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South Korea Web3 Startups Gets $100M From Solana Investment

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Web3 is the new internet experience set to alter the way we view, interact and use the Internet. The decentralised, open-source, flexible and all-inviting platform is one of the most sought after and indeed must
be prepared for. You can’t afford not to be in the know, especially in the age of swift technological innovations.

The crypto market on the other hand has been quite inconsistent for the past few months, but users are not dismayed nor investors giving up either.

Solana is a public and open-source blockchain platform with smart contract functionality and also the latest It is to invest in the web3 technology. Solana Ventures and Solana Foundation, developers of Solana cryptocurrency have set up a $100 million investment and grant fund for South Korean web3 startups. Johnny Lee, general manager of games at Solana Labs told techpadi that the funds will be channelled to the development of Defi, NFTs, GameFi and gaming studios in South Korea.

The fund is backed by capital from the Solana community treasury in addition to the venture arm’s pool of capital, according to Austin Federa, head of communications at Solana Labs.

South Korea Crypto Gaming Sector
According to data from Statista, the overall gaming market in South Korea is projected to be valued at $18.3 billion this year.

While this figure accounts for the whole gaming industry and not crypto-related games, the number has increased steadily. Andrew Campbell, a program lead for Esports and content creator programs at Sky Mavis (the company that develops Axie Infinity), told Blockworks,

“There’s such a strong gaming culture in South Korea, and their distribution channels are a lot more centralized there.”

In what is the world’s fiercest gaming market, South Korean tech and gaming leaders like Nexon, Smilegate, and Netmarble have been pinning hopes on blockchain tech to create new business models. For instance, with a market cap of $21.43 billion, Nexon made headlines in 2021 for buying 1,171 bitcoins (BTC).

According to Lee, “A big portion of Korea’s gaming industry is moving into web3, We want to be flexible; there’s a wide range of project sizes, team sizes, so some of [our investments] will be venture-sized checks.”

Lee predicts that there will be more “high-quality and fun games” launching on the Solana blockchain in the second half of 2022. These games will have the potential to alter the current perception that play-to-earn games aren’t fun, he said.
“We’re confident that is about to change.”

In a long run, web3 games will be adopted just as much as free-to-play games on mobile devices were. “There was a lot of pushback from gamers and developers on web3. But given the prolific growth of the web3 industry, the timelines are significantly reduced.

“Free-to-play adoption probably took eight years, so if we say it’ll take four years for web3 games to be the dominant revenue model, I’m pretty comfortable with that,” he added.

There have been critics in the past about play-to-earn gaming like Axie Infinity existing only for users to make money and not actually for enjoying the game. However, several gaming studios in the past 6 months have focused on improving gameplay in hopes of expanding their reach beyond crypto-native gamers.

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We are the same, we may only be different in our experiences, values and exposures. Technology is a big part of my experience, learning is one of my values and writing my credible means of exposure.
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