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Twitch cofounder Justin Kan is announcing today that his new blockchain games marketplace Fractal has made it easy for Web3 gamers to sign into cryptocurrency wallets.
The new product is called Sign In with Fractal and it functions as a digital cryptocurrency wallet for Web3 gamers. Once you log into it, you can see the digital assets that you own such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for various game assets.
This announcement comes two months after the company raised a $35 seed round led by Paradigm and Multicoin Capital.
Fractal is a marketplace for video game players to discover, buy and sell gaming NFTs. Over 121 NFT collections across 85 games have launched live on Fractal since January.
“We have a lot of games being signed up to use it,” Kan said. The company soft-launched with one game and is moving on to more signups now.
Sign In with Fractal provides game players with a cryptocurrency wallet that makes it easy to start playing web3 games, both on Fractal and within partner games. Players are able to store and trade in-game assets, buy NFTs, and participate in Fractal tournaments using Sign in with Fractal, Kan said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We’ve created a cryptocurrency wallet that solves some of the problems that game developers have with building Web3 games,” Kan said. “We’re trying to onboard the mass market, the majority of non-crypto users who are playing games. The wallet is a big fall-off point.”
Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million unique active wallets (UAW) in March, accounting for 52% of the industry’s activity.
“We noticed that the player appreciates the benefits of the blockchain only after the player wants to sell, stake, or lend their assets. At the start, the player just wants to play the game.” said Kan. “So we built a product that makes it easy to onboard users into crypto games.”
How it works
Kan showed me a demo where he signed into his wallet using his Google ID.
As part of the integration, Sign in with Fractal solved a challenges faced by game studios associated with building a game on top of the blockchain, which can authenticate the uniqueness of digital items such as NFTs in games.
Sign In with Fractal gives game studios an application programming interface (API) call for game studios to determine which assets a player has in their Fractal wallet, and comes with software development kits (SDKs) for Unity, Unreal, iOS and Web. Some of the games that have integrated Sign in with Fractal include multi-mode games (Tiny Colony), first person shooter games (MetaOps, ev.io, and BR1), sci-fi MMORPG games (Roguestar), and fighting games (Psyker).
“Sign In with Fractal allows users to login to Web3 games with accounts they already have: Google, Twitter, or Discord. In about 30 seconds, users can create a Fractal wallet, record their seed phrase, and they’re ready to play on any device. No chrome extension. No mobile app download. It’s that simple.” said David Wurtz, CEO of Fractal, in a statement. “And because it is tied in with players’ social logins, it’s a lot harder to fall for phishing attacks.”
“We have been talking about the potential of blockchain games for a long time. We recently saw a successful and seamless adoption of Sign In with Fractal amongst our first 15K ev.io users that signed up and did a tournament live on fractal.is” said Chris Scott, general manager at Addicting Games, in a statement. “We’re excited for Sign In with Fractal to be rolled out across other web3 games.”
Right now, Sign In with Fractal works with Solana’s SOL cryptocurrency. The company doesn’t support Metamask wallets yet, but it supports Phantom, which is like the equivalent for the Solana blockchain, which is popular with games. Over time, Fractal will likely add more blockchain solutions, Kan said.
“Sign In with Fractal is an excellent choice for mainstream users discovering web3 applications. From a technical perspective, the Fractal team delivered a clean SDK with well-structured API that allows using OAuth and shamir secrets in a smooth and secure way. Amazingly, integrating it with the existing wallet infrastructure was frictionless and took less than one hour for our team.” said Bartosz Lipinski, senior software engineer at Solana, in a statement. “Sign In with Fractal gave me confidence that we will be able to onboard the next 100s of millions of users into our product without friction.”
The Fractal team aims to unlock a new wave of innovation that enables games to be more fun, have better aligned incentives between player and game studio, and to enable growth quicker than ever before, Kan said. Game companies can get in touch on this form.
Screenshots and digital assets of Fractal can be found here.
A cryptocurrency wallet is similar to a digital wallet but instead of storing your credit cards, debit cards and cash, it allows crypto users to store and retrieve their digital assets (Bitcoin, NFTs, etc). When a user buys crypto (such as Ethereum, Solana, Bitcoin, etc.), they store it in a crypto wallet and use it to complete transactions. When you purchase NFTs on marketplaces like Fractal, those also go in your crypto wallet.
If you are a gamer, and you want to get started playing a crypto game, figuring out how to download a plugin and onboard with a wallet can be confusing, Fractal said. There are many benefits to games moving to web3: larger, more open economies and real player ownership of assets.
But at the outset, some or all players might not know anything about crypto, how it works or why it’s useful. A game asking them to download a wallet can discourage them from engaging. Only after the player wants to sell, stake or lend their asset, does the player appreciate the benefits of the blockchain.At the start, the player just wants to play the game.
Sign In with Fractal allows players to login to web3 games with accounts they already have: Google, Twitter or Discord. In 30 seconds, a player can create a Fractal Wallet, record their seed phrase, and be ready to play on any device. No chrome extension. No mobile app download. It’s that simple.
“If you lose your Google account, or your Twitter account, you can recover it,” Kan said.
Sign In with Fractal is a non-custodial wallet, meaning that no third party has access to it — yes, including Fractal itself, Kan said. He said it is safe because it is tied in with the players’ social logins. That makes it a lot harder to fall for phishing attacks. For example, if a player attempts to login to Fractal Wallet on a site pretending to be the real fractal.is website, the player would quickly realize they weren’t already logged in and know something was up.
Imagine you are in the middle of a quest and you just defeated the boss. Now, the game presents you with an opportunity to mint one of the 1,000 special swords. You can do this in a single click, without leaving the game for an app or browser window, Fractal said.
Sign In with Fractal solves a host of challenges for game studios. Building a game on top of the blockchain is tedious and requires a very specific skill set not found at the game studio. In fact, many game studios may not want to hire a crypto-native team, instead preferring to focus on building their game. Sign In with Fractal API solves this problem by lowering the barrier to interact with the blockchain. It comes loaded with SDKs for Unity, Unreal, iOS and Web. The developer docs are live now at http://developers.fractal.is. This allows almost any developer to integrate, unlocking a series of benefits:
Sign In with Fractal makes it a quick and easy API call for game studios to determine which assets a player has in their Fractal wallet. Does the player still own the sword they are playing with? Fractal invests a lot of dollars on servers to ensure it keeps up with the changes on the blockchain so the game doesn’t have to.
Sign In with Fractal allows players to trade assets inside the game, whether peer-to-peer or directly from the game. The company foresees most players wanting to buy from within the game, which is the most natural place to shop for games’ assets. It can also mint on demand.
Rather than have a mint event every so often, a game can always be offering their digital assets for sale inside the game. The players can mint items any time they want. This way, the game starts to build much needed cash flow to support their ecosystem.
Sign In with Fractal private key is split into two “secret shares,” one stored on Fractal’s servers, and the other stored locally on your devices. Both secret shares are needed to re-create the private key. Having one share is completely useless and Fractal is not able to sign any transactions on your behalf.
First, login using the same social account you used on your original device. You should see a prompt to approve on an existing device or enter your seed phrase. Go to https://fractal.is/account on an existing device and click Approve, or paste your seed phrase into the dialog. This device will now be fully logged-in and can be used to approve other devices.
If you lose all of your approved devices, all of the local “secret shares” will be lost and the only way to recover your account will be your exported seed phrase. But you have to make sure you store your seed phrase somewhere safe.
Sign In with Fractal currently works on your desktop or mobile web browser. For playing Web3 games on desktop, Fractal recommends Chrome for both stability and performance. Currently, all iOS web browsers are forced to clear local storage after seven days of inactivity. If you only use mobile, make sure you back up your seed phrase.
“Our goal is to make things a lot more simple again,” Kan said. “The developers are excited because they want to onboard their users in seamless ways and no one has done that yet.”
The company has about 15 people.