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What KamaGames learned from its failed cryptocurrency experiment | VentureBeat Pokerstars cryptocurrency
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Pokerstars cryptocurrencyLast August,a big European operator of social casino games, said it is and cryptocurrency with the launch of its own.
But the experiment was a big hassle, and it turned out to be disappointing, said Andrey Kuznetsov, CEO of KamaGames, in an interview with GamesBeat.
In games, crypto was hailed as a way to make in-game transactions easier and safer.
By getting people to buy tokens, Dublin-based KamaGames hope to bolster engagement, brand loyalty, and drawn new users.
It was following the lead of companies like PayPal, Red Bull, Swarovski, and Kik.
For KamaGames, the move into crypto and blockchain had little to do with raising money.
The company made it clear from the onset that the objective of the token sale was not to attract the interest of investors or their financial backing.
Nor did KamaGames look for speculator interest related to the token.
It did not plan to list it on any of the crypto exchanges.
Based on blockchain technology and the Ethereum platform, KamaGames Tokens were primarily designed to give players the best possible return on in-game currency purchases as well as guaranteed bonus chips every day.
KamaGames Tokens were to be available as a collection of in-game chips sold in a bulk block at the best price possible.
These chips will then grow in value every day.
Players would be rewarded for leaving their tokens untouched, with an expected 11-fold growth if they do so.
Last fall, the company tested the waters for interest in blockchain.
But actual demand for the KamaGames token sale was less than its most pessimistic projections.
That was measured in terms of the number of actual crypto payments made, the volume of new users attracted, additional revenue generated, and improvements in player retention and engagement.
Part of the reason may have been the broad decline in cryptocurrency prices.
But Kuznetsov decided developing a social casino product on the blockchain makes little sense considering the priority for most social casino players is simplicity and speed.
In fact, KamaGames found Ethereum took too long to do transactions.
KamaGames needs about 1.
Image Credit: KamaGames GamesBeat: I was reading about your experience.
Could you describe where we left off and how things went in your own words?
We did some experiments in the past with messaging platforms, with social networks.
The token sale was a part of another experiment in the blockchain and crypto spaces.
In 2016 and 2017, pokerstars cryptocurrency even a bit earlier, we were observing what was going on with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
There were some technical limitations.
We have more than 1.
There are probably some now, but not at that time.
The other concern was how to do a proper RNG on blockchain.
The third thing was, what is the actual demand for go here games?
What would be the benefits to players and us as a company?
Unfortunately we found neither demand nor direct benefit, to players or to us.
Now we come to the crypto part.
We received a number of requests from our players to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment for our in-game virtual currencies.
If the demand was high, then we could probably implement some solution on a permanent basis.
From time to time we get outreach from providers who could offer such services.
We decided to do that short campaign, and that was part of the token sale.
Kuznetsov: The second thing was just to see how the industry works, how complicated it is, and what the audience is like.
caesars casino blackjack canada are the users?
What are their values and requirements?
What do they need and what do they want?
Another thing was, we wanted to see if we could attract a new audience, more new players, outside our conventional user acquisition channels.
We believe the demographic of our players is quite similar to the demographic of crypto users.
We also wanted to reward our existing players with something new, offer them this kind of proxy to chips.
That would increase retention, because the token was designed such that holders could get additional bonuses every day for just holding tokens.
Meanwhile, the exchange rate between tokens and virtual chips is growing over time, so they could eventually get more chips.
At the same time, we tried to return our lost players, especially players, who might have played with us in the game for some time and left.
We tried to bring them back with our usual instruments — push notifications, emails, sales and promotions — but the ones that never came back, we tried to offer them some free tokens.
Maybe we could bring them back and then sell them more.
As we mentioned a number of times, a decent part of our revenue growth over the last three years has been personalized sales and promotions.
Now we do that four or more days a week.
The key is to target people properly, to personalize as much as possible, to deliver the right message and the right proposal to every player.
Here we created another promotional campaign where players could buy our chips through the token as a proxy for the best possible price.
They could hold it and receive even more chips.
It was a very good offer.
GamesBeat: And what happened?
The value of tokens is declining, and even plunging significantly.
But we have different types of participants.
Overall we have roughly 33,000 participants.
Among them, there were our lost players, our whales, our new players — just people who decided who participate in this experiment.
At the same time, though, we distributed millions of tokens to these 33,000 participants.
For our players, the biggest problem was the complexity of the whole process.
Of the existing players we brought in, the lost players, the whales, the new players, all of them had no experience with crypto.
So first of all, they were shocked by the requirements disclose their identity, to provide documents.
We can do it very simply there.
Kuznetsov: Then the second point was it was too complicated.
Our support team still sometimes pokerstars cryptocurrency up to three hours with a single person trying to explain how to create a crypto wallet, how to get tokens, how to send them to us for exchange, and how to link them to the account.
Only a small number of token holders get to the end of that process.
Most of them eventually quit in the middle.
Which exchange pokerstars cryptocurrency you listed on?
There are a number of legal restrictions and links.
Our legal team https://internetbingogames.info/blackjack/blackjack-knives-125-review.html always said read more we need a special license to do that.
We feel a bit disappointed because of that.
But my point is, most of the players who came from the crypto community, they were buying the tokens, but their goal was to buy an investment instrument.
Or not an investment even.
They were buying something after no research at all.
Their only goal was to sell it as quickly as possible for a quick buck.
When we were doing the analysis of the landing page for our token sale — we had a colored map explaining what users were doing and what they were reading relative to different geographies and different languages.
more info one percent clicked on something, read one or two of the interviews.
Almost nobody read the white paper.
We spent months writing it, making it legally compliant and looking nice and all that.
I feel bad about doing all that work, because nobody read it.
I was surprised myself.
They were buying 500 euro worth of tokens without even knowing what they were buying.
GamesBeat: What about your timing?
Kuznetsov: If we had done this token sale a year ago, I can give you a 196 percent guarantee that we would have collected as much money as we wanted.
Tens of millions of dollars, easily.
Coming back to the process itself, when we were pokerstars cryptocurrency with different consultants and marketing people and advisors, it was a very unpleasant experience, very unpleasant.
Some people were asking for, whatever, two percent of our company.
Image Credit: KamaGames We have experience in marketing in the digital space.
Because of that, we were able to make this experiment quite cost-efficient, if I may say.
The same with bloggers or with crypto media.
If you ask simple questions — Can we check this?
Can you just show these three numbers?
When they were trying to speak to local advisors in places like Asian markets — Indonesia, China, Korea — they had the same problems.
I participated myself in some conferences in America and Europe.
We came to an agreement with somebody in, I think, Indonesia, and the speaker just disappeared after we paid him.
They were just pointing to some Paypal account or whatever.
Maybe this is normal to a certain extent.
You certainly saw this kind of thing in the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s.
But I was still surprised.
That was my experience.
GamesBeat: It sounds like most people could not get past the idea that you were not doing an ICO.
As far as we see now, there are some decentralized exchanges.
People might exchange their 10 tokens there.
But the amounts are almost invisible.
We made what we were doing clear, everywhere, and nobody listened.
When I look at the tokens that are traded now, and when I talk to people I know in the industry — the people who are doing real solutions tell me that the market is in depression.
We even participated in a couple of ICOs ourselves.
Small money, just to see how it works, just to feel out the atmosphere and be part of the process.
Most of these pokerstars cryptocurrency will never survive.
The teams are unprepared.
There is not enough demand.
Demand is growing, but very slowly.
They disclosed that less than one percent of their daily active users use crypto, and they have 100 million daily active users.
GamesBeat: At what point in time did you run the experiment?
Do you think one of the problems is that you were doing it during this crypto bust?
Kuznetsov: We started our closed presale in September 2018.
We finished everything on November 12.
It was two months, more or less.
Of course this was at the end of the game in the crypto space, for ICOs and even for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Those were the bad days.
With our project, with our company, with our approach, we would have collected that, easily.
But what would we have done after that, when all these people start asking about exchanges?
We have enough money to grow.
GamesBeat: Was it any problem that people paid you with a cryptocurrency that subsequently declined in value?
Did what you ended up selling in chips become very inexpensive chips?
Kuznetsov: In our case, there were not many transactions, and not of a very high value.
Of course it declined.
But we were prepared for that.
Compared to our monthly revenues, it was less than one percent.
We estimated all the risk and we estimated all the potential outcomes.
Image Credit: KamaGames GamesBeat: The majority of people paid in some kind of fiat currency, then?
We still do not consider this campaign as a negative experience.
We learned so much.
It was a really good marketing campaign.
What do you think about it?
What were the results?
We did everything properly, in accordance with the law.
Many people want to learn about this.
They were going to do something similar themselves, and at the last moment they decided not to.
I know some other gaming companies decided to postpone token sales or ICOs to this year, the third quarter, whatever.
We decided to do it anyway because we had different goals.
The SEC wants to take some kind of action.
Kuznetsov: I can imagine.
GamesBeat: It sounds like, legally, you guys may have made the better move.
I read his statement.
They did it purely for their employees.
We did it mostly for our community.
GamesBeat: As far as the way you did it, was it much different or any different than just another virtual currency?
People talk about cryptocurrency and all the things it can do differently, but was this effectively just like one more virtual currency in your game?
Kuznetsov: We never issued a cryptocurrency.
We kind of used Ethereum, but was it a separate cryptocurrency on a separate blockchain?
We never thought about that.
It was just a token based on the existing Ethereum ecosystem.
We had only one goal for the token, which was for it to be exchanged for our in-game virtual chips.
GamesBeat: You mentioned the transaction frequency.
It sounded like that could have been a problem if it was a higher volume.
But in our case, our game engine works independently.
They can link their wallet address and our system automatically checks, every day, how many tokens are there and gives them the opportunity to click and get additional bonuses.
If they want to exchange tokens for chips, it shows an address right there.
If they send tokens to that address, we receive them, burn them, and they get their chips in their account.
Image Credit: KamaGames GamesBeat: If you had done a cryptocurrency—you had an issue with the RNG, you mentioned?
The issue is, we already have, as a company, an RNG which is certified by a special agency which checks random number generation for gaming companies.
Our RNG is purely random and certified as such.
But the question is, if we put an RNG on blockchain, that means it would be much easier to make it predictable.
Some gambling companies, I know, have started to do work on designing solutions for RNG on blockchain, but again, these are all startups.
The solutions still have yet to be tested.
We may research it further.
Some companies are doing that.
Kuznetsov: Yes, they are.
GamesBeat: In conclusion, then, are you putting this on hold for a while?
Kuznetsov: We sold or distributed some tokens to our players and new players.
People are getting their bonuses, getting their chips.
The exchange rate for tokens to chips is growing, as we promised, and it will grow.
But the tokens that have been distributed, we neither want to cancel them, nor we can if we want to.
Do we do anything in 2019, any blockchain games or whatever else?
Our tokens are at work.
GamesBeat: Do you still want the regulators in the U.
We think that in order to facilitate mass adoption—I know some people will argue, but I still think that tokens or cryptocurrencies must be used by bigger companies, bigger international businesses and multinationals.
This is the quickest way to mass adoption.
In order for that to happen, there should be rules.
They should be clear and hopefully simple.
Companies and token buyers and even token or cryptocurrency investors should understand what they do, what their liabilities are, what their risks are, what the procedures are.
I do read more know if Bitcoin will stay in the long term.
It may be replaced with something else that has more sophistication, a better cryptocurrency.
Blockchain as a technology will be used more and more.
Do you see some better pathways for you coming soon, in terms of how to get your games to crypto players?
Kuznetsov: I have a few ideas.
We researched their white paper and all the other updates in detail.
EOS is another prospective platform.
We enjoy the speed.
Coming back to the number of gaming platforms that have either released or plan to be released soon, I think the biggest challenge for them is audience.
I know some of them are developing good loyalty instruments, rewards, the ability to sell in-game assets.
Audience is the key.
Neither Google nor Apple nor Facebook nor Steam are eager to share a piece of their pie with these new platforms.
I want to be wrong about that, but so far I have more doubts.
GamesBeat: Do you think that something like gambling will do much https://internetbingogames.info/blackjack/www-247-blackjack-com.html than social casino could in this particular space?
Or does social casino have as good a chance?
Kuznetsov: What blockchain gives us eventually, first of all, is transparency.
Centralized can still do much higher speeds.
So is there a need for more transparency in a social poker game, for example?
As I said, we have a certified RNG.
This is the one thing our players care about.
see more players are part of a social network first and a game second.
Their systems are certified and tested.
These smaller companies offer a decentralized solution.
Image Credit: KamaGames GamesBeat: As far as how much this pokerstars cryptocurrency cost you, pokerstars cryptocurrency you describe that in some way?
How much it took to do the experiment, all the legal work, and so on?
Kuznetsov: It was a few hundred thousand dollars.
Less than half a million, definitely.
GamesBeat: It sounds like you were able to avoid paying any of the scammers anything.
Kuznetsov: We were able to avoid any big mistakes.
I know some companies where the ICO comes out and it costs millions of dollars.
But still, we were very efficient.
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