IONOMY, a gaming and blockchain cryptocurrency startup, announced on April 4 its new gaming, investment, and digital currency platform, Ionomy.com. With the launch of their initial coin — ION — the platform intends to have their entire operation 100% powered by cryptocurrency.
IONOMY: Blockchain-Based Gaming
The point of a blockchain-based gaming platform is to advance the understanding of cryptocurrencies, and how they can benefit people. By doing this, the Ionomy team hopes that their gaming platform will boost cryptocurrency adoption by giving people a reason to use it via its ION token. They believe their revenues from the platform will provide sufficient monetary support to continue its development.
The Ionomy team plans to get people initially interested in their products by offering a monetary incentive to engage in their products. In addition to releasing mobile games on their platform, they also plan to release a trading and earning system that they call “Stakers.” Stakers acts similarly to Certificates of Deposits (CDs) in that they are time-limited and provide fixed rate of returns during those time periods. The rate of return begins at 10% and can briefly afford investors larger rates of return, sometimes even going beyond 100%, through platform incentives.
Ionomy founder, Mark Gravina, said about the Stakers product:
Stakers are impacted by mobile gaming activity — how much a user plays and wins, and rewards are directly tied to the rate of return on Stakers. Players are able to charge their Stakers with game winnings for extra returns. It’s just one of the many ways to use IONs on the platform.
By leveraging company holdings and pooling user deposited ION into Stakers, the company can offer users higher than local wallet staking returns by effectively creating a large masternode and staking pool. A traditional cryptocurrency wallet or QT wallet will be offered on launch as well in order to allow users who prefer to manage their own wallets the option to do so.
In November, 2015, the Ionomy team raised over $125,000 USD in venture capital from their initial crowdsale. With this initial funding they built their foundational Ionomy.com and their blockchain-based coin. Additionally, they also have announced an ICO for ION, from which they are planning to raise another $500,000 to fund the next stage of development for their platform. This includes new mobile game releases, deployment of the trading and earning system (Stakers), and deployment and support of the core blockchain cryptocurrency.
Ionomy launched the ICO on April 4, 2016 and has already sold over half of the initial 5 million ION that have been offered at a starting price of $0.20/ION. The price of ION is on a rising scale, increasing in increments of $0.01 weekly until the conclusion on May 16, 2016.
Gravina believes that the current proof-of-work model is broken, and that it essentially has resulted in a situation where mining has become a zero-sum game. Thus, ION is built upon the latest proof-of-stake 3.0 technology, based on Blackcoin’s core and adds masternodes similar to Dash.
The Ionomy team also thinks by starting semi-centralized –with ION’s value being initially limited to their website ionomy.com, mobile games, and social activities, followed by development tools and crowdfunding –they believe they’re giving their coin a solid foothold before being adopted outward.
“The coin is open source, but Ionomy is funding development through bounties and incentives,” Ionomy’s Adam Matlack added. “A large portion of ICO funds are set aside just for development of ION itself.”
Gaming: a Frontier in Bitcoin Adoption
All monies are dependent on what it can buy, and Bitcoin is no exception. The phenomenon whereby a good or service becomes more valuable when more people use it is more formally known as the network effect. Currencies tend to get their initial value from the security of the issuer or the government that issues it. Obviously, Bitcoin lacks that perceived security of government backing because it has no single point of issuance, therefore it needs to differentiate itself some other way.
Outside of Bitcoin’s inherent advantages, such as lower transaction fees and quicker transaction speeds, one way Bitcoin can differentiate itself is outward adoption through certain niche markets. The gaming industry seems to be a natural home for Bitcoin due to its purely digital nature and its foundation in computer science. In fact, there has been a recent trend of integrating Bitcoin into online games by rewarding gamers with Bitcoin as a way to introduce them to the coin.
Ionomy is simply a modification of that trend that extends the concept to an entire gaming platform. Furthermore, and possibly most importantly, the most popular PC gaming network and marketplace, Steam, recently announced that it will be accepting payments in bitcoin. This may end up being a breakthrough moment for Bitcoin as Steam has a huge user-base, with 125 million registered users, and According to Gamespot, Steam hit a record high number of concurrent users at the end of October 2015, with 12.5 million.
What do you think of Ionomy and its coin, ION? Will it be successful and will it actually introduce more people to Bitcoin?
Sources: Press Release, ionomy.com