Blockchain Gaming & Exeedme w/ Nuno Fernandes
In the third episode of Cryptonews podcast, our host Matt Zahab interviewed Nuno Fernandes, the CEO of Exeedme, a blockchain powered gaming platform. They discussed blockchain gaming, non-fungible tokens, how users can earn a living with crypto, and much more.
1:59 Journey into crypto
6:56 Blockchain gaming
15:02 Betting on yourself
21:08 Games on Exeedme
28:04 NFTs and Gaming
32:01 How users can earn a living
36:19 The future of blockchain and gaming
The episode premiered on April 6, 2021.
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Matt Zahab: 0:08
Ladies and gentlemen, today's guest is the CEO and co founder of Exeedme, a leading organization in the blockchain gaming ecosystem. Before diving headfirst into crypto, this man moved up the ranks and the Big Four consulting firms. He realized the opportunity in the crypto sphere and began focusing on blockchain gaming pi phi and NFTs. A true man of the people who wants to steal from the rich and give to the poor. In modern day gaming, only the pros make money, but not for long. This gentleman is giving the average Joe an opportunity to make money from playing video games, a hobby that almost everyone loves. I'm pleased to welcome Nuno Fernandez to the cryptonews podcast. Nuno Welcome to the show.
Hi, Matt. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Very excited to have you on board. I understand you're in Portugal, how is that treating you? And whereabouts are you?
Yeah I'm currently in Portugal, in the north of Portugal, like 50 kilometers from Porto, which most of people know, at least the ones that have been traveling to Portugal. The weather has been has been making quite some surprises. It's April, but like in the last week, it was almost like 30 degrees. So it was it was a mess that I have to work and I have to be inside. But apart from that, like great.
I love that. I was fortunate enough to visit Portugal probably four or five years ago, did sort of the whole tour on the coast and I fell in love with Porto, I would absolutely love to go back there. And I also understand that your government has been very kind to people in the crypto industry, especially with the tax implications. So hopefully the big boys in the crypto space will all be heading to Portugal, in the near future. But I'd like to start by asking pretty much the same question we asked most guests just so everyone can be familiarized with your journey into the crypto space. I understand that you tore up the ranks in the Big Four consulting firms, and was a specialist in the m&a space more specifically m&a, real estate, and then got into crypto. But could you just tell me how you made that move and why you wanted to make that decision.
Sure, it's a pleasure to do so. And before I forget, I just love the way how you introduce like Exeedme, like it kind of feels like we are like the Robin Hood's of gaming now, like stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. That's what we are about. But getting back to what I've been up to and how I got into crypto. So quite a ride. So yeah, as you said, like after college, I immediately got into the Big Four world. So I started working at PWC. I worked at PWC for for like seven years. Like you know, the corporate world, I moved up the ranks as you're saying. And that deep dive into m&a, mergers and acquisitions. So I've spent like, I would say, eight years, between PWC and KPMG. Working in m&a and I was responsible for advising my profile clients from technology to real estate, on strategy positioning, raising capital from venture funds or private equity. I was personally involved in over 30 deals, over 1 billion of closing. And what this gave me was the opportunity to work with a lot of like minded entrepreneurs and words that start with businesses from scratch, you know, and achieve multi million dollar valuations. So it was a great experience for me, personally, to learn from these bright minds. So I found that like through this experience, a strong belief in our own vision, and having a make it happen attitude were the key ingredients to success. And this had been building up to the point where I'm now. So it was in London that when I was working in KPMG. At London that I started to get heavily into blockchain while I was still working at KPMG, and that's when I realized that the company I worked at were not sufficiently exiled to adapt for the future. They were already there. I remember at the time, I was having conversations with the blockchain department at KPMG about how we could use STOs, security token offering, to bring some semi innovations into the real estate sector, but like everything took a long time. There were a lot of partners to approve any changes in the status quo. So that's when I decided to work on my own ideas. Like I networked in the field, I started my own advisory boutique EPV capital, to share all the knowledge that I collected with early stage businesses that were working, that were growing very, very quickly. And a lot of exciting projects popped up. One of them was Utrust. Utrust like it's a blockchain powered company that is helping to processing crypto payments for a lot of companies in Europe and worldwide. And I worked with them as a strategic advisor, working in topics such as business development, strategy, business modeling. And I had the opportunity also to work with the executive team, which by the way, it's great like Sonia Rodrigo, Nuno, Felipe, all of them like great, great guys. And so the opportunity to do a deep dive into blockchain started from there. And that was in the process where I met Francisco, my, co founder, at Exeedme, and he was already like bootstrapping, what could be the Exeedme that we see now and you're starting exchanging ideas about like, how we could use like, blockchain mechanics, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to improve the overall experience of a gamer and improve the way that gamers can monetize by skill. So that's basically what brought me to where I'm at at the moment, like in a nutshell, let's say.
So when I was doing some research for this episode, I saw that your co founder Fransisco, he is the true gamer and he is the Rockstar gamer of the C suites and the founding team. And while you are, you're a bit of a scrub. You're an average gamer at best, at least self proclaimed. Did you get into this because he really made this happen, like, what made you go all in to the blockchain gaming platform?
Yeah, so Francis is, as you say, he's like, the the gamer. He's always beating me up in CSGO, which is the first game that we have live on the platform. What I was, like, mostly amazed about was, I always had, I don't know if you know, the film like Ready Player One.
Where do you enter like this virtual world, and you have a lot of games, I'm putting in this virtual world and like your life, basically, like most of your life is happening there. So I have always, I've always been fascinating by what we call these like digital makeovers, where you can like cross boundaries, from game to game from like, the reality the physical reality to the virtual reality. And when we, like I was chatting with Francisco about Exeedme was basically like a tournament platform at the time. And we started, so it didn't involve like the part of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and NFTs. And when we start adding the sub, like, it really creates something interesting, where you can enter a game, you can add some digital assets on this digital game, but then you can bridge these assets to other games, which is something that nowadays it's very tough to do, you know? And so having the opportunity of creating something like this was what amazed me. And at the other side, there was like, I studied economics. And there is a branch of economics, which is called, you can say, people call a lot of names, but I usually focus on the behavioral game theory, where you go through gaming to explain how people really behave. That's how I learned the economy. But like nowadays, more and more people are spending time playing games. 25% of the population is a gamer, by the way. My mom that never play a game, or at least a video game before, now she's all into mobile gaming, right? Because everybody has a mobile so gaming is easily accessible. So nowadays, like gaming is a very important part of what we do and we believe that it will become even more important. So like, having the opportunity to shape the future about how people can earn their life and can lead their life through gaming, that's what really like, it made me like, okay, now, I really have to go through this with Exeedme and I really have to build this future because that's something I I truly believing and I'm passionate about. And that's where the passion comes in.
It's a great industry to get into, especially with COVID being so prominent I know that's really accelerated the gaming industry as a whole. But last I read and this was last week, when I was doing research for this, there were, there are, excuse me, 2.7 billion gamers present day, that's absolutely bananas, like you said, 25% of the world's population. That's just crazy to think about. Now, the name itself Exeedme. I understand your motto is gamers will exceed developers will exceed and Exeed well exceed. Now, for those of you who don't know, Exeedme is spelt, e x, e, e, d, e, so it's like exceed me more. So the word exceed without the C in the middle. Now, where did you get the name Exeedme from?
Yeah, so the name comes from the first component of the game, or the platform, I would say. That is you should earn by winning. And what we believe is that, when you play a game, of course, you want to win that game, that's why you play. When you play a game against someone, you are putting a much, much bigger effort in. But when you play a game, and you put a stake on that game, you bet on yourself, and you bet that you are going to be the winner of the game, that's really when you exceed your performance. And that's where Exeedme comes from, like, exceed my performance right? Exceeding. And we believe that in the end by creating, and this is just the first part of the platform, where you can earn by by betting on yourself. You can also exceed your performance and become a better gamer by doing this. And we are creating an opportunity that others created in other industries in the past, like if you look at pokerstars, for example, where you can easily bet on a poker game, currently. But like for other games, that is not still accessible, there are not platforms that can give you that opportunity. And that's one of the things that we are trying to do. Of course, we are trying to do more things. That's just the part of earn by winning. I think the other part where also the Robin Hood comes in, it's the earned by engaging. And what this means is that for people that use our token, $XED and stake it, and they can also earn something from being on the platform from just playing. Regardless of the result of a game regardless of if they win or if they lose, they will always be earning $XED by playing on the platform. And this comes from a simple principle, which is, and I can make a comparison with decentralized exchange. For example, if you add liquidity to a decentralized exchange and there are trades occurring, you are going to receive a share of the fees that are charged by the decentralized exchange. So the liquidity is a very important part of the decentralized exchange, whereas in a platform where gamers are supposed to challenge each other, gamers are in essence, our liquidity. So if they are there, and if they are playing games, they are giving opportunity to other people that enter the platform to find someone they can challenge and they should be rewarded by that. And that's why we've created this game mining mechanism where they can earn rewards in cryptocurrency by playing games. And then there is like the third part of earning by progressing. And the earning by progressing is in effect no game is a really good game if you don't progress, right? If you don't have milestones that you have to achieve, if there is not a leaderboard that you want to be on top and for that we are using NFTs to reward gamers. So the gamers are already used to drive digital assets in the platform. What we are bringing them is the liquidity of having an NFT that can travel across platforms so it doesn't have to be closed in an ecosystem. It can travel across different types of systems. It can travel across different games and that's what we are about.
You brought up a couple of great points there. The first one that I absolutely love is the betting aspect. Betting on the platform, which I think is absolutely incredible. Just me going back to university with my friends, we played hours and hours, heck, probably days of sports games, whether that was FIFA, NHL, Madden, 2K, you name it. And we would often do our own bet ,side bets in cash. But with a platform like Exeedme, you can actually go on and you can stake the cryptocurrency, which is X E, D. And I believe you can also stake other currencies, but you have the access to stake these currencies and bet against your friends. And furthermore, you can also bet against the public going head to head at each other, which is such a cool aspect. One of the problems with betting online is the ease of rigging the system. I know the Exeedme team has spent tons of money on R&D, in regards to matchmaking and how to make betting on the platform as seamless and fair as possible. Can you touch on what you've done to make this as legit as can be?
That's a great question. First, let me just clarify that currently in the platform, you are just allowed to bet on yourself or bets on the team that you are playing with. So contrary to other platforms, you can't bet on other games. And that's mostly because that's what you want to do to exceed the performance of the player that is playing the game and not really like being a betting platform as other platforms are. It's betting but betting on your own performance. When you talk about like, fairplay, that is paramount to our platform. That is like the principle of everything we do because if you are going to put a stake in yourself, and you are going to bet on your skills, and you really believe that you can beat the other person, the game shouldn't be weak, because otherwise it can be frustrating. And that happens with a lot of platforms. So we are taking like the steps to achieve this and how we are doing this, we are using elementary games data on the server side and in the future will also be on on the game side to ensure that the gameplay is level at all times. Moreover, we also are introducing currently on the platform that is already the referee. So if you play a game and you don't agree, like you don't believe that the other person or the other team on the other side was acting with fairplay, you can always call for the video referee and there will be a person like looking at it. The other mechanism that we included, it's a legal deterrent as well, which is asking people to do KYC on the platform. And this is very important because of avoiding people that are identified as cheaters or having multiple accounts to come back to the platform. So, if we identify the people, that have not played with the fair play that we expected, we are going to avoid them from coming back. And this is very important for all gamers to make sure that they are playing in a safe environment environment and they can feel safe. Of course like KYC is always a very, is a topic that can be highly discussable if you should adopt it or not. But in the end, we decided that we should add it to create this secure layer on top of what we are doing. Moreover, we've also been one of the first members of ESIC in terms of like online platforms, which is the esports integrity commission. And we follow their code of standards or their code of conduct and their standards on our platform which means that if you are finding in our platform, like using cheats you are also going to be banned from other major tournaments like rim hack. So that's how serious we are taking the fair play in our platform.
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Yeah. So regarding the beta and to explain how you can have more opportunities to get an invites to the private video because there will be more opportunities. So we've launched the first invites one week ago and what we did this week, because CSGO is a game that is played on teams. So we need some people to be on the platform. And by restricting the amount of people that can be registered in the platform, of course we are we are taking this liquidity that I spoke about earlier. So what we did was we created like a game night, where there were two pro players that although NPR streaming, how they were using our platform and the way they were playing at the same time, they had some invitations to give away to people that wanted to try the platform. And what this created was the opportunity for people to have more people in the platform and being allowed to play. There are three modes currently available on the platform. So you can play five versus five, the typical competition mode in CSGO, then you have the two versus the wingman, and you have one versus one. So that's the free mode that we have currently available. And it was a huge success because like people were at the same time on the platform. And that's something that we want to keep doing in the future. So Matt, be like with your eye on our twitter on our telegram and on your email because there will be soon some are game nights where you can get the invite. I can trust you on that, I can tell you that.
Love that. That's awesome. And what about other games? Me personally, I'm not too big into the first person shooters, or anything of the like. I used to when I was a little younger. Now I barely game but if there was some type of sports game like a FIFA or an NBA, a 2k NHL, I would absolutely be all over that and I know, tons of people in the network would be as well. Any plans on getting sports games involved in this?
Yeah, definitely. So to answer your question quite quickly. So something that is very important for us on Exeedme, is building up the community and building a platform that is for the gamer community. It is in the future to be run by them and what we see a lot is that people go through community chats and they talk a lot about what should be improved and in the platform, what other games should be added to the platform, but then we don't see like really action from the platform. So that's something that we are taking really seriously and one of the first steps that we took is like we ask people around Twitter in our community, what will be the next game that people would like to see on Exeedme for them to play and one of the most voted games was League of Legends. So we are taking that definitely in consideration. The other sports games that you are speaking about like FIFA was also one of the games that were voted at the time and we are definitely considering that. To be honest, like one of the most difficult games was CSGO because CSGO is a self hosted game, which is more complicated that integrating a game that works with an open API. And there are like a lot of games that you mentioned that have an open API. So that will take much less time to introduce. And at the same time, we also want to lower the barrier to enter our platform. So having more games, it's important because every gamer and every person in the community that plays all the other games can get access to. It will be a level with like FIFA, right? A lot of people play FIFA.
That's very interesting. I think once. I don't think, I'm positive. Once the Exeedme team gets more games on the platform, you guys will definitely be mainstream and every gamer around the world and just gamblers alike will be all over the platform. And I'm very excited for that. I want to move forward and talk more about crypto and blockchain and how that intertwines with Exeedme and the blockchain gaming ecosystem. Now Exeedme is powered by polkadot, and I'm curious to understand why you in the team chose to build the platform on the polkadot ecosystem.
That comes essentially from one aspect that I spoke earlier in our conversation, which is interoperability, okay. And what we envision here, and what polkadot created was this aspect of letting people create their own chains, and set up their own chains according to the needs that they want. And these chains can work alongside each other. And I think Polkdot is doing that in a very, very good and sophisticated manner. So a lot of game developers decide to develop on different blockchains according to different needs. So if polkadot creates this opportunity for people to build their own chains, according to what they need, what this would mean is that if we integrate, and you get this competitive layer on top of blockchains, from different chains, it can mean that the NFT that you can earn in a game can easily travel to be used in other chains. So ultimately, our goal is that items could be transferable between game universities in different blockchains, resulting the digital multiverse that I talked about in the beginning, and I think polkadot is taking the step forward in terms of bringing this to reality. And that's why we really focus on that.
I find that incredibly interesting. I know you spoke about NFTs a couple times. I know you're also a big NFT fan. I guess my question is, to what extent are NFTs really going to change the gaming world, especially with this interoperability that you speak of and being able to cross platform NFTs and make them intertwined? How important is that moving forward? And where do you sort of see the the future of gamification within the crypto sphere?
Yeah, yeah, I think NFTs will play a huge role, like in India, in the gaming ecosystem. So at Exeedme, we are playing a competitive layer that is on top of centralized games in first place. But as you understood from my previous answer regarding polkadot, it will also be on top of blockchain games. And what the NFTs allow is basically making something that already existed within a game. So you already were used to earn weapons, you were already were used to collect some items in a certain game. But these game assets couldn't be monetized or it was very difficult to monetize them. And they were closed in a digital world. And so what NFTs allow from an in game items perspective, is allowing them to travel across games. So in essence, an item that you earn, like playing Super Mario could be used in another games that somebody built on Decentraland. And for me, that's the magic of it at one place, and the other thing is like, making it liquid. So if the game goes away, and you still own that item. It most probably it won't have a lot of value in the market if the game disappears, but at the same time, it will have its own value. And it could be like Pokemon cards, you know? That came disappear like 15 years ago, but you still own an item from that game and you can sell it like in a marketplace. And I think that's the kind of things that NFT open that imaginary. But at the same time, it also opens imaginaries related with like, the utility in other aspects besides gaming. And I'm going to give you an example about what we did in Exeedme. So we created, we had like this tournament, this blockchain tournament, and the players that earned the...that won the tournament earned a gold medal, right. And that gold medal was an NFT. So basically, the gold medal was well crafted, and like looked very very awesome. I really enjoyed that medal that we created. But at the same time, that medal that was in the beginning, just a collectible, and just an award could be used if people were adding liquidity on uniswap, and we have a liquidity rewards program. It could be used to double the rewards of your liquidity. So in essence, it could be a bridge between what happens in a game and the play to earn mechanism, and then a bridge to what you can do on DeFi. So improve the earnings of the players that are on the platform. So there is a lot of use cases that that you can explore through NFTs on gaming and and on DeFi as well.
You just touched on players being able to earn within the ecosystem. Online on the Exeedme website, it says there are three ways that gamers can learn at the bare minimum. Number one is betting on yourself. Number two is earned by playing and number three is earn by progressing. Now, can you explain exactly how Exeedme allows the average Joe to make money on the platform?
Yeah, so the average would be. So we have the, we are going to introduce the matchmaking mechanism, which will, if you go to the platform, and you want to play a game and you want to bet on yourself, you can use the matchmaking to find someone that is on your ranking level so that you feel that the bet that you are putting is fair because you are playing at the same time with other people that are on the same level. And that's one of the most important parts. The other part is, and this is earned by winning. So you bet on yourself and if you win, you are going to earn. But for the average gamer, they can find people that are also average. So they can they can earn by fighting people that are not like two ranks up for them. The other part is and by engaging and earn by engaging means that by staking $XED, and you don't have to stake a lot, this will be introduced in the next quarter, you will get access to earn for every time that you play on the platform. What does this mean is that gamers that were used just to spend time and sometimes also spend spend money, they will have more opportunities to bring more capital into their account, those opportunities will be created. And we are also exploring some more opportunities but before we finish that the earne by progressing that you are referring to. So an average gamer can be placed in a league according to their ranking and there will be a monthly letter for that ranking level where the players that are playing that are on top ten at an average league, they can also earn NFTs that are exclusive and they can unlock opportunities DeFi opportunities for them to increase their earnings. And at the same time, and I don't want to disclose too much but there could be for example, the opportunity for them based on their activity on that league to be eligible for an NFT lottery without like paying anything just by engaging on the platform. And that could be meaningful prizes for them as well.
So if I wanted to go ham, if I wanted to go really hard on Exeedme and try to make a living off of this platform. Let's say I'm an above average gamer, how many months per se, and I know this is a hypothetical, but how many months would it take for me to actually make a living and put food on the table on the Exeedme platform?
That's a hard question. And this will be planned. We are still in private weather. And I hope to have a perfect question for you in probably one year. That will be great if I could have that question. What this means is that like, you just don't have necessarily to depend 100% to put food on your table, like to Exeedme. But it could also give space to the G works of nowadays, like you could, like do Uber Eats for some hours, or global for some hours, and earn some money. And what we can try to do here as well, is creating ourselves also this G work where you can, it's not a work, it's like you are having fun, but at the same time, you are earning some digital assets that you can monetize. And you can earn money just by being on the platform and play.
Interesting, very interesting. Nuno, this has been incredible. I've really enjoyed this chat. I know how busy you are and I'm very grateful for your time. Just a couple quick, rapid fire questions and we will end this conversation. One that I'm really curious about. I did some research on eSports gaming teams and how the players are making hundreds of 1000s of dollars and the creme de la creme are actually making millions. My question for you is what is the future of the blockchain gaming eSports team look like?
I think it looks bright. To be honest, blockchain game platform like Sandbox Decentraland tend to create more social games. So the esports team will be more digitally focused. So you can in essence, enter this blockchain space, or this metaverse where you can find games you can play. But I think what will happen is that you'll see more multifaceted gamers. So, and you're already seeing that. So nowadays teams are very focused on just one game. Of course, they specialize in one game. What I think like blockchain gaming will open in terms of teams is teams that probably, and we are talking I would say probably ten years, that are the ones that earn the most are team that plays a wide range of games, because these games will be interconnected. And by being interconnected, the skills that they require are also different. And of course, it will create more opportunities for more gamers. So I think it won't be such a pyramid as it is today. I think it will change and I hope that Exeedme will have a role in that future.
Where is the best place to purchase some of the official Exeedme currency, which is $XED,
And what cryptocurrencies are the best to swap into $XED
Ethereum. That's where you have the most liquidity on the swap currently.
So folks, that was go to uniswap and swap some $ETH for some $XED, and collect your bags. And last question, what does the future of Exeedme look like?
A lot of work in front of us, because I've already had a lot of requests from you, during this podcast, namely new games that we have to integrate. But I think it also looks bright because like the community is growing at everybody. Private beta has been awesome in terms of collecting feedback. Like we don't intend to start with everything, right. For example, we didn't have the one versus one mode for CSGO and like people from the community that tested the platform demanded it and now it's the mode that is more played. So I think we have a bright future if we hear each other, if we hear the community quite well. So that's what we expect for the future.
Nuno, this was an absolute treat. It was great having you on. Last thing before you go, please tell our audience the best places to find you and Exeedme online.
Yeah, you can find us on telegram. If you j st search for Exeedme, E X E E D M E. So we don't have the C in he middle. You can go to www.e eedme.com, and you can also o to discord to find our our c mmunity there.
Well folks that wraps it up for today. This was a great episode with Nuno Fernandez CEO of exeedme and we cannot wait to have other guests on the show and we hope you enjoyed this one. If you'd like to find them on Twitter, telegram, you name it again that is Exeedme EXEEDME exeedme without the C. That wraps up today's show. Hope you had a blast listening and we will see you next week. All the best and see you next week. Bye.