Technology

CEO Axie Infinity: ‘To say I’m a dollar billionaire is not accurate’


CEO Nguyen Thanh Trung said that calling him a USD billionaire is completely incorrect, because the market capitalization of the AXS token is completely different from the capitalization of Sky Mavis.

Axie Infinity is a game developed by Sky Mavis – a game studio based in Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of many Vietnamese people. This startip is impressive because the total capitalization of AXS (the utility token of this game) has reached 2.4 billion USD. Axie Infinity attracts a large number of players from many countries around the world. In terms of value, what Axie Infinity has followed and surpassed the success of Flappy Bird. VietNamNethad a talk with the founder of Axie Infinity.

The Axie – the main character of the game Axie Infinity.

What fate led to the birth of Axie Infinity? In other words, how did the idea of ​​a blockchain game like Axie Infinity come to China?

Nguyen Thanh Trung: I used to dislike, even hate Blockchain.

In the time before Axie Infinity was born, people used to talk about the price of Bitcoin and ICOs. In my eyes at that time, not everyone needed capital to develop a blockchain project properly. On the contrary, there are those who see ICOs themselves as a product. This goes against my work ethic as a technology engineer.

One fine day, I was curious when I heard about a game on the blockchain platform. When I tried it out, I realized that it turned out that Blockchain was not as bad as I had imagined, just how to use that technology.

With that in mind, I decided to give it a try and the original Axie Infinity was born. When the game gradually gained a positive response from the community, I decided to quit my job to devote myself to the project.

CEO Axie Infinity: 'Saying I'm a Dollar Billionaire' is incorrect
Nguyen Thanh Trung – Founder and CEO is Axie Infinity.

Axie Infinity is the result of me and 4 co-founders, including Tu Doan – another co-founder of Lozi. There are also Aleksander Larsen from Norway, Jeffrey Zirlin from the US and Andy Ho who are my colleagues at my old company.

I and two foreign co-founders met through a blockchain game we played together. After that, we could not meet face-to-face and work online. However, that was the starting point of Axie Infinity at the end of 2017, early 2018.

When starting the project, did Trung think Axie Infinity would develop to the billion-dollar level as it is now?

When we started developing Axie Infinity, we didn’t think too much. At that time, we just wanted to do something in the spirit of entrepreneurship. From the perspective of game enthusiasts, we want to make some change in this industry.

On the development path of the project, the team has more perspectives and information. At that time, the wishes and development goals of the new project became clearer and clearer, thereby forming plans and strategies to bring about results.

Axie Infinity’s recent growth has surpassed the group’s expectations a bit.

CEO Axie Infinity: 'To say I'm a dollar billionaire is not accurate'
Chart of growth rate of total capitalization of AXS (utility token of Axie Infinity). Metrics: Coinmarketcap

The growth model of conventional enterprises has a linear form. With technology companies, it is different by the appearance of singularities. That’s when the company’s growth rate skyrocketed. So where is the singularity of Axie Infinity?

There are many singularities along the way of Axie Infinity. In particular, the transfer of the game’s infrastructure to Ronin – a blockchain developed by the team itself is an important milestone. This is the premise for the development of Axie Infinity later.

Billionaire Mark Cuban’s investment in Axie Infinity is also an influencing factor. However, in that investment round, not only Mark Cuban but also many reputable individuals and investment organizations also helped Axie Infinity a lot, they have a reputation in the world but perhaps not much in the world. Vietnam.

Startups often focus on developing the domestic market before considering going to the world. But Axie Infinity seems to be the opposite. Why is that so?

At the beginning of the project, the number of blockchain game players was not much. The total number of blockchain game players in the world at that time was probably only about 6,000-7,000 people. That number is too small to be broken down by country and region.

Therefore, Axie Infinity has turned to the international market to create something bigger. The large user base also provides a source of feedback so the project can improve and continue to grow.

CEO Axie Infinity: 'Saying I'm a Dollar Billionaire' is incorrect
In terms of value, what Axie Infinity has far exceeds the success of Flappy Bird.

From a subjective perspective, the international market is easier to do in the blockchain industry, both in terms of player adoption and regulatory and ecosystem support. In addition, the first players also play a very important role in laying the foundation for a whole community later. That’s why Axie Infinity did not choose to develop in the Vietnamese market in the early stages.

Can Trung reveal about the development team of Axie Infinity? How many members does Sky Mavis have and what percentage is Vietnamese in it?

Currently, Sky Mavis has about 40 employees, 80% of whom are Vietnamese. 3 out of 5 founders of the project are also Vietnamese.

Starting from Vietnam, the fact that the company has many Vietnamese people is an advantage because it brings cultural similarities. However, in the future, Axie Infinity will use more foreign workers in some positions related to creativity, while Vietnamese people have outstanding technical skills.

CEO Axie Infinity: 'Saying I'm a Dollar Billionaire' is incorrect
Axie Infinity development team. Founder Nguyen Thanh Trung is second from the right.

In the group’s mind, we think of ourselves as more of an international company. However, I am very happy that Axie Infinity is known as a Vietnamese technology company. I want to be able to put Vietnamese names on the world map.

Vietnamese people are very good at jobs that require carefulness and meticulousness and have great potential in the field of technology. We just lack a bit of problem perspective as well as product thinking. Hopefully, Axie Infinity will contribute to improving that by developing a team of creative human resources in the country, in parallel with searching and recruiting in foreign markets.

What does Trung think when someone looks at the capitalization of AXS and thinks you are a billionaire in USD? Are Trung’s assets really that much?

A lot of the information shared about Axie Infinity and myself is not very accurate. So I also tried to explain it again so that everyone could understand correctly about this issue.

It is incorrect to say that I am a USD billionaire because the market capitalization of the AXS token is completely different from that of Sky Mavis. The company owns a portion of the AXS, but the tokens are currently locked.

The Axie Infinity development team currently has a total of 21% of the total AXS token supply. Of which, the company holds 17%, the remaining 4% of AXS tokens are used as rewards for the development team, just like ESOP in shares.

CEO Axie Infinity: 'To say I'm a dollar billionaire is not accurate'
The capitalization of the AXS token does not represent the value of Sky Mavis – the company that developed the game Axie Infinity.

With a total capitalization of $2.4 billion, the token holdings of both the company and the development team are currently only worth about $500 million. This amount of AXS tokens will be unlocked gradually over time to ensure the commitment of the company and people to the project.

However, to be correct, this number is only the value of the token that the team is holding, not the full value of Sky Mavis. In addition to Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis prides itself on human resources, research and other products…

Many also congratulated me and thought that I was the contributor and majority owner of Axie Infinity. That’s not right. Without a team of companions, Axie Infinity would not be able to build as it is now. This effort and contribution is of course proportional to the level of ownership by everyone in the company.

My personal holding of shares is owning shares of a private enterprise. Axie Infinity has a long way to go. When the project comes to an exit (divestment) like an IPO (initial public offering), the value of that share is really meaningful.

With the current achievements, what is Trung’s plan? Will you aim to become a technology billionaire or aim for something else??

Personally, my current goal is to raise my children well, just ordinary things like that.

Billionaire USD or not is just a number. The fact that people talk so much about it makes me think too. However, I don’t think I’m going to chase numerical goals.

Compared to personal needs, even if that need increases, at some point, this will not require too much money. Money is just a tool to create better things, to satisfy my own desire to do something to help people and society.

That’s what I thought before and still is. Only, now I also feel the pressure of responsibility much greater than before.

Trong Dat

Nguyen Thanh Trung,

Who is Nguyen Thanh Trung, the “father” of the billion-dollar Vietnamese game that is on the rise?

Axie Infinity is becoming a global technology phenomenon when attracting hundreds of thousands of gamers from all over the world. The total capitalization of this virtual currency game project sometimes reaches $2.7 billion.

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