Leading up to the listing of ENJ on Crypto.com Exchange, Enjin CTO Witek Radomski & CMO Ilija Rolovic participated in an AMA with the Crypto.com community.
Just over a year ago, we made our entry into the Crypto.com ecosystem, with the addition of Enjin Coin (ENJ) to the Crypto.com App and MCO Visa Cards. This enabled users to buy ENJ with fiat and spend their ENJ at 40 million merchants worldwide through the MCO Visa Card.
This month, we've had the pleasure of working with the team at Crypto.com to further integrate ENJ with their ecosystem—and bring exciting new opportunities to our community:
Leading up to the listing of ENJ on Crypto.com exchange, our Co-founder & CTO Witek Radomski and CMO Ilija Rolovic hopped into the Crypto.com Telegram community to answer questions about all things Enjin—from adoption and scaling to tokenomics and marketing.
Here's what they had to say.
Welcome to Enjin x Crypto.com Community AMA! Today we are welcoming our guest from Enjin - Witek Radomski, Co-founder & CTO of Enjin & Ilija Rolovic, CMO of Enjin.
Witek: Hey guys, I'm Witek, the co-founder and CTO of Enjin. I'm a futurist and I'm very interested in how people interact with digital assets and their virtual identities.
For the last few years at Enjin, we have been hard at work making decentralized assets more accessible to gamers, the public, and developers. We created Enjin Coin in 2017 to serve as a liquid utility token that becomes staked into each digital asset you tokenize—and ENJ will continue to be woven into much of Enjin's ecosystem in the future.
We've focused on video games since the early days, since game developers will be early adopters in harnessing and monetizing the concept of verifiable scarcity, but our technology and vision has massive potential in most other industries as well.
Ilija: Howdy everyone, my name is Ilija and I'm your friendly neighborhood Chief Marketing Officer @Enjin. I'm a hardcore gamer, coffee addict, passionate Trekkie, gaming industry veteran, and have been leading Enjin's marketing department since late 2017.
Our mission at Enjin is simple: to make it make it easier for everyone to create and experience video games of the future, which is why we've created a product ecosystem fueled by Enjin Coin.
Why use ENJ as a reserve? Wouldn’t it be more practical to use stablecoin?
Witek: Enjin Coin is staked inside each unit of ERC-1155 assets minted. This gives the item itself liquidity and immediate tangible value in the digital world. The asset creator can choose the amount of ENJ they want to assign per item—a minuscule amount, or ungodly amounts like in the Monolith (1,155,777 ENJ).
By deciding the ENJ value, the creator puts a certain amount of calculated faith in the Enjin ecosystem and the past and future other projects on the platform. The entire collective of Enjin users indirectly benefits from each new creator joining in and staking some amount of value (ENJ) into their items.
The game's players or the users of these items also know they can always re-gain some of their liquidity if the particular project or token doesn't live up to their expectations. In the end, as the number of interesting projects using Enjin grows, it will be natural for the market to increase for ENJ.
This is why using a stablecoin would be counter-productive.
The Enjin ecosystem grows organically, with ENJ being fed into new assets, fees, and other utilities coming in the future. Early creators will stake larger amounts of ENJ for their initial items—if their game or project is a success, the item's market value will increase because of demand.
But as the entire Enjin Platform grows, every project and user that has participated will also see the market value of their ENJ locked inside each item respond to the entire ecosystem, rewarding them for their participation.
This is similar to how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin also grow organically as adoption increases, and the crypto community is quite familiar with these mechanics by now.
Damian (Crypto.com): That’s very neat. It sounds as if the creation of one item creates a ripple effect that is felt around the entire ecosystem. The ability to then “melt” that item if it doesn’t meet your expectations is a creative way of ensuring a positive experience all around.
Can ENJ revolutionize the gaming world beyond the monetary issue?
Ilija: We moved into the blockchain space 2.5 years ago with zero products. Today, ENJ powers over a billion blockchain assets. As far as revolutions go, I think we're on a pretty good track.
The Monetization aspect of our ecosystem is beyond important. It empowers game developers to:
Besides being absolutely fair to gamers, blockchain-powered monetization gives them the ability to earn while playing.
Beyond monetization, there's nifty marketing stuff you can do with our products, too.
Example: Imagine scanning a QR code after watching the second episode of the third season of Witcher—and getting a badass sword you can use in some future MMORPG created by CD Projekt Red.
That said—monetization, marketing, and funding opportunities that our ecosystem brings to the table are dwarfed by the sheer immensity of epic, next-generation game mechanics that are made possible with just a lil' bit of blockchain magic.
That's what we're excited about. That's our vision. That's the future we're doing our darn hardest to build.
Damian (Crypto.com): Wow. As someone who grew up playing a lot of video games, it’s hard not to get excited hearing that. My young self could only dream of such an immersive gaming experience. No wonder you folks are so excited to build that reality.
The previous blockchain gaming craze was CryptoKitties which brought Ethereum to its knees. ENJ is an ERC-20 token; how does ENJ avoid a repeat?
Witek: Ethereum is an incredible blockchain, and it has definitely been seeing gas prices increasing—especially lately.
Ethereum 2.0 and improvements such as EIP-1155 will help reduce high gas fees, but we realized early on that committing every transaction to the core blockchain would not be scalable, even while gas prices were at 1 Gwei.
Since 2018, Enjin has been hard at work on Efinity, our upcoming scaling solution. Our goals were very clear:
We've seen security issues with smaller blockchains like Steemit, and we never saw the viability of moving to our own blockchain.
Emin Gün Sirer tweeted recently, "We will see a series of failures of various altcoins in the next year. We decentralize protocols to avoid these kinds of failures."
Enjin's DNA is tied to Ethereum, and that blockchain will continue to provide a stable, secure backend to Efinity's nimble scaling solution.
The massive amount of transactional and NFT data that is generated in the new age of digital ownership doesn't all need to be recorded on Ethereum's chain, though. These very specific and frequent transmissions of value, fees, trades and micropayments will easily scale outside of the base blockchain.
Enjin Coin will be an integral part of the system, and give every single ENJ holder new spectacular utility for their coins—whether you're a developer, gamer, or just a member of the community holding ENJ.
We'll be releasing more news on Efinity this year as we continue development :)
Damian (Crypto.com): Sounds exciting! Scalability is always a hot topic in this industry. It’s fascinating seeing how different players are making strong advances to combat the issue. I’m looking forward to seeing Efinity come into play.
What happens when people lose interest in a certain game? Can a user convert or trade their item/character into another ingame-token with ENJ? Can we play the next new game, and still use our ENJ there?
Ilija: If you get bored, you've got 3 options when it comes to ENJ-backed gaming assets.
That said, backing assets with ENJ provides an immense psychological and practical value to gamers, as they get peace of mind knowing their items will have real-life value no matter what.
Gamers getting bored and selling their assets is not a big problem—most of them can easily cash out today.
One major problem we are trying to solve is the fact that game developers don't typically earn anything on this secondary trading, which costs them up to 40% of revenue... we're talking about tens of billions of USD a year lost to illegal gray market trading.
With the Enjin Platform, game developers can easily set trading fees and automatically earn a percentage of every single trade, which is pretty nifty.
Damian (Crypto.com): This is especially cool for me. I know I’ve personally invested a lot of time (and money $$$) into certain games and then lost interest in them. All of that time and money spent is now gone into the ether. I really love the fact that not only are you solving this to a degree, you give the user the option to deal with it as they see fit. I love that.
Is the Enjin Platform only used for gaming, or are there other industries you believe will adopt your tools?
Witek: We have actually been developing enterprise use cases outside of gaming. Our partnership with Microsoft on the Azure Heroes rewards program is a great example of how the Enjin Platform allows for turnkey operation.
Microsoft is able to quickly create blockchain-based badges with the Enjin Platform and seamlessly distribute them via QR codes using Enjin Beam.
This technology has now been used in multiple conferences with tens of thousands of people (most recently at the Microsoft Virtual Developer Conference), and we are seeing a major increase in interest recently.
The COVID-19 situation forced everyone to re-think how to run digital conferences. With the absence of real physical swag, attendees can claim digital badges and later redeem them for perks or being mailed actual swag once they have an NFT collection.
We're also speaking with educational institutions about virtual identity and certification on the blockchain. Enjin's technology on Ethereum can be used to replace physical diplomas in the near future.
We've been speaking to several other large enterprises who we can't name publicly yet, but a common theme is wanting to explore gamification using blockchain. The major concerns of larger companies so far have been the initial hurdles of onboarding the public to using crypto wallets, and the difficulty of developing for blockchain.
Damian (Crypto.com): This is a great example of how you can start with one pursuit, and have it turn into a whole different adventure. I’m excited to see how these new applications play out. From the diversion from the gaming industry to the innovation of the NFC > Physical Merch swap, it’s amazing to see the endless possibilities blockchain technology can offer for years to come!
There are so many crypto wallets out there on the market, and all of them can do almost the same job. In what aspect Enjin Wallet is unique from the rest?
Ilija: We launched the Enjin Wallet back in early 2018. Android-only, basic features, nice looking but nothing special. At that time, our primary goal was to make the app as secure as technically possible on a mobile device—an effort that peaked when we partnered with Samsung to ensure that the Enjin Wallet became the first to support Samsung's Blockchain Keystore.
It's safe to say the Enjin Wallet has grown up quite a bit since those early days, having evolved into a Swiss Army knife for blockchain—a clean, simple, multi-functional tool you can take everywhere. The metaphor is pretty darn accurate, as the Enjin Wallet comets packed with everything from a multi-swap exchange to an integrated DApp browser.
What makes it unique, though? If you really think about it, simply the fact that it's a core component of our ecosystem, and deeply integrated with all of our products and services.
It's the only wallet that you can use to store, melt, and trade ERC-1155 assets.
It's how you connect to Enjin-powered games—basically a gaming inventory in your pocket. Heck, it's how game developers hook up their projects to their Ethereum addresses.
It's a reliable, usable, robust tool for everyone from those that never interacted with blockchain before, like mainstream game developers and gamers, to experienced blockchain enthusiasts and cryptocurrency trading veterans.
Damian (Crypto.com): I remember that so clearly. There was a lot of buzz when Enjin became supported in the Samsung Blockchain Keystore. That’s actually the moment Enjin really caught my attention and I began researching some of the great things you folks are doing in the gaming industry. By the sounds of it, I think a "Swiss Army Knife for Blockchain" is a great metaphor for the ecosystem you’re building.
Looking back on your Timeline/Roadmap, we've seen great steps forward! What are the next big milestones for Enjin's ecosystem development?
Ilija: At this point, most of the major pieces of our ecosystem (Platform, Wallet, Marketplace, Explorer, Beam) are live, with the exception of Efinity.
Efinity will be the obvious highlight of this year—it's the glue that brings the entire ecosystem together.
Aside from Efinity, we're working on continually improving, simplifying and adding new features to our existing products.
Think about what the printing press did for the advancement of our global civilization. Books were no longer reserved only for the tiny few that were wealthy enough to afford painfully, manually written records of knowledge and art. The printing press turned once luxury items into something that could be produced affordably, quickly, and en masse.
We want to do the same for blockchain assets—and our aim is to put a "printing press" in everyone's pocket.
In other words, we're working on a major Enjin Wallet update which will bring the ability to mint blockchain assets to everyone's fingertips. Anytime, anywhere, and beyond simple.
We're also gearing up for the public launch of the Enjin Beam, our QR-powered blockchain asset distribution service. It's currently only available for our early adopters and partners, and Microsoft used it recently to distribute their NFTs at a virtual developers conference attended by over 50,000 people.
There's also something cool we're doing with EnjinX, so stay tuned. ;)
Can you explain more about the Efinity for non-technical people?
Witek: As a video-gamer, in the future, when you receive an item/collectible in a game, you will have true ownership of it—you will receive it in your wallet within 1 second, instead of waiting 15+ seconds for pending transactions on a blockchain.
You'll be able to send it or trade it instantly with NO Ether required, even if you're a brand new user that has never touched crypto before. All of this will be completely transparent—you'll just use your regular wallet and the in-game interface, and you won't have to deal with any technicalities of using a scaling platform.
For ENJ holders, you'll have new methods of earning benefits using your Enjin Coin by participating in the network.
Users often care less about technology, but rather the value of the token. How do you manage to strike a balance between developing the technology and also improving the value of the token?
Witek: This goes hand in hand. The value of Enjin Coin is tied to the success of our ecosystem and community.
We are working on weaving ENJ into every aspect of Efinity as well as the rest of the Enjin Platform. As usage of the platform increases, the demand for ENJ will naturally increase—as a true utility token.
I'm sure people will speculate as they often do, but we remain focused on the fundamentals. Our marketing and business-development teams however are always working on increasing the awareness of Enjin and building interesting partnerships.
Is knowledge of writing code required for developers to integrate cryptocurrencies into their games and applications? What tools does the Enjin Platform offer to the developers of new games?
Witek: Our goal is to create products that make it easy for anyone and everyone to use blockchain—and that includes the Enjin Platform.
For non-developers, you can use the Enjin Platform minting panel, a user-friendly interface that ties into your Enjin Wallet and lets you mint items, assign metadata and imagery, all through the interface.
You can distribute, market, and even sell any collectible assets without writing a single line of code, for example, using the Enjin Marketplace.
Everyone from mobile or web developers, to AAA console game developers will be able to use the same seamless SDKs to build on
What is your strategy for building a strong community? Do you agree that the power of the community will lead your project to develop globally? What services do you provide to the community?
Ilija: People that end up joining our Telegram channel are usually a quirky, nifty bunch of mainstream gamers, tech enthusiasts, and crypto investors that get beyond excited when they truly realize the magnitude of what we're building.
Yup, a strong community is beyond important, and we're actually working on something to enable them to get some beyond-epic-omg benefits. It's just one (really, really cool, I'm super-excited about that one as it's something we wanted to do for years now) way to say thanks guys. Thanks for sticking with us for all these years, for trusting us, making memes, helping out with every single campaign.
We appreciate it to the Moon and back, and in a couple of weeks, we're launching something really cool, just for you!
The ERC-1155 token standard was adopted by Ethereum as the official token standard. Could you tell us more about ERC-1155 and why this is important?
Witek: We're actually the authors of ERC-1155. In the very early days we realized that ERC-20 and ERC-721, while very good standards, were not sufficient to handle items efficiently.
They required the creation of too many smart contracts and jumping through hoops to use these items. ERC-1155 expanded on both standards and provides a framework to build both fungible and non-fungible items.
When I first started writing the smart contracts powering the Enjin Platform, the design that emerged was so user-friendly and efficient that we decided to get the Ethereum community's input.
Creating an official standard was the best decision we could have made.
We received hundreds of comments and improved the standard for an entire year, with the approval of the rest of the Ethereum community. The only way this standard will be adopted by the crypto community is for wallets, blockchain explorers, and other projects to also use ERC-1155.
If we mint a collectible now with transfer fee of 1 enj, then it's a very little amount. but in future, it may mean spending $20 for the same transfer. Then people would not use that asset. Can developers change the transfer fee over time?
Witek: Yes, transfer fees can be reduced both temporarily or permanently by the asset creator. This functionality is exposed in our SDKs and GraphQL API, but we will look at making the functionality easier to see in our other tools, thanks for mentioning it!
Marketing is a central element for every project, so that everyone knows the potential that a project can bring is vital to achieve the goals set. What is your strategy to attract new users and investors to Enjin and keep them long term?
Ilija: So we're focused on bringing blockchain to mainstream game developers. Most of the "blockchain gaming" developers right now are usually blockchain developers making games, not game developers making blockchain games. Trust me when I say that persuading a mainstream game developer to explore a new technology is... tricky, to say the least. Or at least used to be.
The first GDC that we attended literally surprised the heck outta us. I mean, there was obvious skepticism, and it took a heck of a long time to explain what blockchain is and how our ecosystem works, but the response from regular Joe gamedev was amazing. Fast forward to GDC 2019, and daaamn! It was 10 times better, to be honest. People were actually knowledgeable and you didn't have to start from scratch, explaining what blockchain IS.
GDC (along with almost all other major game development conferences and events) was unfortunately canceled this year #sadface, and every event pretty much moved online, so we're doing our best to attend and network at virtual conferences as much as possible. Not the perfect replacement to talking with people face to face, but it'll do.
Online... well, let's just talk content marketing, for example, and go really into specifics. We've started using Hubspot's topic clustering methodology to kick ass with our SEO and help attract game developers.
Articles like this:
I could seriously go on and on and on about marketing—from our sweet PR game, to marketing automation (automated RSS newsletters are da bomb) and our soon-to-be-epic marketing campaigns in Japan (such a nifty new market to expand to)!
Damian (Crypto.com): Thanks for massive amount of submitted questions! Much appreciation for your insightful responses, Witek and Ilija. It was a pleasure speaking with the both of you. I appreciate the insightfulness of your responses and I hope you two had a good time as well.
We'd live to give a big thank you and shout out to Damian and the Crypto.com team for hosting us!
See you in the chat room.