At the end of 2021, and twelve months of relentless hysteria about NFTs, things took a surreal turn when one particular Manchester United footballer popped up on Twitter with a video.
Paul Pogba is a World Cup winner with France, and is one of the most famous players in the world, so when his video gushed about something called Cryptodragons and that he was ‘going to get some dragon eggs’ and ‘gonna be the father of the dragons’ with a shill about the ‘next run of reservations’ then perhaps an NFT inflexion point had been reached. And not only in PR spend.
The Cryptodragons website is to the point, describing it as a ‘unique project built around the Ethereum blockchain and being a metaverse where dragons can breed, battle on Arena, earn Ethereum and more’. One of these Cryptodragons sold for an extraordinary 35 Ethereum (at time of writing more than £62K and considerably more in December).
Other entrepreneurs are also looking at animal-avatars as the perfect way to encourage people into the metaverse and for it to be inclusive, not exclusive, for those who may not be as privileged as Paul Pobga or who can afford 35 ETH.
One such entrepreneur is a Brazilian-born man living in Singapore and who wants to bring the so-called underprivileged into a world where NFTs, cute avatars, games and metaverses can exist in a New Normal axis. His new project is Chickey Chik and his name is Daniel Santos.
Like many Brazilans before him, Santos wanted to be a footballer, but his game wasn’t that good, so he took a different path. After being raised in Rio de Janeiro, he moved to England at the age of 14 to go to school and then moved into investment banking, working at big banks in London, Moscow and around Asia. Unlike many of his peers in the banking world, he was also an early adopter of Bitcoin and in 2016 created a company called Blockchain Labs in 2016 in Singapore.
There’s nothing like a founder’s story to attract interest and he believes he may have hit pay dirt with the aforesaid Chickey Chik, which is powered by his Gamepay company that is partially owned by Blockchain Labs.
His vision is a lot to unpack, but Chickey Chik is apparently a multi-language decentralised ‘play-to-earn’ NFT Gaming token that will hatch into a gaming ecosystem. Players of any age or any income can play to earn money where they can acquire, breed and build an empire filled with rare Chickey Chiks and create a long-term community.
Santos insists that it’s more than a Cryptodragons for people in emerging economies and offers a real chance for the so-called underbanked and up-and-coming working class to take a stake in the entertainment industries they love.
“Everyone talks about helping the underprivileged but we are actually doing it. Chickey Chik is something for everybody and we are focusing on the unbanked, the low-income demographic as well as gamers.
“It is available in seven countries and provides an opportunity for low-income and low-middle income demographic to carry out tasks and activities, including games and earn in-game tokens that can then ultimately be converted into fiat currency or be used to pay for goods and services,” explained Santos.
According to Santos, Chickey Chik is the first project from the Gamepay umbrella, which provides the infrastructure, tools and community for game developers to launch on its platform.
Available on web, iOS and Android, Chickey Chik is available in English and seven other languages and is the inaugural game on the Gamepay platform that will onboard the next generation of gamers and game developers in this exciting, if confusing, New World.
Worlds, however, seem to be something that Santos specialises in, be that Rio De Janeiro, London, Moscow or Singapore, so the approaching metaverse is unlikely to faze his next iteration.
“While hatching chickens do not sound like much in the way of a revolution, we truly believe that concepts such as these will unite gamers and provide a playing field that everybody can access,” he concludes.
As sure as eggs are eggs perhaps.
Monty Munford is a tech journalist and advisor to the DeFi privacy organisation Sienna Network project.
He is a keynote speaker/emcee/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world and has spoken at more than 200 global events interviewing figures such as the late John McAfee, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak (twice in Beirut and Vienna), Kim Kardashian (once in Armenia), Amitabh Bachchan, Ghostface Killah, ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses and many others.
He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC, The Economist, The FT and… City AM.