Animoca Brands subsidiary Darewise Entertainment Secures US$3.5M for Bitcoin Metaverse Ecosystem Token

Darewise Entertainment, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, announced on 17 October 2023, a successful pre-sale event, accumulating US$3.5 million ahead of its Bitcoin metaverse ecosystem token launch. The funds are slated for the further development of the Bitcoin metaverse ecosystem under Darewise’s initiative, with a particular focus on their upcoming “AAA” MMO game, Life Beyond. This announcement follows the revelation made on 14 September 2023, regarding the launch of a new ecosystem token on the Bitcoin blockchain, with Life Beyond as its inaugural adopter.

The pre-sale saw participation from key gaming investors and Web3 venture capital entities like Gamefi Ventures, London Real Ventures, Citizen Capital, Blocore, Animoca Ventures, and Yat Siu, who is the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands. The wide array of investors from the gaming and Web3 culture signifies a robust confidence in Darewise’s project, resonating with the innovative integration of the Bitcoin ecosystem for a new digital experience.

The token, yet to be launched by Darewise, is envisaged to power a comprehensive ecosystem on the Bitcoin blockchain, encompassing gaming, brand collaborations, and In Real Life (IRL) experiences. Life Beyond is set to pioneer the utilization of the token, facilitating transactions for in-game assets, virtual lands, among other features. The ecosystem token is anticipated to be released in early 2024 with Horizen Labs, a notable technology provider who had earlier orchestrated the launch of ApeCoin, providing strategic support.

James Lim, the founder of Blocore, elucidated their investment decision stating, “We invested in Darewise and Life Beyond because we are drawn by its pioneering integration of the Bitcoin ecosystem and an immersive experience that promises to reshape the landscape of digital exploration and connectivity.” Similarly, a spokesperson from Citizen Capital, NEO Tokyo’s official venture capital arm, expressed their enthusiasm as early investors alongside Animoca Brands, highlighting the game’s impressive artwork, robust lore, and the promising team behind it.

Benjamin Charbit, the CEO of Darewise, acknowledged the significance of this round, welcoming investors who believe in their project and values. He emphasized the broad spectrum of investors as a strong indicator of faith in building on the Bitcoin ecosystem.

With the new Darewise ecosystem token expected to hit the market in early 2024, and with backing from Horizen Labs, the path is paved for an innovative gaming metaverse anchored on the Bitcoin blockchain. The CEO, investors, and the wider gaming community await with bated breath as Darewise’s project sets the stage for a new realm of digital interaction and economic transactions within the gaming world.

Prior to the successful fundraising of US$3.5 million by Darewise Entertainment for its Bitcoin metaverse ecosystem, another Animoca Brands subsidiary, Forj, had initiated a significant move to propel the ApeCoin ecosystem by launching the $APE Accelerator. This initiative seeks to endorse and fund projects, bolstering the utility and value of ApeCoin. The accelerator is a testament to the broader objective within Animoca Brands’ network to foster blockchain-centric innovation across various digital domains. The consecutive efforts by Forj and Darewise Entertainment highlight a structured approach by Animoca Brands to leverage and support blockchain technology, enriching the gaming and Web3 spaces respectively.

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Animoca Brands subsidiary Forj Unveils $APE Accelerator to Boost ApeCoin Ecosystem

Animoca Brands subsidiary, Forj, has officially opened applications for the inaugural cohort of the $APE Accelerator, an initiative designed to propel the ApeCoin ecosystem forward. The $APE Accelerator is a community-centric Web3 platform funded by the ApeCoin DAO, aimed at fostering projects that amplify the utility and value of the ApeCoin (token symbol: APE).

Forj, a key player in the realm of Web3 technologies, is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands and is at the forefront of creating unique fan experiences through its range of products. Operating in the realms of Music, Entertainment, Gaming, and beyond, Forj has previously collaborated with notable names such as Grammy-nominated musician Lewis Capaldi.

With the launch of the $APE Accelerator, innovative Web3 projects now have a robust platform to bring their ideas to fruition. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to introduce their business concepts to a thriving ApeCoin community comprising over 200,000 members. This initiative comes on the back of the successful ratification of AIP-209, a proposal sanctioned via the ApeCoin DAO’s Idea Proposal (AIP) system.

The primary objective of the $APE Accelerator is to solidify the ApeCoin ecosystem by endorsing and funding projects that augment ApeCoin’s utility and value. APE token holders will be able to support endorsed projects via the APE Launchpad by acquiring NFTs and other tokens. Additionally, they will have a say in the approval of project proposals through a voting mechanism.

Harry Liu, CEO of Forj, remarked on the launch, “Today marks the beginning of a step change in innovation for the ApeCoin community. $APE Accelerator welcomes Web3 founders to apply now and join us in our mission to take the ApeCoin ecosystem to new heights.”

Yat Siu, the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands, echoed these sentiments by highlighting the community-driven nature of $APE Accelerator. He noted that it embodies the spirit of Web3 entrepreneurship, empowering ApeCoin holders to steer innovation within the ecosystem they are part of. Siu anticipates that the $APE Accelerator will serve as a blueprint for future online ecosystem growth, with several groundbreaking projects expected to emerge from this program.

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Animoca Brands to Focus on Markets Outside U.S. after SEC Labels Sand Cryptocurrency an Unregistered Security

According to a report by South China Morning Post (SCMP), Hong Kong-based blockchain giant, Animoca Brands, has announced its plans to shift its focus to markets outside the U.S. This strategic move comes in the wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to label the firm’s Sand cryptocurrency token as an unregistered security, amid recent lawsuits against major crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase Global.

Sand is the native crypto token used by Animoca’s metaverse platform, The Sandbox. It was among more than a dozen tokens explicitly labeled as securities by the SEC, a list that also includes Solana, Polygon, and Mana – the token used in the Decentraland virtual world. This decision by the SEC has elevated the legal risks for any company involved in selling these tokens.

Despite the regulatory challenges in the U.S., Animoca Brands remains optimistic about its global operations. The company’s co-founder and chairman, Yat Siu, commented in an email, “Animoca Brands is not focused on a single territory but operates globally. The SEC focuses on the U.S., so that should not have an impact on Animoca Brands in broader markets where Sand is widely available and accepted, including in more progressive jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Japan.”

Siu also disclosed that Animoca has already initiated measures to emphasize more on other markets in response to the recent “blockchain-hostile” approach observed in the U.S. This strategic shift represents Animoca’s adaptive response to the evolving regulatory landscape and is reflective of a broader industry trend towards seeking more cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdictions.


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Metaverse Will Bring About the “Construction of New Economies” – Animoca CEO

Yat Siu, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Animoca Brands has shared his thoughts on what he believes the metaverse is metamorphosing into in the near future. 


Speaking at the Future Blockchain Summit, the veteran industry leader noted that the metaverse is not a central entity and is bound to stir the advent of new economies that will benefit its adopters.

In the explanation for his position about the highly talked-about marketplace, Siu said industries cannot be quantities based on a single metric, and that the collective performance of key offshoots of the ecosystem often comes together to make a whole.

“Metaverse to us is a whole economy. We don’t want to measure the future of these companies using PNL, we want to measure it in terms of GDP. Just like we can’t define Ethereum’s value by how much gas it generates but rather its utility as a whole, in the same way, the metaverse is an all-accomplishing picture. So, thematically, it’s a metaverse; but practically, itu2019s digital ownership.”

Siu faults the usurping role big tech companies like Google and Facebook have played in the evolution of the gaming industry thus far. According to him, the bigger portion of the more than $200 billion industry is controlled by big tech with little going to the game developers and almost nothing to players.

Per the model of Web3.0, Siu believes this anomaly will be corrected, creating an economy whereby everyone will be fairly compensated for their participation in the ecosystem.

“More than half of the value that is generated in the gaming industry goes to Apple, Facebook and Google. How much of that goes back to the gaming industry? Zero. This is the issue today, and it makes the ecosystem unhealthy.”

Yat Siu, whose company owns The Sandbox metaverse and has invested in hundreds of gaming protocols believes GameFi is one of the contending avenues by which users will be onboarded into the Web3.0 industry.

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Rise of Web3: Metaverse tokens surge as Meta’s share price plunges

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, saw the largest single-day slide in market value for a U.S. company ever with a 26% fall in share prices on Thursday after the tech giant revealed disappointing earnings and a decline in daily active users.

Meta famously changed its name from Facebook in late 2021, to signal its plans to focus on the Metaverse, and its struggles have coincided with double-digit percentage gains for its decentralized competitors The Sandbox and Decentraland.

Meta reported $33.67 billion worth of total revenue for Q4 2021, compared to $28 billion the year prior. However, its net income decreased to $10.28 billion, down from $11.2 billion 12 months ago.

For the first time, Meta broke out a segment in its earnings report for its virtual and augmented reality research and development business, Reality Labs. It saw losses which topped over US$10 billion, up from US$6.6 billion in 2020. However it’s only in the early stages of laying the groundwork for Metaverse technology, including developing a haptic glove, allowing users to “touch” objects in the metaverse.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Animoca Brands chairman and co-founder Yat Siu, suggested that the sharp drop of Meta’s share price may represent a broader trend in which users are beginning to question the centralized Web2 model:

“It’s a system that does not share any meaningful part of the ownership or value of the network, which will eventually lead to a decline as users look for better options.”

“As people are still likely to spend even more time online, the question is where and how? This is an early indicator that they are moving away from Web 2.0 and the logical conclusion on where to go for a growing number is Web 3,” he added.

Siu argued that Web2 companies like Meta and Apple are also “losing their best people” to Web3 companies and projects:

“Web 3 and the open Metaverse is more than just another product cycle, it’s a movement, and it’s hard to fight something like that as a single corporation.”

Crypto-backed metaverses

Decentraland, a Metaverse platform built on Ethereum, has seen the price of its token MANA increase by over 20% the past seven days, surging from a seven-day low of US$2.19 to recent support levels around the US$2.60 mark.

Likewise, SAND tokens for The Sandbox, one of Decentraland’s main Metaverse competitors, has seen a seven-day gain of 17.5%, entering the weekend at a low of US$3.31 before surging to a high of over US$4, now seeing support levels around US$3.60.

Related: Bitcoin bounces at $36.6K as Meta adds 20% losses to US tech stock rout

Apart from Meta, other factors are affecting prices for MANA and SAND this week. Decentraland released it’s 2022 Manifesto, announcing a prototype mobile app, improvements to its play experience, greater utility of NFTs, and protocol enhancements.

The Sandbox team announced a partnership with UniX Gaming, a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), and a release of more “land” in its metaverse slated for February 10th.

Animoca Brands owns The Sandbox, and there were unconfirmed rumors earlier this week that Meta would be acquiring the Metaverse platform. However Siu promptly shut those rumors down on Feb. 3.

Outside of Meta, other big tech companies including Apple and Microsoft are getting into the space. Entertainment giant Disney also seems to be gearing up for a move into the Metaverse with a recent job advertisement for a Business Development Manger seeks looking for someone to “help lead Disney’s efforts in the NFT space”.

It’s not immediately clear if Disney’s efforts could relate to it’s planned headset-free augmented reality Metaverse project uncovered by patent filings.