So-called new banks usually feature things like lower customer costs and brightly colored bank cards, but they are really just classic banks in a modern guise. End to this deception now, because the company is preparing to set up a real new bank. A bank that literally rethinks banking. A bank in which customers can hold their assets in a variety of forms, be it cash, in-game items or NFT. A bank that allows “buy now, pay later” in video games or accepts in-game items as collateral for a loan. It’s not just about switching from the old to the new, it’s about making banking available in a whole new ecosystem. Zelf – the Metaverse Bank – wants to change the world with this idea. Advertised exclusively to Cointelegraph Elliot Guichmannfounder and CEO of ZelfHow does he intend to do so?
Zelf – On the way to common Web3
Since 2021, Web3 has enjoyed an amazing rise in the mainstream. Non-Fingerless Tokens (NFTs) have revolutionized the art world, and Play-to-Earn (P2E) has opened up new sources of income for players – for example, people in Asia can leave their low-paid jobs and hire full-time players instead – and cryptocurrencies are working As an infrastructure for this future economic world.
Although all these worlds are directly related, their developments occurred independently of each other. One reason for this is that individual cryptocurrencies are not equally suitable for all of these applications. Take Ethereum (ETH) as an example: the rapidly increasing transaction fees of the blockchain network have made the victory of NFTs noticeably more difficult. The ecosystem around NFTs is far from being suitable for the masses. Even the market-leading NFT trading platform OpenSea is still very cumbersome in many respects. “OpenSea is a huge marketplace for buying and selling NFTs, but is this service easy to use? Can a beginner easily jump in and get started? When a user connects their wallet to the platform, they don’t even receive a notification of new offers that have been made to them,” Goykhman explains the fundamental issues of the NFT industry .
P2E gaming has great potential, but it can’t be fully achieved either. The big problem is that these games are mostly released as NFT kits and therefore don’t get any attention. The character of the game often leaves much to be desired, and the gameplay is correspondingly weak. Under these conditions, P2E games are far from being able to compete with the titles of the big developers. However, the idea of owning and selling in-game items and thus being able to make money from games is still interesting to many people. This innovation could revolutionize the way games are played and catapult the video game market into even larger areas.
Are you playing to win the future of gaming?
In light of this, Zelf’s ambitions reach far beyond the single-player project. Instead of setting up your own development studio or waiting several more years for P2E games to catch up with big titles like fortnite And the Call of duty They can compete, Zelf much prefers to ask the question “how to get these games into the Metaverse”. Why compete with successful titles when you can bring their power to the Metaverse instead? It makes more sense for Goykhman, which is why he prefers to work towards such a symbiosis.
“The big challenge will be convincing the traditional game industry to open up to playing for earning. In a way, that is exactly what Steve Jobs had to do when he was buying up major music labels to sell on iTunes.”
Contrary to their concerns, game makers can only win this move, because the current trend is “more of what we already have”. In the end, it’s all about improving existing game ideas. For example, Call of Duty tried to include a successful “Battle Royal mode”, but this is just a poor copy of the original in Fortnite.
Meanwhile, the bold step of integrating Metaverse Bank will create value for all involved. This way, especially good players can take advantage of their skills, while P2E fans will turn to these headlines in droves and significantly increase their user base. Meanwhile, game manufacturers can bring completely new and innovative ideas into their games and Zelf can provide the infrastructure for this new world. As in-game items become goods that can be bought, sold, and traded, a whole new market and economy emerge. And wherever there is a market, traditional financial services, as we know them from existing markets, can also be offered: borrowing, lending or saving schemes.
Neobank for Millennials
It was precisely at this point that Zelf introduced “Neo” to Neobank or became the new type of Web3 bank. There is a problem: young people often have a bad credit bureau score and therefore can only get loans at particularly high interest rates. Zelf’s solution: imagine being able to get a loan on much better terms because it is secured by in-game items.
Another example: the purchasing power of players can be increased by integrating “buy now, pay later” in video games. “Unlike a normal bank, we can also, for example, customize a Schufa score based on in-game performance, where we can see a player’s Steam profile how highly skilled they are,” Goekman says.
In addition, the new bank should not become a crypto platform like Binance or OpenSea, which could be a closed book for many users. Instead, Zelf builds on the power of the ubiquitous apps that millions of users use every day: messaging apps.
Zelf is already available for all major messengers: Facebook, Discord, Telegram and Viber. “In Tokyo we were recently able to demonstrate that Zelf is already working with Line and WeChat. By the time we launch in Southeast Asia, these two messengers will be fully integrated,” says Goekman. “If the integration with popular messaging apps sounds too good to be true, we will take it to the next level. After that, we will also be usable on Instagram, iMessage and TikTok once the corresponding APIs are released.”
However, integration with major messengers like WhatsApp is not an end in itself, but rather “the ultimate goal is to be a ubiquitous bank, from the simplest SMS user interfaces to bots and full AI-powered voice control”.
A future that is still difficult to imagine today, but thanks to Zelf could soon become a reality. And why not? Because in fact it is clear that banking in the real world is also transferred to the virtual world. Digital payments can be as easy as handing a €10 bill to a friend. Or, in the words of Elliot Goichman:
“We have to build on all the financial interfaces between the real world and the virtual world.”
Find out more about the Zelf . project
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