Animoca Brands to Develop Blockchain-Based MotoGP Manager Game

Per a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 26, Animoca Brands completed a strategic capital raise of A$1 million ($677,600) from a group of investors, including Moses Tang, the founder of AP Capital and founding chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific.

The company is planning to allocate part of the funds to advancing the manager game.

Blockchain and artificial intelligence firm Animoca Brands Corporation Limited has entered into a partnership with sports management company Dorna Sports, S.L. to develop a blockchain-based MotoGP manager game.

Make it to the 2020 MotoGP racing season

The release says that Animoca Brands determined the target date of the 2020 MotoGP racing season to launch the game, and further details:

“Animoca Brands will produce a “manager” style game based on MotoGP intellectual property that will consist of a selection of Collectibles linked directly to the core gameplay; the Manager Game will utilise blockchain technologies and custom-developed smart contracts to enable users to purchase, collect, view, use, and transfer the Collectibles that will be part of the gameplay.”

As part of the agreement, the game is set to be released on various platforms, including  mobile devices, PC, Mac, Web and game consoles.

Bringing blockchain into the video game world

Companies have been actively experimenting with blockchain technology in the video game world. Most recently, Naspers, the largest shareholder of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, participated in a $15 million investment in blockchain game developer Immutable.

On Sept. 17, the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) revealed that one of the largest decentralized apps in the world, online real-time economic strategy game Prospectors, was launching on the WAX blockchain.

Also this month, open-source blockchain platform Waves and blockchain game distribution platform The Abyss announced plans to launch a blockchain-based marketplace of digital goods and in-game items.

Æ Ventures’ Blockchain Accelerator Reaches $1.6M in Investments

Æ Ventures, an investment company providing initial funding, acceleration and advisory support to blockchain projects, announced that it’s Starfleet Accelerator program surpassed $1.6M in investments and opened applications for the third round.

Mentoring and funding for blockchain startups

Per the press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 26, the third edition of Starfleet Accelerator program takes place in Malta and offers its members mentorship and investment opportunities up to $100,000. The program’s launch is planned for early November and blockchain startups have to apply by Oct. 20.

The initiative will start with what Starfleet Accelerator calls “Genesis Week” – a period during which “participating startups receive access to mentorship and support in areas such as business models, token economics, blockchain infrastructure, and æternity apps architecture, from the best experts in the industry.”

A blockchain accelerator in India

The company also announced that its first 2020 program will take place in India. Æ Ventures CEO Nikola Stojanow commented on the development:

“We are amazed at the growth of the Starfleet accelerator program from its start to now and we can’t wait to launch the third edition with new companies breaking blockchain barriers. … Hosting the program in Malta and India presents new opportunities to engage the burgeoning blockchain culture in these regions and we’re proud to continue to foster global blockchain growth through these communities.”

As Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 23, blockchain analytics firm Elementus raised $3.5 million from backers including a sister company of crypto-friendly asset manager Fidelity Investments.

Ant Financial and Bayer to Jointly Develop Blockchain for Agriculture

Bayer Crop Science has agreed to work with Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, to develop a blockchain-based system for agricultural product monitoring.

The companies signed a letter of intent to utilize blockchain technology to increase efficiency, improve the income of farmers, ensure the production of high-quality food and aid in the digitization of agriculture, according to a Sept. 25 announcement.

The agreement would bring together the portfolio and digital-farming technologies of Monheim am Rhein, Germany-based Bayer Crop Science, and the blockchain division of Hangzhou, China-based Ant Financial.

No information was provided about the size of the deal or the structure of the relationship.

“Together with Bayer, our exploration of blockchain in agriculture will improve the transparency and responsiveness of its supply chain, and bring more value to consumers, farmers and the society”, Geoff Jiang, vice president and general manager of Ant Financial’s Intelligent Technology Group, said in the statement.

Ant Financial, founded in 2014, is 33 percent owned by Alibaba. Its brands include Alipay, one of the two dominant mobile payment services in China.

The company has made a number of blockchain-related investments and announcements in recent years. It raised $14 billion in 2018 to pursue new technological developments, including those related blockchain, AI and IoT.

Early this month, Ant Financial said that it was developing a blockchain system for charity platforms, improving the transparency of the process and preventing charities from inflating their fund-raising totals.

In May, the company invested in a $10 million Series A round for QEDIT, a developer of privacy solutions for the blockchain. In March, two new Shanghai-based companies were introduced, Ant Blockchain Technology and Ant Doublechain Technology, both owned by Ant Financial .

Ant Financial is also working to utilize the blockchain for remittances, last year introducing a system for the transfer of funds between the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Bayer Crop Science, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has been actively working on the blockchain developments. Earlier this year, it signed a deal with BlockApps, a ConsenSys spinout.

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