InterviewsTech

ALAX Wants to Eliminate the Payment Intermediaries in the Gaming Industry

Blockchain Advisor speaks to the team at ALAX about their platform and their recent partnership with smartphone vendor Gionee

What is ALAX All about?
ALAX is a project with an intention to bring fresh air to the Gaming Industry around the world. The purpose is to develop and support Mobile Game Distribution Platform in emerging markets. It is a joint venture from blockchain technology business DECENT and app and game distribution platform Dragonfly. The ALAX partnerships mean DECENT’s proprietary blockchain technology will be immediately rolled out to Dragonfly’s over 100 million active users.

What problem have you set out to solve?
Many of users on the emerging markets do not have access to credit or debit cards (the World Bank Global Finance Index 2014 identified 2 billion ‘unbanked’ adults worldwide), yet do have relatively easy access to cash and 3G/LTE smartphones. Traditionally, to buy games or apps, customers have to use PayPal, credit cards, or make payments using prime rate SMS, where mobile network operators (payment intermediary) would take a 50-70% commission from the price paid by the user for developer’s app/game.

Since there is no alternative for both sides, they have to accept the high processing fee terms. This means that developer will make a lower profit and hence raises the price and the end user has to pay more for the app. Similarly, the provider has a longer time to settle the payments to the developer which can take up to 6 months and the developer has no choice but wait.

With the ALAX platform, customers will be able to obtain ALA tokens in cash through the network of brick and mortar stores selling the top-up cards with QR code. This code is then paired with the ALAX app and tokens are charged to the end user’s account.

ALA tokens are then used in-app to purchase games and apps directly from the developer. Eliminating the payment intermediaries not only quickens the transaction and reduces the price of content, it also opens gaming and app purchases to customers without access to traditional methods of payment.

How will it use Blockchain tech to enhance services?
DCore blockchain developed by DECENT is a digital content oriented blockchain with fundamental support of purchase and distribution of digital assets such as mobile games. Moreover, DCore blockchain architecture is designed to have high transaction speed and the ability to process a high volume of transactions that is expected in marketplace applications such as ALAX.

For content distribution, it is very important to be able to split revenue in a fair way between multiple parties involved in the development and production of digital content. DCore blockchain already has a unique built-in feature that supports automatic revenue splitting based on predefined rules. The combination of these features makes DCore able to provide the underlying layer on which the ALAX infrastructure can be built on.

DCore blockchain uses a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) mechanism in order to achieve the consensus of various nodes in the network. Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) is one of the fastest, most efficient, and most flexible consensus model available.

DPoS leverages the power of stakeholder approval voting to resolve consensus issues in a fair and democratic way. Deterministic selection of block producers allows DCore to decrease the block production time to 5 seconds. The principal miners’ delegation is covered by a community of voters.

The above functionalities, plus the strong cryptography and trustless transactions native to blockchains, will allow ALAX to revolutionize the Mobile Gaming Industry.

What is the partnership between ALAX and Gionee?
ALAX signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Gionee, one of China’s and India’s largest smartphone manufacturers. In 2016 it shipped over 40 million smartphones worldwide, and the company’s phones are one of the most popular brands in India. The intended partnership will see ALAX platform preinstalled on Gionee’s new smartphones, with older models moving to this platform in line with regular updates.

Why is this partnership important?
The agreement will allow app developers access to tens of millions of ‘unbanked’ users – particularly in Southeast Asia, China and India, through the blockchain-powered distribution platform.

Gionee’s presence is also being seen growing in over 50 global markets. This is where ALAX identified a huge number of future potential users for its project, which already counts a network of over 100 million end-users.

Will ALAX be partnering with more companies in the future?
Absolutely. There are other partnerships in the pipeline and we believe we will sign new LOIs soon. ALAX will also have an instant access to Dragonfly’s network of 100 million active monthly users.

Are any service charges involved with using ALAX tokens, whether to buy games and services or when converting it to fiat currency?
Brick and mortar stores (i.e. resellers) will receive ALA tokens in form of the top-up cards from ALAX for a fixed price to which they can add an additional fee and then distribute them to the end users. This fee will, of course, be much lower in comparison to the current fee charged by the payment intermediaries.

Developers will be receiving ALA tokens after each transaction (purchase of a mobile game) and those tokens will be almost instantly transferred to their accounts. Once the developer decides to be paid out, he can transfer the obtained ALA tokens to FIAT for a small fee. For this purpose, there will be an internal exchange integrated in the ALAX app store.

Once exchanged for FIAT, ALA tokens will be burned. ALA tokens can be used by the developer in a variety of ways: as a reward for the players to motivate them or for marketing purposes. ALAX will keep those fees as low as possible in order to bring the benefits to both, developers and end-users.

What has been the response to the company’s Token Generation Event? What was the outcome?
ALAX’s Token Generation Event has officially come to an end. From Tuesday, April 17 until Monday, April 23, the project was aiming to stir up the world of blockchain and mobile gaming industry. The participation, during those 6 days, was adequate and it was keeping the stable pace.

There were 300,000,000 ALX tokens dedicated to two rounds of the ALAX TGE. As the whitepaper stipulates, there won’t be any burning and all those tokens are going to be distributed to the TGE participants on pro-rata principle. Based on the results, every participant is eligible for the 10% bonus and those who contributed with DCT coins will receive an extra 10% bonus.

In total, ALAX raised $3,832,493.8 (according to coinmarketcap.com rates on Monday, April 23, 2018). With no softcap set, the project would have continued no matter what amount was collected. This is an impressive result for ALAX.

What sort of profit rates can game developers expect when using ALAX as a payment platform?
ALAX is working hard on the new partnership deals with smartphone manufacturers in the emerging markets to approach more potential users. As mentioned before, thanks to the ALAX’s low fees together with the access to large user network, developers should see their profits grow.

How long does it take for the payments to process through the ALAX platform?
The settlement time on DCore blockchain platform is 5 seconds.  This platform also allows the processing speed of two thousand transactions per second, but as DECENT team is still in the process of conducting benchmarks, the final number could be much bigger, probably over 10,000 and somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000.

Who is the team involved in this project?
ALAX is proud to have multiple specialist with vast blockchain experience:

Matej Michalko – Co-founder of ALAX and Co-founder/CEO at DECENT. Matej’s interest in Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency began over seven years ago. He used the knowledge he gained to found DECENT and has been leading it as its CEO ever since. With a singular mindset of bringing Blockchain to the masses and to see it adapted throughout the world, he organized China’s first ever international Bitcoin Conference and also founded and led many others. Matej also founded the world’s first Bitcoin Marketing agency and the first Cryptocurrency e-Gaming Consulting Firm and served as a consultant on the Isle of Man.

Kalvin Feng – Co-founder of ALAX and CEO at Dragonfly, with experience from working for global foreign companies in the domain of R&D and marketing. Kalvin founded Kason Technology, Inc. where he focused on the marketing of laptops, electronic components and mobile phones. He is currently the CEO of Dragonfly, a company dedicated to software, advertising and content development and big data analysis.

Richard Wang – Advisor, with over two decades of experience in business development, technical marketing and sales management in high technology, artificial intelligence, fintech and smart hardware. A true believer in blockchain technology, he advises up-and-coming startups using his experience as an investor. Richard was the strategic advisor for ODEM (On-Demand Education Marketplace), which is built on the Ethereum blockchain and strives to connect students, educators and service providers to develop and engage in personal and group, in-person educational programs.

Richard is also a partner at Draper Dragon Fund since 2011, a joint venture between Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Dragon Venture, that helped pioneer venture capital in China, which manages more than USD 7 billion in capital and has a presence in more than 30 cities.

Matej Nemcek – Backend Blockchain Engineer and expert in programming languages including Express.js, ES2015 (ES6), FlowType, StandardJS, Vue.js, Bulma, PouchDB, Bootstrap, jQuery. He also has a keen interest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, running nodes and programming smart contracts. He implemented his knowledge of smart contracts in SophiaTX.

Peter Student – Head of Software development, Co-founder one of the very first online marketing agencies in the Czech and Slovak Republic. Throughout his career he has been leading teams on various web based and mobile apps projects. Recently he worked as the Head of Software Development for Thirtyseventy Digital where he and his team were responsible for delivering global IoT initiatives for companies such as Electrolux and AEG.

ALAX project is led by Tomas Koprusak who is coordinating all those blockchain minds together with the the team of advisors, PR and Operations managers, IT specialist, Community managers and many more. All those people are not just very proficient at what they are working on but many of them also have the valuable experience from the blockchain sphere.

What are the key milestones you want to achieve this year with ALAX?
2018 holds a lot of promise for ALAX. During the summer ALAX will be launching the Testnet which will be followed by the launch of the Mainnet and the Store Beta. MVP for the ALAX app store is already published and there are many other features in the development phase. ALAX hopes to conclude the testing of everything by the end of the year and estimates that the final product, the ALAX store itself, will be fully operational and launched by the end of Q1 of 2019.

Any other info you would like to add?
To promote its project, ALAX organized an Airdrop campaign. It lasted for 28 days and during that time it boosted the official Telegram group to over 70 000 members. There were 10,000,000 ALX tokens dedicated to the airdrop campaign and each participant could have a maximum of 5 referrals. The final numbers were the following: 57 205 confirmed participants with 24 279 referees, 81 484 stakes in total and 122.7234 ALX per stake. Tokens will be distributed within 1 month after TGE.

In May, ALX is going to hit various exchanges, starting with QRYPTOS, followed by YoBitCREX24 and Coinbene. ALAX team is now completing the TGE data in order to generate and distribute the tokens by that time. Once the ALX tokens are listed on the exchanges they are tradable and later on they can be used to obtain the ALA tokens in the ALAX store with a 20% bonus.

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