Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Lex Na, CEO of Bountie.
1. What’s the history of Bountie? How and where did you begin?
LN: Gaming has always been my passion. I was a gamer since primary school. When I was 15, I was ranked 8th in the world. If you’re 8th in the world for anything, be it football or Investment banking, you’ll be a multi-millionaire now. But there wasn’t a way I could monetise my skills. I’m pretty sure the gamers out there know and understand this. And this is one of the pain points in gaming.
So 7 months ago, my co-founders and I got together after a gaming session and we crafted out what would have been the initial blueprints of Bountie.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
My co-founders are:
Jose He, CPO
Founder of a pet technology startup with more than 10 years experience as a senior business development strategist.
Former executive chairman of Speaker & Trainer Association. Dota 2 enthusiast and CS: GO fanatic.
Darren Lee, CTO
Well honed in the areas of Design, Development and Business, Darren heads Fixx Digital – one of Singapore’s leading Digital Agencies, and has spearheaded projects for Clients such as DBS Bank, Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
LN: There are 4 problems in the gaming industry that we are solving.
1. Lack of Monetisation – Gamers have limited ways to monetise their skills and time spent on playing games.
2. Winner Takes All – The top 3% of the gaming community receives 90% of the investment and prize money in esports.
3. No Gamer Search Engine – Professional bodies have trouble finding talented gamers because there is no centralized and detailed public platform which contains accurate gamer profiles, rankings, and stats.
4. Not Enough Competitions – The majority of gamers are fond of participating in esports. However, the current landscape is limited in competitions and avenues for nonprofessionals and elite professionals.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
LN: Here are our solutions to the problems that we see in the market.
1. Great Gamer Profiling and Matchmaking – Bountie’s platform will allow gamers to create their profiles, store their gaming stats, and also find suitable team members and players to practice and play with.
2. Lots of Tournaments & Challengers – Bountie will feature a seasonal leaderboard and weekly tournaments for gamers to compete and earn Bountie Coins from. Plus they get to know how they stand among the best players in Asia, as well as give them more reasons to continue playing.
3. A New Way To Earn A Living – Bountie allows gamers to get paid and doing something they love and are good at. They can make money through competitive gaming and content generation within the platform.
4. Advanced Blockchain Technology – Bountie aims to “tokenise” digital currency. By doing this, Bountie Coins will be protected by an unhackable system and add more layers of security, especially when real-world money is involved.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
LN: Traditional gaming or tournament organising platforms transact their payments using Credit Cards where fees can go as high as 3.9% + $0.50 in Singapore. For micro transactions below $5, this cost is overwhelming and will significantly reduce the margins for both the gamers and the platform. By using Bountie Coins, we can reduce the costs to an amount that's negligible. This would make it possible right now for value to be transferable swiftly, cheaply and internationally.
For esports revenue, there are 5 main categories, Media Rights, Advertising, Sponsorship, Merchandise & Tickets and Game Publisher Fees. All these are growing between 17.9% to 81.5% in just one year, to a total figure of USD696 million. What this means is there are lots of opportunity with double digits growth year on year. And right now there isn’t a unified platform out there to fully capitalise on this or manage these effectively and technologically.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
LN: The future of esports of gaming is not just great but fantastically, crazily huge!
Prediction #1: We predict that the revenue in gaming would double in just 5 years time to USD250 billion.
Prediction #2: Esports would be bigger than World Cup for football and may even be bigger than the olympics.
Prediction #3: Cryptocurrencies will be the underlying currency that runs from all gaming platforms & games. Allowing gamers to transact in and out easily, swiftly and internationally.