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(Corrected) Exclusive Q&A with RJ Mark, Co-Founder of Verasity

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Verasity is venturing into new fields of online gaming and video streaming where no one has gone before. If they succeed, it would be a game-changer. That will quietly redefine online advertising.

Will Verasity succeed?

Only time can answer that. But it is moving in the right direction. Here we have RJ Mark, the Co-Founder of Verasity, talking about the company’s ambitions and plans. The best thing about the company is that its products can financially benefit the end customer.

How?

Read on the interview for more details.

Q. Let’s start with your personal story. Our readers love to learn more about top entrepreneurs. Tell us about yourself.

A. I have been in mobile gaming and video content for over 15 years. I founded and built a global video advertising business with multinational entertainment company Outfit 7, the creators of the hit mobile app Talking Tom which received 7 billion downloads. That is 7 billion downloads of one app! This converted into a very successful exit. Now I am co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer for Verasity. I am responsible for the gaming and advertising side of the business and am very bullish about the future for Verasity.

Q. Let’s shift the focus to Verasity. It is a brand new concept that can revolutionize the video advertising sector? Are there any specific circumstances that led to the founding of Verasity?

A. In previous positions as executive management for Level Up Media, Snack Media and Dugout Limited, I had first-hand appreciation of the engagement and monetization problems that large-scale sites have in trying to get people to watch ads when the ads are the sole monetization vehicle. At different times these sites had over 70M monthly users but ads turned users off and harmed engagement while monetization fell off. Verasity grew out of the opportunity to provide users with a universal platform for watching ads and content and being rewarded for it. The Verasity SDK can be implemented into most video player platforms by publishers using these video players including YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, and most other video players. We recently added iVideoSmart, the largest video platform in South East Asia.

Q. Now on to what must now be a familiar question. You must have been asked these questions a number of times before. But for the sake of the starters among our readers, let me repeat those: Is Verasity a video-sharing platform? An advertising network? A game publishing platform? Or another crypto wallet? What exactly is it?

A. Please check out the verasity.tv  portal. The nav bar sets out all our achievements so far:

We have customized a gaming platform for our own solutions integrating our VeraWallet. We are not a video sharing platform. However, we do provide B2B solutions for other online video sharing platforms to provide VRA rewards to increase both engagement and monetization. So we have both a B2B component for publishers to use our tech to reward VRA (ECR20) & VRAB (BEP2) and a consumer platform in which we publish third party gaming apps and support over 550 games in our Verasity GameStore completely integrated with our VeraWallet that has fiat gateway compatibility. Because of the Covid 19 outbreak we have shifted some resources to rewarded gaming which includes real-world rewards for players via our cryptocurrency, built-in ads and jackpot tournaments so that users can earn money while at home. In fact, we are now the only real-world rewarded crypto GameStore that provides real money (not just mods, tickets or vouchers) for winners. All our products can be found at verasity.tv are integrated via VeraWallet.

Q. It is quite clear that this is going to be beneficial to the viewers. In what ways do you think it is you going to benefit the advertisers? Their costs are likely to go up, with an additional layer coming up in the video-streaming sphere. Isn’t it the case?

A. Actually no. These are programmatic ads that are bought and sold via programmatic exchanges, the largest ad pool in the world worth over $250B per year. Our proprietary ad stack connects automatically to these exchange markets and doesn’t add any costs to the advertiser whatsoever.

Q. Let’s consider the case of publishers. They will surely get more attention with Verasity. How has been their response over the last three years?

A. Publishers that are using Verasity technology to give their users rewards for watching content and ads have sharply accelerated their monthly views and monetization. Since December 2019, Rewarded Videos & Ads watched increased 100% and Unique Video Views on Publisher sites increased 40%. To see the actual metrics go here.

Q. Youtube and Facebook are two big players in the video advertising phase. A host of OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon are making inroads. How does Verasity fit in the midst of a real competition for viewers’ attention?

A. We don’t compete with other platforms. We integrate with them so that the platform can utilize our tech seamlessly and transparently without changing the workflow of the publisher or the habits of the users. We don’t believe it’s possible to compete with YouTube effectively so our SDK can be implemented on YouTube in a few minutes for any domain that the publisher owns. Our SDKs are available on YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, JWPlayer, iVideoSmart, Brightcove, VideoJS, Kaltura, Flowplayer and others comprising 90% of the video player platforms. In effect, we are a layer on top of any of these platforms which can be used by over 2 million publishers with billions of monthly ad views.

Q. What about Verasity’s rewards? Don’t you think rewards in the form of crypto token will limit the acceptability in many countries?

A.It’s more about non-crypto users than it is about country limitations which is why our VeraWallet supports fiat-gateway conversions and soon to include credit cards worldwide so that you can load up on VRA with Visa and Mastercard and when you want to sell VRA, off-ramp using the same VeraWallet. Users can use the VeraWallet and reap rewards without even knowing there is a cryptocurrency involved. This is the best way to scale in non-crypto environments – all via VeraWallet.

Q. Let’s now talk about Verasity’s newly launched GameStore. What is special about it? How do game developers benefit from it, and how do user players benefit?

A. In January 2020, we announced our partnerships to integrate global game studio publishers including: BigPoint, European Games Group, Bytro Labs, Gamigo, Whow Games, InLogic, Imperia Online, Troll Games, and the famous Tinbo titles.

With the Verasity GameStore, you can play hundreds of cool, casual games. Play as a single-player, try a PVP game or even create your own tournaments and challenge your friends worldwide but from the safety of your own home.

We expect to scale the GameStore to tens of millions of users with new titles and more games coming on during 2020.

We have a substantial marketing budget to scale this and the budget is mostly non crypto related.

And since this is available via our GameStore and VeraWallet we have complete control and are not answerable to Google or IOS so can bring forth products that couldn’t otherwise be in the app stores because of real-world rewards. Exciting way for people at home to play and earn real money.

In the GameStore, VRA is used to buy credits, earn while playing and watch ads and VRA is won playing Tournaments. This is the first full tokenomics of the use of Crypto in Gaming. As this scales @verasitytech revenues will explode. The first full tokenomics of the use of Crypto in Gaming. In fact, we are the only real-world rewarded crypto GameStore that provides real money (not just mods, tickets or vouchers) for winners. We think this latter activity will grow fastest given the current pandemic and stay at home environment.

Other crypto gaming projects failed because the immediate problem was that both Google and IOS T&S don’t permit real-world rewards for any games so any developer who tried to implement them was at risk to be banned. We looked at all of the past models and concluded that a dedicated GameStore utilizing our own apps would scale. We also started with our own app Triviata as a test case to see how we can drive usage and this gave us the confidence to develop the GameStore. We are confident it will scale because people want real-world rewards but can’t obtain them for any Google or IOS apps. And with the fiat gateway non-crypto gamers can simply understand the USD value for their efforts.

Q. Is there any impact on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Verasity’s operations? Hope you are all safe and healthy. Some online gaming and betting platforms have reportedly received a surge in visitors during the near-global lock-down period. How has it been going for Verasity’s platforms during these times?

A. The coronavirus is rapidly expanding and it’s not a joke. Countries are going into lock down and economic activity will contract severely. We think that Verasity is well placed because gaming will expand as more people are stuck at home. The timeline is probably longer than people realize.

Even after the immediate threat ends, SARS and swine flu taught us that it takes 2–3 years for the pandemic to actually die out so during that period more people will be gaming and trying to earn money from Home.

The GameStore and our own game apps will lead the way and scale during these times.

Fortunately no one on our team has fallen ill and we have a system to bring food to our developers so that they don’t have to go to stores. Hopefully the quarantine keeps all of us healthy.

With the Verasity GameStore, you can play hundreds of cool, casual games. Play as a single-player, try a PVP game or even create your own tournaments and challenge your friends worldwide but from the safety of your own home.

We expect to scale the GameStore to tens of millions of users with new titles and more games coming on during 2020.

We have a substantial marketing budget to scale this and the budget is mostly non crypto related.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/iKOVJWjqBdM

Q. Now onto the final question. What are your views about the growth prospects of the post-corona gaming industry? Would love to hear your insights about how things could move once the dust of the Corona outbreak settles.

A. Since the outbreak, concurrent users playing or watching game play has increased 30% month-over-month. Engagement has grown 9.4%. In March, Xbox Live and Nintendo crashed, demonstrating the significantly higher loads on these online platforms. In the same time frame, Italy internet providers crashed due to League of Legends and other games.

Gaming is becoming the only social anchor as kids play with their school friends and stay connected. Gaming is a form of social media and interaction for many who disdain the physical world for the virtual world. With social distancing becoming the norm, gaming becomes more popular and acceptable to communities and people that never considered gaming will give it a try. Verasity will add chat and other social implementations to its GameStore to take advantage of this phenomenon. Further as one of the few places to earn real-world rewards through tournaments, competitions and watching content, the Verasity GameStore will attract many that are unfortunately unemployed and will remain so for a number of years until the economy repairs itself.

Cryptocurrency

321CryptoCasino Strikes Industry First With TrustTracker

George Miller

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321CryptoCasino Strikes Industry First With TrustTracker
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Cryptocurrency operator 321cryptocasino has agreed on an industry-first partnership with TrustTracker™, a new blockchain-based tool designed to help solve the issue of player trust in the casino sector.
321cryptocasino players can now use TrustTracker™ to check that the result of every spin or bet was the same as recorded in their transaction history.

TrustTracker™ uses technology powered by the CasinoCoin blockchain to store the results of every transaction. Once integrated via a simple API, players can then use the TrustTracker™app to enter their bet code, or scan a QR code, and receive a near-instant confirmation that the result on the ledger is legitimate.

As well as being a powerful trust-building tool for casinos at a time when public perceptions of the industry are shaky, the data captured by TrustTracker™ can also be used by operators to build new products, better engage players and even boost acquisition by sharing data on everything from RTP to jackpot frequency.

Tomy Simonian, PM at 321cryptocasino said: “We understand that casino players are increasingly demanding when it comes to issues surrounding transparency and trust. TrustTracker™ allows us to place the legitimacy of our product at the heart of our engagement, acquisition and wider growth strategy.”

Andrew French, MD at TrustTracker™, said: “We have built TrustTracker™ to solve a very real trust issue within the casino industry at the moment. By utilising the CasinoCoin blockchain, we are able to seamlessly prove to players that the games they enjoy are legitimate. We aim to become the standard for accountability and visibility that our industry aspires to.”

Last year, the UK Gambling Commission conducted a survey which showed that just 29 per cent of people agreed with the statement: “Do you agree that gambling is conducted fairly and can be trusted.” This was down from 48 per cent in 2010.

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Blockchain

Blockchain Offers Cloudbet Players the Fairest Odds in Soccer

George Miller

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Blockchain Offers Cloudbet Players the Fairest Odds in Soccer
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

  • Crypto advantage allows sportsbook to offer commission-free bets
  • Adds to other benefits blockchain technology provides to players

 

One crypto sportsbook is using the English Premier League’s return to demonstrate how blockchain technology helps it to offer customers fairer prices to maximise their winnings.

Cloudbet, the pioneering bitcoin operator, recently announced that for each remaining game in the EPL season, it would charge no commission on pre-match bets for 1000 players, allowing them to access the best odds — and therefore the highest returns — on the market.

The “zero-margin” campaign grabbed the attention of some seasoned industry observers, who questioned the sustainability of essentially giving up pre-match profit for the 92 remaining games in the season. It also draws attention to how Cloudbet leveraged its crypto background to offer players the fairest prices on the street, contrasting against a backdrop of improbable odds and gimmicks used by some operators that have dented the industry’s credibility.

The answer for Cloudbet lies in the blockchain technology that underpins its operations, and has helped it generate substantial savings from avoiding costs faced by fiat operators. Cloudbet passes on these savings to players by extending generous bonuses or, in the EPL case, removing the margin it charges on sports events.

Leading up to the Arsenal-Manchester City clash on June 17, Cloudbet had odds of 8.77 for a Gunners victory and 1.39 for a City win, compared to the average of 8.36 and 1.36, respectively, of five sportsbooks compiled by Bitedge.com. Cloudbet priced a draw at 5.88, compared with the book average of 5.74.

The EPL campaign is an extension of the operator’s long-standing “best odds” campaigns that feature margins as low as 2% on sports including soccer, basketball, American football and mixed martial arts.

“Ultimately, we’re aiming to make sports more engaging for our players and what better way to supercharge the experience than by offering the best prices that are mathematically possible,” a Cloudbet spokesman said. “The primary reason that we can do that is because of blockchain.”

The capacity to provide fairer pricing is yet another expression of the empowering and democratising characteristics of blockchain for the gaming industry. It’s another clear benefit the technology offers players, on top of the more widely touted faster transaction times, secure fund storage and privacy protection.

Founded in 2013, Cloudbet has been making waves since relaunching itself in late April. While it has built a legacy as a trusted bitcoin operator, the firm has taken a bold step toward making the new Cloudbet.com more accessible to mainstream players with the addition of USDT betting, along with easy credit-card coin purchases. Cloudbet also accepts ethereum and bitcoin cash.

Besides soccer, the new Cloudbet.com offers odds on a multitude of sports and esports markets, while the Cloudbet casino has hundreds of slots and a live-dealer experience with all classic table games.

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Cryptocurrency

DAOGroup to capitalise on return of mainstream sports betting

George Miller

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DAOGroup to capitalise on return of mainstream sports betting
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Company boosts business development team to support COVID surge in crypto gambling

 DAOGroup, the iGaming cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions provider, has geared up to capitalise on the return of mainstream sports betting by significantly strengthening its business development team.

The company unveiled its flagship product, DAOWallet, in early 2020, delivering an advanced cryptocurrency-fiat gateway that enables operators to offer third-party cryptocurrency transactions without the need for additional AML and compliance procedures.

With a surge in demand for crypto gaming in recent months, DAOGroup plans to unveil a suite of new cryptocurrency and blockchain-based gaming products to help operators attract an increasingly diverse player base across global markets.

In line with its ambitious plans to establish itself as the industry’s partner of choice for crypto and blockchain solutions, the company has hired Yelena Kensborn as Sales and Marketing Executive and Adam Lee as Business Development Manager.

Yelena brings a wealth of blockchain marketing experience to her role, having worked across Europe, Asia and LatAm. Joining from Lucky.io, the Malta-based blockchain casino where she served as Head of Community and PR, Yelena will be tasked with building the company’s brand ahead of its upcoming launches.

Adam Lee brings with him a proven commercial track record from across the UK B2B tech industry and will be focused on driving the company’s sales operations. Both will report to DAOGroup’s recently appointed Chief Commercial Officer, Glen Bullen, an iGaming veteran with over 20 years’ experience across senior commercial roles.

Commenting on their appointment, Glen Bullen, CCO at DAOGroup, said: “I’m very pleased to be strengthening the company’s commercial team at this key time, when demand has never been higher.”

He added: “As expected, we’ve seen a strong increase in the demand for crypto-gaming products during the recent lockdown, with operators taking this time to ensure they are best-positioned when gaming returns to full speed.

“We’re here to help the industry benefit without the compliance headache, and I’m thrilled to be welcoming Yelena and Lee aboard. Both are strong individuals with proven credentials who will no doubt be key in helping our partners appeal to an even broader player base as mainstream betting returns.”

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