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Why is trading in-game digital items so complex?

12月 11, 2017

Online games on the Steam platform such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS allow players to trade weapons and other in-game items.

And billions of dollars worth of these items, called skins, are bought and sold around the globe by 400 million gamers who use them to adorn their weaponry or characters, as a store of value, or simply to collect.

Here’s the thing: Trading skins is surprisingly complex.

First, while the process of transacting skins has become much simpler over the past three years, behind-the-scenes complexities due lack of usable payment methods and potential for fraud limits the industry from reaching its full potential.

Then there’s the skins themselves, each of which can have thousands of different variations per category, and market-driven price changes that require constant research and maintenance in order to master the trading process.

Why trading skins is complex:

So, where do strangers — from different countries, who speak different languages, hold different currencies, and have no reason to trust one another — go to safely transact their skins which hold values ranging from pennies to tens of thousands of dollars?

They go to centralized exchanges that support the buying and selling of in-game virtual items, the largest of which is OPSkins.com. OPSkins Marketplace launched in 2015 with the mission of making buying and selling skins as easy as possible. OPSkins is now the world’s largest skin marketplace, with millions of customers across the globe safely buying and selling popular video game skins every day. Yet while OPSkins has brought tremendous improvements to the $50 billion skin collecting community, many pain points remain in merchandising, payment processing and item settlement.

The dearth of simple cross-border deposit options to conveniently convert fiat currency into skins, coupled with high transaction fees and minimum deposit requirements has restricted the size of the skin collecting and trading market. In addition, the potential for payment fraud requires that OPSkins limit the number of customer transactions it can accept.

That’s why OPSkins is introducing a solution to cover these pain points and more: the WAX token.

Why skins are complex:

The millions of customers using OPSkins each year are well-versed in the intricacies of the items they trade, as minor variations can drastically affect the price of an item.

For example there are thousands of possible combinations for knives depending on a range of factors including the skin type, wear percentage (how scratched the blade is), exterior, rarity of the pattern (more or less of certain colors in the blade’s appearance), and whether the knife is StatTrak (meaning it tracks the number of confirmed kills).

Because skins are digital items with a store of value and subject to market driven price changes, savvy traders obsessively track trends, pricing data, sales history, market forces, and news releases.

Many gamers have already been exposed to cryptocurrency from their use of bitcoin on OPSkins to buy items and cashout earnings from their item sales. WAX operates in accordance with the same design principles of bitcoin — using a secure network to rapidly transfer deposits and withdrawals — but it harnesses the power of the Ethereum blockchain to add an intelligence layer which enables a plethora of new trading capabilities. We are excited to share these new features with our community as they become available in the coming months.

The WAX token is a revolutionary step forward for skin collectors and traders. The WAX powered ecosystem will massively improve the visibility of the global supply of skins available for purchase. It will also make those skins far more accessible to the global pool of buyers. Behind the scenes, WAX eliminates many costly back-office complexities required in operating a centralized marketplace.

The founders and advisors of OPSkins have been deeply involved in the development of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. We believe the time has now come to introduce our customers and the broader skin trading community to all the benefits that blockchain technology and smart contracts can provide. Video gamers are already accustomed to acquiring and trading virtual items. We see the blockchain revolution as the natural next step in the skin collecting and trading industry.

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