Virtual assets prized within the world of gaming can now be traded for physical gold thanks to a collaboration between gaming value platform FreeMyVunk and crypto-assets issuer Digix.
FreeMyVunk has set out to revolutionise the way gamers will trade their virtual property (virtual junk, VUNK), using the Ethereum public blockchain.
Tyler Smith, co-founder FreeMyVunk told IBTimes: "Anyone who has ever played a video game and has thought to themselves, 'wouldn't it be nice if I could trade my World of Warcraft DoomHammer which I don't use anymore for my friend's Galil in Call of Duty: Black Ops', knows the frustration of being told they own something, but not having control of their virtual property.
"The FreeMyVunk Movement is going to change that and enable gamers to trade their VUNK (virtual junk) in a provably fair, transparent and trustless way directly from their digital game wallets. No more will gamers have to lurk around shady forums and risk being banished from their beloved game or having their Paypal account frozen for unauthorised trades."
The uninitiated should note, it's not uncommon for a particular sword, gun, hammer or whatever to change hands for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
Smith added: "We are developing video game development plugins which will allow game developers to generate a Digix Ethereum wallet for all of their players as easily as they can add a leaderboard. Every time a player logs on, the game will instantaneously scan the player's wallet and assign the appropriate inventory/priveledges based on the tokens in the wallet and which apply to that game. The best part is, the game developers no longer need to worry about being hacked and having the game assets stolen, Ethereum handles the storage and transfer of assets far more securely than any centralised server database."
Singapore-based Digix, which began using coloured coins on the Bitcoin network to issue digital assets, is also breaking ground by adding virtual in-game assets to its retinue of gold and precious metals. Digix uses a process called proof of asset protocol involving Ethereum and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), combined with a "minter smart contract", which converts an asset into fungible tokens.
Digix's chief technical officer and co-founder, Anthony C. Eufemio, told IBTimes: "The protocol we developed at Digix for gold assets and tokens, called the Proof of Asset protocol, can be used to track and shadow the entire chain of custody for any digital and physical assets from the source to the end user.
"This protocol provides an open and transparent tracking and tokenisation service for any assets on the blockchain. This is how our gold assets and tokens are issued, and so the same can be done for digital gaming assets at FreeMyVunk.
"The protocol is useful for game developers as it guarantees the rarity of in-game items in an open, accountable and transparent way. In other words, these in-game items will be much coveted which adds to the gameplay experience.
"The gamer would have a gaming item that is provably rare, and the developer cannot hide that he has issued an arbitrary number of these items without the users not knowing."
Kai Cheng Chng, CEO, Digix, added: "Imagine being able to easily exchange a coveted hammer or ring from a MMORPG for Digix gold tokens that represent physical gold. I think we have just blurred the lines of reality between the digital and the physical world."
Those wishing to get involved in the FreeMyVunk Movement can sign up now. FreeMyVunk will begin distributing their community token VUNK beginning January 1st, 2016 to people who spread the word of the movement through social media, said Tyler.