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South Korean gaming company Wemade floats $100m web3 fund

gaming-wemade-whampoa-float-100-million-web3-fund
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South Korean gaming company Wemade floats $100m web3 fund

Wemade Co., the South Korean video game developer, announced the launch of a $100 million web3 fund in collaboration with Singapore-based investment firm Whampoa Digital.

Fostering web3 adoption 

In a collaborative effort, the two companies have formed the Wemade Web3 Fund, dedicated to investing in blockchain gaming projects, particularly focusing on the Middle East region. The fund aims to expedite the adoption of blockchain technology, as stated in the announcement.

Additionally, Wemade is actively constructing the Wemix Play Center, a commercial space centered around blockchain gaming, situated in Dubai’s DIFC Innovation Hub.

As part of the initiative, blockchain gaming entities receiving grants from the fund are anticipated to establish office spaces within the Wemix Play Center. This strategic move aims to foster cross-collaboration and mentorship among the supported companies, according to the announcement.

Whampoa Group Senior Partner Aureole Foong stated in a released statement that the partnership will enable them to lead the way into uncharted territories within the digital asset industry, extending beyond their current established sectors. Additionally, it aims to encourage innovation in the Middle East, recognized as one of the fastest-growing regions in the Web3 space.

Wemade CEO Henry Chang remarked in a statement that, through their collaboration with Whampoa Digital, a prominent investment firm in Singapore, they aim to exchange valuable insights concerning blockchain technology. He highlighted that both parties are contributing their distinctive expertise to enrich the partnership.

Back in March, Wemade entered into a partnership with Space and Time, a decentralized hybrid transactional database and analytic data warehouse. 

The collaboration aimed to enhance and broaden the infrastructure for blockchain gaming. Space and Time’s platform integrates on-chain and off-chain data within a single trustless environment, optimizing on-chain gaming experiences. Wemade leveraged Space and Time’s suite of developer tools to empower gamers with increased ownership and control over their digital assets. 

Wemade and web3 

Last year, Wemade, took legal action by filing injunctions against four major local cryptocurrency exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, to challenge the delisting of its WEMIX cryptocurrency from those platforms. 

The decision to file the injunctions followed the exchanges’ announcements of WEMIX’s impending delisting, citing reasons such as inaccuracies in circulating supply figures.

Wemade contended that the exchanges’ decisions were based on vague reasoning, leading to damage for investors. Despite Wemade’s efforts, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the injunction, allowing the exchanges to proceed with the delisting of WEMIX. 

In November 2022, Major South Korean exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, delisted Wemade’s WEMIX token, alleging that there was a distribution of more tokens than previously stated.

Wemade’s injunction against the delisting was dismissed by the Seoul Central District Court. WEMIX went on to lose about 60% of its value in 24 hours and over 90% in 30 days. This legal dispute highlights challenges in the cryptocurrency industry, specifically related to listing and delisting on major platforms.

Earlier this year, The South Korean government banned the domestic distribution of blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) games, including non-fungible token (NFT) games, due to concerns over speculation (i.e., gambling). The ban was imposed by the South Korean authorities, who cited a 15-year-old incident where a game rewarded players with gift certificates that led to cash centers outside arcades, where players would turn in their certificates to grab cash. 

The ban has caused a significant setback to the gaming industry, with South Korean P2E game makers releasing blockchain-based games abroad, hoping that the local ban will be lifted. The ban also requires Apple and Google to remove P2E games from their respective app stores. 

Since early 2021, the South Korean government has been opposing blockchain gaming within its borders.

According to Decrypt, Wemade confirmed that it won’t release blockchain-powered adaptations of its existing games in Korea.

Still, the chairman of Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee has shown a welcoming attitude toward blockchain-based games if they do not contain speculative elements. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol had promised to abolish the P2E ban in his election campaign, and Wemade CEO expects South Korea to lift the ban on P2E in 2024.