Over the past several months, there’s been a flurry of news surrounding the global NFT market. It’s been described as everything from a passing fad to a groundbreaking new form of digital artistry. And financial industry commentators have already begun speculating that it might explode into a $370 billion sector before all is said and done.
All of that has attracted millions of dollars in investment capital to the space and spawned countless new projects looking to stake a claim to some of it. Some have sought to churn out new collectibles to capture a share of the billions of dollars in sales already happening in the space. But others have worked to provide the infrastructure that will be needed to turn the digital collectibles market into a real and lasting fixture of the crypto industry.
One of them is GameStar. It’s on a mission to build what it calls the “world’s leading decentralized P2P trading platform”. The idea is to create a secure environment for owners of digital assets to buy and sell their game items, NFTs, and gift cards without interference from gatekeepers or intermediaries. It’s an area that hasn’t gotten much attention so far, and GameStar hopes to change that once it goes live.
Back on September 10th, GameStar CEO Joshua Vizer sat down for an AMA to shed some light on recent developments within the project. He spoke at length about a variety of topics, ranging from his experience within the industry to GameStar’s mission and where he sees it fitting into the P2P crypto landscape. Here are some of the most important takeaways from the discussion.
An Experienced Team
The initial discussion in the AMA centered around the team working to make the GameStar concept into reality. Vizer shared that he had served as the head of business development for Paxful, where he helped grow it into one of the world’s largest P2P cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world. And from that vantage point, he saw firsthand how the major centralized marketplaces wield enormous power over their users, banning their accounts and invalidating trades on a whim.
But he also saw how the major P2P platforms, like Paxful and LocalBitcoins, were failing to provide a high-quality trading experience for users. The incumbents suffer from a high prevalence of fraud, and had begun freezing assets and banning accounts to combat it – just like the centralized exchanges they aimed to improve upon.
That’s why, according to Vizer, he and a number of his best colleagues from Paxful left to form GameStar. And to further bolster their core development team, the project recruited some of the veteran developers behind CoinCola, another leading P2P trading platform. Together, they’ve gotten to work creating a new solution that won’t suffer from the problems associated with the projects they left behind.
Solving Problems with a New Kind of User Journey
After discussing the team behind GameStar, Vizer went on to talk about the specific issues the project hopes to solve, and how they’re planning to do it. He said that “GameStar is a decentralized P2P exchange for gift cards, game items and game NFTs” aimed at the “p2p traders around the world (perhaps 20 million) [who] are constantly banned and blocked by centralized exchanges, [and whose] disputes are also quite unfairly judged.”
And to alleviate those problems, GameStar won’t require sellers to relinquish custody of their assets until a trade is complete. This makes it impossible for the platform to arbitrarily freeze accounts because they won’t have the access needed to do so. That allows them to assure traders that they’re in complete control of every trade from beginning to end.
Vizer described the platform’s trading process by saying “If you are selling an NFT, you would simply post an ad in our market with the description and price. Buyers would then find the item and engage in a chat with you. You would then send them the NFT directly over whatever network the NFT is on. At the same time, the buyer has already deposited enough funds equal or greater to your price. Those funds are locked during the trade. Once [the] buyer confirms they have the NFT, the funds are released to [the] seller and the trade is over.”
In addition to discussing how the GameStar platform will operate once it goes live, the AMA also touched upon some of the platform’s key early partnerships. Of particular note is their tie-up with the crypto VR platform NetVRk. On that front, Vizer explained that:
“We formed an initial marketing partnership with them and hope to facilitate some of their land sales in the secondary market in the future. We will shortly announce some partnerships with some of the most well-known crypto gaming companies (top 2 or 3), some well-known traditional gaming platforms and we are in initial talks with a Japanese gaming company.”
And the AMA also revealed that GameStar is forging some significant marketing partnerships, as well. They’ve already held an event with the Blockchain Nigeria User Group and have welcomed Francis – AKA The Crypto Lifestyle – as a key advisor to the platform.
Finally, the AMA went over some of the details of GameStar’s pre-launch progress. And according to Vizer, things are moving along quite well on several fronts. On the fundraising side, he was able to share that GameStar has already raised $2.2 million through seed, round A, and early round B fundraising. And he also indicated that the project is on track to hit a few more major milestones in the weeks to come.
First, Vizer shared that GameStar would be completing an audit within the next month, although he was unable to specify the firm doing the work other than to say that they were “talking to the two well-known firms”. He also said that the GameStar token generation event and IDO were forthcoming at the end of the month. Regarding the launchpads that would be involved in the IDO, he noted that their goal was to partner with two well-known launchpads and one or two of the more recent upstarts to handle the event.
Off to a Good Start
If the AMA is any indication, it appears that GameStar is making steady progress towards its launch. With plans for an IDO and audit in place and a solid few rounds of fundraising in the bank, they’re no doubt poised to make some noise in both the P2P exchange and NFT markets. And right now, the plan is for the GameStar testnet to go live by the end of September, followed by a mainnet launch shortly thereafter. If all goes to plan, it’s safe to expect that we’ll all be hearing plenty more from the GameStar team in the months to come, as they embark on their mission to change the face of digital asset trading forever.