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The International Blockchain Association Forum

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Opis Group head of marketing Vince Howard gives a talk for International Blockchain Association’s Forum on OpiPets and Opis Cloud. 

The International Blockchain Association

The International Blockchain Associations Forum event was hosted by Brian Scudder, the Deputy Secretary of the BBA. The British Blockchain association was established in 2017. It is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes evidence-based adoption of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) across the public and private sectors. Their advisory board is comprised of some of the world’s leading experts in Blockchain academia, Information Technology, Computer Science, regulators and policymakers in the field of distributed ledger technologies. 

As well as Vince Howard of Opis Group, also in attendance was Moerieda Mackay speaking on behalf of SANBA and Professor Dr Sinclair Davidson discussing NFTs. 

SANBA & Blockchain in South Africa

Moerieda spoke on behalf of the South African National Blockchain Alliance, a founding member of the International Blockchain Associations Forum. SANBA emerged as a result of project KHOKHA, an initiative of the South African Federal Reserve Bank. The award-winning project, which started in 2017, involved testing blockchain technology in South Africa.  

Moerieda explained that “SANBA is a partnership between government, business, academia and civil society to catalyse the use of blockchain technologies within the South African Context.” It serves to rectify the lack of coordination and advancement with blockchain technology within the country.  

The key objectives of SANBA are:

The International Blockchain Association Forum. Picture depicting SANBA aims.

Opis Group – British Blockchain Business

Vince Howard, the head of marketing at Opis Group, gave an overview of both of their projects that are currently in development. OpiPets and Opis Cloud are both due for release in Q3, 2022. 

“The focus of Opis Group is on creating rewards for people who participate. We really believe in embracing all that web3 can bring to the table, in terms of decentralising and bringing ownership back to communities around the world.” Vince adds that “one of the stats which I always talk about which is impressive to me, is the fact that there are more cryptocurrency wallets in the Philippines than there are credit cards.” 

Vince explains that after the lockdown the habits of people have changed, and although people are starting to transition back to traditional forms of earning, Opis Group believe that “it has brought about a change in the way that people view work.” It is also Vince’s belief that people are going to “skip over the traditional credit banking system that we are all familiar with.” With “the increase of mobile devices a lot of those people will go straight to DeFi blockchain crypto solutions.”

OpiPets

The International Blockchain Association Forum. Picture depicting OpiPets scene.

Vince explained that OpiPets is a blockchain-based gaming title built from the ground up. He adds that they “really focus on the enjoyment and the playing experience for users. Whilst completing, taking part in tasks, battling and participating with other users on quests throughout the game, we reward people based on their effort.” 

Vince explains one of the reasons Opis Group decided to get involved with the gaming industry is because it’s the world’s largest media category. “Bigger than Hollywood and the movie industry,” Vince adds, with the industry becoming even more prevalent during the Covid lockdowns. In addition, almost 50% of crypto wallets connected to DAPPS are related to gaming, and there are approximately 1.5 billion gamers in the world. 

The International Blockchain Association Forum. Picture depicting OpiPets mission.

The head of marketing explains that OpiPets has a mission to give gamers more value for their efforts. In traditional gaming, the only people who benefit from the game are the developers, not the legions of players that make the game. With web3, OpiPets can deliver a game where the players can benefit from their participation, and share in the success. 

Opis Group is in a unique position in the play-to-earn space with their initial investment. This will not only allow them to release a developed game, rather than relying on a pre-sale for funding but also allows them to create more appealing in-game assets. One of the features of OpiPets that sets it apart from other play to earns, is the unique characters and the customisation options. Both of these combined, add to the aims of Opis Group to create an enjoyable experience for the players. “We’re trying to build a game in the right way. Many of the people at the company are gamers, and the real thing we’re trying to do is make it enjoyable. You can play for fun, or you can play for crypto, but ideally, you’ll enjoy playing it either way.”

Opis Cloud 

The International Blockchain Association Forum. Picture depicting Opis Cloud benefits.

Vince explained the mobile application, Opis Cloud as a cloud computing solution. “Opis Cloud is about utilising your mobile technology (the processing power of your phone) to form a supercomputer cloud network with other users. Using a very small fraction of your computing power we reward you with cryptocurrency.” 

“One of the things I’m really excited about Cloud, which is also in development, with a lot of the UI’s completed, and in testing, is that while you can earn cryptocurrency actively in OpiPets, you can earn passively with Opis Cloud.” The amount of time the average person spends on their phone is 4 – 8 hours a day but “at night time when you plug your phone in to charge it’s completely idle. So in that idle time, you will be using a very small fraction of your phone’s computing power coupled up with hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to complete a number of tasks. This could be corporate tasks, but we do plan to give away around 10% of the power to help scientific research.”

Professor Sinclair Davidson and the Future of NFTs

Dr Sinclair is a professor of Institutional Economics at RMIT and gave a talk on NFTs which encompassed, “where we’re at and more or less where I think we’re going to end up.” The professor’s first point of call was to indirectly add to the research of Rafi Nizam in his video explaining the Top Five Myths About NFTs by addressing the mainstream perception that NFTs are “fads gimmicks and scams.” Dr Sinclair explains that although “yes there’s probably a bit of fad, there’s probably a bit of gimmick, and almost certainly a bit of scam but in actual fact, this is one of the more important aspects of what’s going on in the crypto economy.”

The important thing about NFTs is that it’s a real use case for blockchain assets. “In 2010 we had somebody buy two large pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin and tonight those pizzas would be worth $398 million.” Aside from the thoughts of the person who made the transaction right now, the importance of that transaction was that was “a use case, that was doing something and NFTs are going to be doing something too.” The main uses for NFTs are art, music and gaming which are “important experience economy. Yet we still live in a world where people hold prejudice against the experience economy in favour of the services economy,” as covered in our additional article on NFT myths

“Blockchain works well when we have to communicate information across space, time or in a hostile environment.” What Blockchain technology has done is “industrialise trust by eliminating the need for human trust with its transparency. “NFTs are about ownership and description of goods, services, and assets.” NFTs offer a very clear view of what something is and who owns it. By using Blockchain technology, we can eliminate the need to verify originality. 

“NFTs are the thing that’s going to make the crypto economy work,” the professor states. “We didn’t have the full infrastructure stack” that we needed to make it work before. “What we didn’t have was the institutional environment, and what we didn’t have was the governance environment.” With DAOs and now NFTs we “will have the full institutional stack more or less to unleash the cryptocurrency economy” and realise our goals. 

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