Cryptocurrency is still in its relative infancy. That means a lot of potential users aren’t sure exactly how it works. The intimidation factor might make some hesitant to give it a try. But in an interview with Daily Crypto, World Asset eXchange founder Malcolm CasSelle talks about how his trading platform is making cryptocurrency something people know and trust.
CasSelle created OPSkins as an online marketplace for trading digital assets for gamers. “Think of it like eBay, or you know, the marketplace on Amazon for people to buy and sell virtual items. These virtual items are called skins. They are purely cosmetic items that live inside of video games. The only way you can see them and access them, or use them, is in a video game,” CasSelle said.
That platform has only been around for three years, but it’s already used to trade billions in digital skins. CasSelle and the OPSkins team recognized a need for this kind of trading, which led to the creation of World Asset eXchange — WAX. “What we realized, was that there was a big desire for people to be able to trade peer-to-peer. Most trading occurs peer-to-peer today, but it’s really hard to do transferring money escrow is an issue. There’s a lot of friction. It’s very difficult,” CasSelle said.
This kind of online exchange is in high demand right now, especially for digital assets. One example is “Crytokitties,” a game that uses Ethereum blockchain technology to let users breed and collect digital cats. Other digital assets, like outfits on Snapchat’s bitmoji feature, sell for over $800. OPSkins offers its own products for the video game industry, where people buy and sell weapons like pistols, rifles and guns for gaming characters. CasSelle modeled WAX after technology he created for OPSkins, allowing people outside the gamer sphere to trade directly.
Malcolm CasSelle’s Changing Landscape
Before WAX, CasSelle said the online trading ecosystem was mostly between friends. While this ensured accountability, it didn’t necessarily invite competitive trading. The innovation behind his approach was expanding the market and making sure it’s something people can trust. One thing that’s made trading on WAX so easy is accessibility. “[Traders] could use US Dollars, or Euros, and come in with PayPal or credit card, which of course you can’t do anywhere else in the world. Those three things I thought would add a lot of value. I think we were pretty excited to see that implementation. We’ve had quite a number of people buying and selling and trading throughout our platform, I think because of those three factors,” CasSelle said.
The platform adopted Bitcoin as well as 50 other world currencies for trading. Since it was introduced, Bitcoin has risen to the top three forms of currency used by WAX traders daily. CasSelle said that’s been huge for WAX eCommerce and Bitcoin more generally. “It was really great in terms of broadening the ecosystem, but also people started to understand why Bitcoin was really interesting….It’s pretty extraordinary to see how fast it was adopted and how widely it’s used.”
The platform also has its own currency WAX tokens, which have quickly gained popularity, even in their early stages of use. Even though there are still some kinks that need to be worked out, CasSelle is confident WAX will benefit traders. “We know for sure that the cost for using WAX will be significantly lower than Bitcoin or Ethereum, when it’s running on our custom blockchain. That will be really powerful to keep most of the value in the hands of the gamers that the people, who are buying and selling,” he said.
A Digital Skyrocket in User Size
Although OPSkins doesn’t disclose the size of its user base, Casselle said the platform gains 200,000 new users a month with two million transactions per week. He said the platform currently facilitates around 100 million transactions per year. Casselle estimates that the skins industry is worth about 50 billion dollars. Now, WAX is giving OPSkins a run for its money “disrupting” the platform as it grows, but CasSelle said that’s not a bad thing. He’s looking to the future of tokenization beyond the gaming industry.
The next step for Casselle is moving from a centralized model for trading to a tokenized model for use in new digital industries like art collection and real estate. The same holds true for WAX tokens, which CasSelle will be invaluable in expanding the digitized asset market. As a pioneer for peer-to-peer trading in the industry, CasSelle’s goal is to make that process as streamlined as possible.
“Our whole approach is simple, simple, simple. What we found is that, when you give people an option, that’s simple, or one that’s hard, not only did they like simple, but they increased their usage overall, because it’s simple,” CasSelle said. “Keeping things easy is our primary objective.”