Crypto Travels Michael 0:00
Welcome to the New to Crypto Podcast designed to guide you through the crypto landscape with pinpoint accuracy created for the new and intermediate crypto investor. Join your host Crypto Travels Michael as he takes you through the different facets of getting started and succeeding in your crypto journey. New to crypto podcast brings you new episodes daily Monday through Friday with surprise bonus episodes sometimes on the weekend. Let me ask you, are you new to crypto and don’t know where to start? Are you more experienced but have questions? Then you’re in the right place. This podcast is designed for you coming at you from the Trading Center and the Lifestyle Dezign Studio. Here’s your host Crypto Travels Michael.
I’d like you to welcome to the show Justin Wenczka a veteran in industry and responsible for leading the company’s commercial strategy over Verasity. Justin has 10 plus years experience in ad tech focusing on advertising security and performance. Justin was the co-founder and CEO of Pubguard, which revolutionised in-app ad verification, and aided app developers to automatically identify harmful advertising and increase ad revenue. Justin is the CRO at Verasity. Verasity is a protocol and product layer blockchain platform for eSports and digital content, Verasity is committed to delivering a better user experience for all stakeholders within the digital content space. Within eSports Verasity promises to dominate the industry with Barrett eSports, using superior blockchain technology and the best gamified viewership experience. Today we’re going to talk about NFT gaming, eSports and more. Here’s a quick word about our new sponsor brave, who we are excited to talk about Brave Wallet is the first secure crypto wallet built natively in a web three crypto browser, no extension required, you can store manage and grow your portfolio, get NF T’s and multi chain support, download the brave privacy browser at brave.com/newtocrypto and click on the wallet icon to get started. So I’d like to welcome Justin from Verasity to the podcast. Justin, thanks for coming out today. How are you?
Justin Wenczka 2:29
Yelling? Well, actually, yeah, no, it’s, you know, in the run up to the holidays. So mad dash to the finish line, but it’s all going exceptionally well.
Crypto Travels Michael 2:40
Absolutely. Hey, can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and a little bit about Verasity? And, you know, just kind of paint a picture as to what’s going on and Verasity a little bit about yourself? And regarding the crypto industry?
Justin Wenczka 2:57
Yeah, yeah. So I’ll start with my background, and then sort of run through Verasity. So I’m a digital advertising specialist. And I’ve been working in the industry for a prolonged period of time. What I was doing initially was buying and selling advertising on, you know, top tier, top tier publishers, top tier properties, websites, mobile sites, applications and everything like that. And my specific focus is performance based advertising as the sort of the focus of my dissertation, many, many, many moons back. And then that sort of passion for performance space advertising led me to analyze the advertising systems. And digital advertising is a bit of a… a very immature sort of industry. I mean, there’s about $360 billion that goes through digital advertising pipelines. And when I say immature, the technology sort of built iteratively. So you’ve got sort of, effectively like a mass sort of Jenga of different companies and providers that sit between like Coca Cola who wants to advertise Coca Cola to you. And then the website that you’re on that’s then hosting that, that Coca Cola and there’s a lot of people in the middle. And through analyzing performance advertising, I noticed that there were a lot of problems when it came to advertising security, fraud, misattribution and everything like that. And from my perspective, when I was buying advertising, it meant that we could be less effective and it meant that, you know, he would cut into our margins and everything like that. And so about six, seven years ago or so, I found a company to identify fraudulent activity and identify, you know, close one of these, one of these loops, one of the security loopholes within the system that went, pretty well. And I exited that company sold it to the PLC about two, three years back. And I still remain focused on sort of security, security issues within the advertising sector. And I’ve been into crypto pretty much since its inception, really, because I think the technology is very interesting. And what it allows people to do is inherently interesting.
And it solves one of the big problems within the advertising industry, which is transparency, and accountability. Really, as I say, you know, I was able to identify the loophole within the security side of things of, you know, people getting detrimental ad content through just because I worked so closely, I am I have worked so closely and continue to work closely with major publishers, say people who own major websites, applications and everything like that, and had helped them to generate revenue. However, if you were to apply, and as we were doing with Verasity, if you apply open ledger technology, to the reporting systems that go through, you know, the transactions, it doesn’t matter how many middlemen that these ads pass through, you have a clear line of sight, basically, from Coca Cola to you, you know, receiving your Coca Cola and, and buying loads of Coca Cola. I’m not sponsored by Coca Cola, but if they want to send me loads of Coca Cola, I’d be happy to. So basically, once I wanted to sell my company, I started up an advisory to help scale up startups and everything acts like it’s extremely scary to start a business and scale it and everything like that. And I help a fair few projects to articulate their offerings to the wider market. And I was introduced to voracity actually, through their patents. So they have a patent called Proof of view, which is basically the merging of invalid traffic technology, and an open ledger back end. And as I say, with an open ledger, back end, that transparency, is brilliant for solving the problem within the the ad tech space of fraudulent traffic bought traffic, and basically, people using systems to manipulate the advertising sector so that they, you know, generate revenue, without anybody actually seeing that type of content. So the problem as it stands, is, as I say, a $360 billion industry within advertising, and advertising fraud accounts for about $100 billion of that. So it’s absolutely rife throughout the system.
And it’s, it’s basically if you if it was a bucket, you know, holding water, the water being low, the revenue and stuff like that. It’s more comparable to a fish net than anything, it’s got more holes than a bucket at this point. So what Verasity does is, it takes the ability to identify fraudulent users and fraudulent traffic and so on. And then it just shines a light on that and gives transparency to the system. Verasity itself. First is a company that has the VRA, which is an open, openly traded token. And that’s effectively the oil in all of the machines that we we build out the overarching goal of voracity is to bridge eSports and blockchain and we’ve been doing that effectively through our owned and operated publisher, their Esports, we host you know, lots of international tournaments and and everything like that. And as I say, my primary focus is building out the advertising technology so that we have fraud free transparent, advertising technology that powers their Esports, and compiler any video publisher, so they can basically generate revenue, and they can have a fraud free environment for their users to come through and for advertisers to to roll on to. Where we’re at currently, is that we have their views, which is an ad stack. So, you can either embed a video player or you can embed The technologies within pre existing video player that you may have on a website or application, and then you can make sure that you know, you kick out all of the invalid traffic on that… on that that property, and you serve add content through that that system, as well. And we’re rolling that out to not just obviously very eSports, that’s we’re rolling out to a lot of publishers in the world in the new year. And we’ve got some announcements underway that I can’t necessarily go into currently on pain of death. And yeah, so we have the very views player, we have proof of view the… patented technology.
And, yeah, we have the VRA, the VRA token and so on. Say VRA is almost like our unit of cooperation. It’s the Yeah, the oil and machine.
Crypto Travels Michael 10:59
Absolutely, you have quite a few friends talking about your token right now. They have a lot of interest in it. Um, for our listeners that aren’t familiar with eSports. Can you kind of just paint a picture for our listeners that this might be their intro to? What is eSports?
Justin Wenczka 11:15
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so, VeraEsports is a platform for being able to watch eSports tournaments, but effectively what esports are, generally is people competitively playing video games. So there are a lot of, you know, well known titles within the eSports scene, things like League of Legends, Valor, and you know, a few other, a few other larger games and so on. And people compete on the world stage for a ridiculously large amount of money, there are professional eSports teams, and they have professional gamers that will play in stadiums, like in, you know, full sports stadiums and everything like that. And it’s quite an interesting sight to behold, you know, lots of flashing lights, lots of lots of fanfare, and everything like that. And then you’ve got sort of eight people who just sort of calmly sit behind computers. And then, and then it’s, you know, it’s all on the screens and everything like that, you know, the games themselves are on the screen. But um, the engagement is just absolutely ferocious, and brands love it because the gaming is out there. They’re not usually swayed by normal types of advertising content, they want things which are affiliated with the digital properties that they love, these… games. And as such, you’ve got brands who pay an incredibly large amount of money to sponsor these events, and to have, you know, branding affiliated with it and everything like that. And the problem is that, you know, it’s a very high price point for entry. I mean, if you want to spend like 10s of millions of pounds on sponsoring these events, which as I say, wait to put it in context, how big these events are, I think it was years back, it’s like two, three years back, or something like that. The League of Legends finals, the Grand Finals had more viewers than the NBA, the NBA Finals. So it’s, it’s absolutely massive. And a lot of people are engaging with this content through their, you know, watching on their computers, mobile phones, and all of these different bits and bobs.
And what we do with Veraesports is we allow, we have a platform where people can watch eSports. So if you are interested in eSports, I would suggest going to their eSports and seeing about it. But we also take a very, very caring approach when it comes to the way that we respect the viewers who come to our site and everything like that. So historically, what you do is you have video content, you show people ads, and then you take all of that money and you use it on your web. But what we do at various sports is we reward people for watching video content, fire, Veraesports, you accumulate Veraesports points, and then those can be redeemed for in game items. They can be redeemed for VRA. There’s a lot of different mechanisms that you can reward the users for, for engaging. I think it’s just a nice ethical way to give back to the community. And it’s obviously not just being embraced by Veraesports by… but by also the video publishing platforms that we work with as well.
Crypto Travels Michael 14:53
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Justin Wenczka 16:14
Yeah, yeah. So um, NFT gaming is a very interesting topic at the moment. And also there are some fabulous products and projects which are starting up in that… space. So NFT gaming, in its original state is basically a game which is built around NFTs or non fungible tokens. So what those are is basically a method of attribution of a digital item to an individual via like a crypto Wallet. So the similar way that you would buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, or VRA. And then you’d have that in the wallet, you have the digital item itself, like affiliated with your… with you as an individual. Now, a lot of the current games like there are almost like a first generation of NFT games are games, which are built around these NFTs. So it’s a lot of things which include collectible items, like cards, and also, things which sort of merge over time. So there’s a lot of like games, which include breeding animals by buying two NFTs and then combining those to make another NFT and so on. And in the short answer to what is NFT gaming, NFT games are pretty rubbish in general, if I’m honest, because I play a lot of games, right. I play a lot of games.
So I think that I don’t think anyone’s really cracked the market in NFT gaming as in a game built around the concept of NFTs. But as I say the NFT is just a way of attributing that digital asset to an individual, what the interesting thing that’s happening at the moment is that the games companies are starting to embrace NFT marketplaces as a way that they can transact in game items, and the users can then transfer that between individuals. Most notably, I think it started this week, or last week or so. There’s a gaming company called Ubisoft, who make games like Assassin’s Creed and, and a few other, like, Tom Clancy’s games, so shooting games, and no, they make a lot of, they make a lot of content. They’re very good, very good game developers, and very reputable. Now, in one of their current titles, they’ve introduced an NFT marketplace where you can buy in-game items. And then you can trade those in game items between one account and another account. And this is the interesting technology that’s being released at the moment. This is something that we’ve been working on for quite some time, we’ve sunk a lot of money into developing this. And we also have a lot of big gaming companies that we’re in discussions with about how to, you know, roll out this, this, this technology for them. Little miffed that Ubisoft beat us to the punch, but you know, that’s the way it is, I suppose. But in terms of that technology, historically, if you were to buy an item within a game environment, say for example, you have a digital character in the game you have like an army man or something like that. And you’re like, I want my army man to be the coolest looking army and so I bought him like, like some sunglasses.
So you buy these sunglasses with, you know, real money and so on. And usually those would be locked to your specific account so you can buy them, but you have no way of actually then selling that item. So there are, there’s like a bit of a gray market where people sort of facilitate, facilitate, you know, transactions and stuff like that. So that you can change it between characters and so on. There’s a game called CS GO, where this is quite common, where people will sell skins for items and everything like that, and these marketplaces and so on, are 10s of billions of dollars of revenue is estimated to go through these marketplaces. But if you don’t have those marketplaces, those grey marketplaces that people will actually sell their whole game account to go through and so that they can transact those specific items. And the reason I call it like a gray market, is because with NFTs, what you’re able to do is to generate revenue, from the sale and resale and distribution of… digital items indefinitely, right. So what that means is that instead of it being a single transaction that goes through, like the gaming company, and so on, the gaming company gets paid for selling you the lovely sunglasses, they get paid when you trade, the lovely sunglasses, they can even get paid if you rent your lovely sunglasses to two people, and so on and so forth. So the way that you know, an NFT marketplace is… sort of put together enables free commerce of these, these digital items between individuals. And it allows these gaming companies to generate additional revenue as it goes forward. And the thing is that it opens up way more revenue streams, then these companies were initially in video streaming for the… type of content.
I mean, I think it’s fortnite there they… sold like $9 billion of like cosmetic items, or something, something along those lines, lock it like in 2019, I think it was 2019, 2020 or something like that, right. So if somebody was looking to sell those items, they would generate Perpetual Revenue as it goes forward. And you end up with this sort of like this whole avenue opening up of digital memorabilia. And it is actually worth noticing, noting as well that because now NFT is effectively like a digital rights management tool. So it says you own this piece of digital content, it can be applied to gaming, but it can be applied to anything that is a digital asset, right? It could be a video could be music, it could be at like anything, I think that had the music industry had the you know, the the option to embrace NFTs and so on, they probably wouldn’t have had their pocket picked by, you know, the, like, Spotify and what was what was the Metallica had had a lawsuit with that Napster and all this sort of stuff, that that wouldn’t have happened, and they would have been embraced a lot. But you know, it’s here now, and it’s taking over?
Crypto Travels Michael 23:15
Absolutely. Let me ask you, since we’re on this topic, how do you see the future of crypto with integration of eSports? And, even NFT? Gaming?
Justin Wenczka 23:27
So yeah, the future of the future of crypto?
Crypto Travels Michael 23:31
What would you like to see?
Justin Wenczka 23:33
What do I like to see?
Crypto Travels Michael 23:34
Justin Wenczka 23:34
Yeah, I think I’d like to see a lot of consolidation in activities and technologies. And… also, the ease of the ease of adoption of crypto in the mainstream, and so on as say, VeraEsports is a good… is a good example of this, what we’re doing where you watch, you watch content, you earn points, and then you can exchange that point, those points for crypto, and then you can do with that freely, whatever your you’re looking to do. I think in terms of base technology, like open ledger technology, I think it should be applied to pretty much any industry where there is a need for transparency of transactions and so on. And that actually, you know, increases trust and increases security. And transparency really, as I say the advertising sector is one of the prevalent ones. And another point to mention with that as well with those open transactions and everything like that you can agree a transaction and anybody can audit that transaction. But that can be agreed pretty much in real time. I mean, one of the big issues within the advertising sector is ridiculous payment terms that are being pushed upon people who own websites and applications. So what that what the open ledger, technology enables and what Veraviews does, sorry, Veraviews is the video player, and ad server all in one that we offer out to websites. And so what that enables is almost immediate commerce. So instead of having to wait, you know, 180 days or something like 120 to 180 days or something, to get paid for the services that you provide to advertisers, you can get paid pretty much on the spot. We are looking to greatly reduce those… payment terms. So it means that the people who create the content everyone wants to see, they actually have better cash flow, and everything like that. And obviously, with better cash flow comes more investment, more investment, mutual growth, and it just means that it speeds up and speeds up all of the transactions in that transparency and so on the fact that you can have it audited, you know, you can go through an audit it by third parties means that you can use as many third parties as you want. And it doesn’t matter, because everyone has exactly the same information on hand. So, yeah, in terms of crypto and how it’s how it’s adopted, I think it should be adopted, like blockchain technology should be adopted in any industry where, you know, you want speed of transactions, and you want transparency, for what it’s going for, it could go in literally through to anything, in terms of the eSports landscape and so on. I think it needs to be more accessible to brands, it needs to be, you know, it’s a huge, huge industry. I mean, it’s a you know, in terms of hobbies and stuff about it’s pretty pretty much art that you know what I mean.
Crypto Travels Michael 26:45
Really grown, it’s enormous now, you know, to compete with, you know, professional, regular mainstream sports, I guess you could say in terms of audience size for large events. That’s phenomenal.
Justin Wenczka 26:57
Yeah, and it’s so accessible. Yeah. I mean, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s, you know, anybody theoretically could, you know, go through and, and play eSports, and so on. I mean, there’s, you know, even people with, you know, severe sort of disabilities, and so on, they’re, they’re amazing charities out there, who work with people, you know, build custom controllers, and, and everything like that. So you can go, it’s literally the most inclusive hobby that you could, you could have, and the eSports is the testament to how you sort of, you know, scale that up and make it to compete with, you know, the the NBAs and you know, the large sporting events as they currently exist. But in terms of grassroots engaging with people who are watching, gaming, who are playing and everything like that, I would… I like to see brands engaging with, with all of the grassroots saying, the thing is, they’re a bit wary at the moment, because of there being so much fraudulent traffic, historically, within the sector, and so on. And that’s why with, with very views, and so on, and proof of view, the patented technology, we’re cutting out the fraudulent activity, and making sure that brands have scalable inventory to run and secure inventory as well.
Crypto Travels Michael 28:15
Awesome. Wow, that’s exciting in closing, is there, is there anything you can share with us for what’s coming in 2022. Any announcements or any information with Verasity? And, you know, we’re just about at the new year, over here so?
Justin Wenczka 28:29
Yeah, so, um, we’re in early July, which sort of, we should have the new roadmap for what we’re looking to, to achieve. In terms of the Q4 roadmap, we’re all you know, we’ve hit all of the, the targets that we are looking at at the moment. And in terms of the new year. You know, we we actually have some very large announcements that are coming out before the new year, we’ve got a lot of interesting partnerships across all of the activity that we run. So we have obviously, the advertising technologies, the… eSports side of things and core complementary elements, crypto as well. So we’ve got I’m pretty sure we’ve got something for everybody who’s a fan for whatever they are, are a fan of, but yeah, in terms of in terms of that, I think you’re gonna have to keep your eyes peeled. So we’ve got we engage with our audience like a lot. I mean, we it’s honestly the Verasity community is one of the most brilliant communities to be part of, they’re always so kind, and so supportive of what we’re doing. So best channel ready to get information would be Verasity tech, our Twitter, but also we host Discord and Telegram channels and so on in 19 different languages. So, we’ve got you know, people are People all over the world who are helping to engage our community. And we get a lot of love back. So yeah, I would say, if I was if I was looking to keep up today, I would definitely go to Verasity tech Twitter. And then you know, as much as you want to engage with what we’re doing, you know, follow us on different social channels as well, where we’re always happy to talk.
Crypto Travels Michael 30:22
Absolutely. Well, we’ll have all of those links on the website for the episode page for today, for today’s episode. Justin, I really want to thank you for coming by and sharing with us. We welcome you back anytime. And, you know, thanks for paying a picture as to, you know, things regarding eSports and NFT Gaming, and what you guys have going at Verasity.
Yeah, definitely. Thank you very much. I mean, it’s been an absolute pleasure. So yeah, thank you very much for inviting me. I should probably take you up on the offer of coming back at some point. And yeah, as you say, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you.
Anytime, anytime. You and your team are welcome. So you heard it. You heard it here first from Justin, what are they going in ferocity? Definitely like and subscribe to the podcast. If you like today’s episode, and chime in here tomorrow for a very special episode. Until then, make it a great day.
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