Blockchain gaming beast Animoca Brands and digital-asset custodian Hex Trust have teamed up to provide institutional-grade wallets and financial services for online gamers, according to an announcement today.

Why’s this a big deal? It’s because, at least according to the two Hong Kong-based companies, there is a perceived barrier to play-to-earn (P2E) gaming due to a lack of online wallet solutions that conveniently and safely store gaming-based crypto, while providing access to financial services.

Hex Trust provides custody and treasury management services for cryptocurrencies, security tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to banks, financial institutions and digital asset companies.

Animoca Brands, meanwhile, has become one of the biggest and most recognisable blockchain-game publishers and venture capital investors, with a US$2.2 billion valuation as of October.

The formerly ASX-listed gaming company has an impressive NFT-gaming-project investment portfolio that includes The Sandbox, Axie Inifinity, Phantom Galaxies, REVV Racing and about 100 or so more. Fingers. In. Pies. Mmmm… digital pies…

“Animoca Brands seeks to create a new asset class, play-to-earn economies and a more equitable digital framework in order to contribute to making the open metaverse a reality,” said Animoca co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu in a statement.

“The joint venture with Hex Trust will enable gamers to access a greater range of financial opportunities and services than those normally available to them.”

“We believe that GameFi will follow the same process of institutionalisation we experienced in the cryptocurrency market,” CEO and co-founder of Hex Trust Alessio Quaglini said in the press release.


Animoca in the news

Animoca Brands can’t stay out of crypto-gaming headlines this week. Here’s a taste of how else the blockchain-gaming company’s been wheeling and dealing most recently…

• It’s been announced today that Animoca has led a US$18 million in a Series A funding round into Avocado Guild, which brings the P2E guild’s valuation to US$200 million, according to a CoinDesk report.

An artist’s depiction of the Avocado Guild metaverse. (Image: Avocado Guild)

QCP Soteria Node, Three Arrows Capital, Solana Ventures, Polygon Studios, Hashed, Binance Smart Chain’s US$1 Billion Growth Fund and executives of GoldenTree Asset Management also participated in the investment round.

Gaming guilds are becoming big business and it’s a growing narrative in the crypto-gaming/GameFi sector.

Blockade Games, an open-source blockchain-based game developer, has raised US$5 million in a funding round led by Animoca Brands.

Blockade’s flagship title is Neon District – a free-to-play, cyberpunk-themed role-playing action game featuring collectible NFTs on the Polygon and Ethereum blockchains.

• And lastly, turning a negative into a positive, Animoca says it will pay US$1.1 million in Ethereum to cover the cost of a scam involving the hack of its Sydney-based subsidiary’s social media channel, as reported by Stockhead yesterday.

The November 19 hack targeted the chat server of Phantom Galaxies, an upcoming game being developed by Blowfish Studios, the indie North Sydney gaming company that Animoca acquired for up to $35 million in July.