degeneracy in the team.”

“You took a solid franchise and absolutely made it a laughing stock,” they added.

This opinion appears to be shared by a significant number of the community, with users on Twitter also lashing out at the firm in response to its latest announcement as they threatened to uninstall the firm’s games and boycott Ubisoft completely.

A Dec. 8 post over on the r/gaming page on Reddit shows a concerted effort to boycott the new NFT project. The post titled “do not support “Quartz”, the new NFT Ubisoft marketplace” from “u/WolverineKuzuri93” currently has 2,500 comments and an upvote ratio of 93% at more than 13,400 upvotes.

The Redditor highlights similar issues to the top commenter on YouTube, noting that:

“We have to stand against this practice. […] This is just another way to nickel and dime players with cosmetics rather than focusing on making quality products with depth. We have to let companies know this is anti-consumer.”

“I’m not entirely against the concept of using an NFT style system for digital games. For example, actually owning your digital copy rather than just a license so you can sell it to another user’s account. That’s actually the future of digital gaming. What I’m against is how Ubisoft are doing it with in-game items,” they added.

Gamer backlash to NFTs

This is not the first time a major firm has been flamed for looking at, or launching into the world of NFTs. Cointelegraph reported last month that community messaging app Discord was forced to walk back its Ethereum-based NFT integration plans, after the gamer community bombarded CEO Jason Citron.

Citron initially teased his firm’s plans via a screenshot of a beta feature showing Ethereum NFT wallet support, however he was promptly hounded with thousands of comments calling on him to abandon the plans along with users threatening to cancel their paid Nitro subscriptions.

Reddit: OpenSea walks back on IPO plan following community backlash

Unlike the case of Ubisoft, where the community appears to be peeved by what they assert is a cash grab, the crypto-skeptics on Discord believe NFTs are a Ponzi scheme and damage the environment due to the energy required to mine cryptocurrencies.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Ubisoft representatives for comment, and will update the story if they respond.