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Ubisoft launches new Ethereum based collectible game supporting UNICEF

French game developer, Ubisoft, has just launched an Ethereum (ETH) platform blockchain-based collectible game called Rabbids tokens. Proceeds from the game will go towards supporting the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Rabbids are characters from Ubisoft’s existing Raving Rabbids! series, which is a spin-off of another popular Ubisoft game, Rayman. Ubisoft is a Paris based game production company notable for developing games like Rayman, and gaming franchises like Assasin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Just Dance. As of June 2020, it is said to have a net worth of US$9.27 Billion.

The Rabbids Token game has similarities to the popular CryptoKitties collectible game which created enough network congestion to crash the Ethereum network in 2017. The original Ethereum whitepaper from 2013 describes the intent of the platform blockchain “to create an alternative protocol for building decentralized applications, providing a different set of tradeoffs that we believe will be very useful for a large class of decentralized applications”

The ETH project was proposed by Vitalik Buterin. Other co-founders and early contributors include Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) followed in 2014, where US$16 million was raised to support the growth of the protocol.

Ethereum is able to support complex games and applications like Rabbids Tokens through the use of what the whitepaper describes as an “ultimate abstract foundational layer”. Ethereum’s foundation layer is a blockchain with a built-in Turing-complete programming language.

This programming language is currently called Solidity. Ethereum allows any developer to write smart contracts and decentralized applications which have their own arbitrary rules for ownership, transaction formats, and state transition functions.

Ubisoft launches new Ethereum based collectible game supporting UNICEF (1)
Rabbids token NFTs

The Rabbids Token game connects to popular Ethereum browser wallets like Metamask. The game was developed by the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Labs, an in-house project by Ubisoft that supports startups. The company describes the mission of the project as being to “help Ubisoft anticipate the future. It’s a think-and-do tank that analyses technological, social, and business trends to identify opportunities for innovation and explore the possibilities through prototypes and projects with internal and external partners.

Users can purchase Rabbids tokens using Ethereum (ETH) and they exist as ERC-721 non-fungible smart contract-based tokens. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) contain unique identifying information within their smart contracts. This means unlike ETH, one Rabbids token is not directly replaceable for another.

Rabbids token has distinct gameplay mechanics that separate it from other crypto collectible games where NFTs are generated or are tradeable. In this game, NFTs can be bought from other players without their consent. Tokens transform every time they get a new owner, each time a token is stolen it generates the look of a different animal for the token.

While players cannot do anything to keep their Rabbids, tokens come with Proof of Plausible Ownership (POPO) certificates that stay in a players’ wallets forever, meaning the players have blockchain recorded evidence of any NFT they have ever purchased in-game. Players can collect POPOs to try and put together a complete collection of certificates. These POPOs cannot be sold or traded.

When a player buys a token the proceeds, paid in ETH, go directly to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF was founded in 1946 and is currently headquartered in New York City. It is an agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

In October 2019, UNICEF announced that it would now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of the cryptocurrencies ETH and Bitcoin (BTC). This is enabled by the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund and marked the first time a United Nations organization accepted cryptocurrencies.

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is designed to support projects that benefit children and young people around the world. The first contribution to the fund was made by the Ethereum foundation. The Ethereum Foundation (EF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Ethereum protocol and related technologies. The initial donation made by the Ethereum Foundation was 100 ETH.

“Digital finance is going to change pretty significantly how we work as an organization”. Said Sunita Grote, manager of the UNICEF innovation fund speaking to Quartz in February 2020. “There was a need to prepare the organization to be able to leverage the kind of emerging technologies in that field to make us more efficient.”

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is nestled within a larger UNICEF initiative called the Innovation Fund. The Innovation fund handles projects that use technologies like drones, machine learning, blockchain, and other advancements that align with its core missions.

Projects funded by the Innovation Fund range from gaming to drug delivery and mobile networks. To receive funding, a project must be based in emerging or developing markets, work in a field with a market cap of US$1 billion, and utilizes open source technology.


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