Blockchain

Interview with ION: ionomy Studio’s digital gaming and financial platform

Q: What can you tell us about the ION digital currency?
ION is the digital currency at the heart of ionomy Studio’s digital gaming and financial platform, ionomy.com. Our first game, “Crypto Gravity,” came out March 3rd. It’s designed to be fun to play with engaging features that make people want to keep on playing, including the chance to earn ION.
We make it easy and fun for new users to enjoy the benefits of digital currency even if they’ve never heard of bitcoin. The company offers gamers digital assets as rewards for gameplay and in-game purchases, enabling them to quickly obtain ION and experience the benefits of digital currency. We operate on the pleasure principle and try to make everything as fun and entertaining as possible. When gamers get a taste for how digital currency benefits them, we believe they will want more.
But Ionomy is not just about fun. We’ve designed an ecosystem to quickly grow the user base, while leveraging gaming activity as a market force to increase the value of the ION currency itself. That just hasn’t been done before.
Other companies have created digital currencies and places to spend them, but none of these companies has created enough incentive for users to buy and hold on to their digital coins. ionomy is the first to develop a set of mechanisms that actually tie the transactional use of digital currency to its market value. In the ionomy business model, whenever gamers spend within games or at the ionomy web store, they are also simultaneously improving ION’s market dynamics — even if they don’t know it. We’ve tied the use of ION to the value of ION.
Q: What types of services will ionomy offer?
Several key financial and gaming services are already available. BTC/ION trading is available on the built in exchange. “Stakers” allow users to hold coins and receive daily rewards without actually running their own wallets. “Cards” can be applied to stakers for increased rates of return and to obtain special in game bonuses. “Electrons” are the principal in game tokens for upgrades and ammo. They can be purchased at a discount with ION and transferred to games. Purchases and gameplay are rewarded with “points,” redeemable in the store for any of the goods and services offered.
A lot more is coming. For instance, a referral system and masternode hosting are in the works, as well as an expanded store with more merchandise and digital goods. Special daily deals will be offered to redeem all those hard earned points. Short a few points you need to get that bargain that’s only on sale today? You’ll be able to buy enough points with ION to complete your purchase.
Also on the horizon is crowdfunding of projects that incorporate ION. Soon you’ll be able to contribute funds to third party apps, games, and platforms and receive special benefits in return.
More games and exciting services are in the works. You can get an idea of upcoming releases from the Games Page and the latest happenings at ionomy News. With every game, service, and feature we offer, our goal is to make it fun, easy, and rewarding.
Q: Are you targeting the consumer or business market? How does the business model work?”
We target both gamers and game developers. To win the attention of gamers we have to stand out from the crowd. There are tons of games. But how many offer the chance to win monetary prizes every week?
When it comes to the business model, you might think ionomy Studios would want to hold a monopoly on making games connected to ION. It’s just the opposite, actually. The more games that amplify the value of ION, the healthier the ION economy will be, so we’ll be attracting gaming developers through a creative profit sharing mode.
Our easy-to-use crowdfunding feature connects gamers and devs. The amount of community funding gives instant feedback to the developer about interest in the game they pitch. And successfully funded campaigns provide a ready testing group for faster feedback during development. Gamers benefit from early access to favorite projects and exclusive benefits.
We invite developers to piggyback on the infrastructure we’ve built like the secure API and gaming tokens. Talented entrepreneurs will find our thriving community of gamers, developers, and investors welcoming and eager to help.

Q: What can you tell us about what you have in the pipeline?

We’re designing games in a wide range of genres, each to attract a different audience to the ION economy. And, of course, each will create new uses for ION. We’re especially interested in developing the social dimension because when people play games together they have even more fun. It creates a sense of community, and that’s something we value. We want our user base to stay connected to each other — and to stay connected to ionomy. We’ve got some exciting games in active development and we’ll be rolling them out this year.
Q: What differentiates ionomy from the competition?
Well, we created an economy, not just a coin. We built the company on a few key insights. One is that a coin needs to function in a social and practical context. We needed to structure that context. We created ways the coin could be used and designed strategies to cultivate a population of users who would value both the utility of the coin (for transactions) and appreciate the value of ION as an investment.
We devised structures and practices that would systematically increase the value of ION. Here are a few examples:
Proportional re-investment in the ION coin, populating the ION economy with contributing users, and at every level, incentivizing the kind of user engagement that helps the ION economy.
Proportional reinvestment means every time we profit from customers buying digital goods, we use that profit to buy ION. If the scale is large enough, we expect this cycle to ratchet up the market price of ION.
Populating the ionomy with contributing users means that we make it incredibly easy and fun to participate in the ION economy. Someone downloads the game and likes it? As soon as they watch an ad, we’re in profit. If they make an in app purchase, they’ll have more fun and we’ll make more profit. If they discover there’s a discount for buying game enhancers with ION on our website, well, now they’re officially interacting with digital currency. We may be giving people their first experience using digital currency — and it’s a positive one. They get something they want. And they’re inadvertently creating direct buy pressure themselves.
We give away a lot of rewards. But we don’t give away something for nothing. We strategically reward behaviors that reinforce the market value of ION. We do that by making it monetarily rewarding to use ION, and by making it a positive, fun, and social experience. We use the incentives to shape the behavior of customers, whether they come for the financial benefits or the simple pleasure of gaming. We even gamify the financial opportunities we offer by making them more fun and social. The more fun people are having the more they’re going to want to stick around.
Q: Could you tell us more about ionomy’s achievements so far?
We believe we’ve developed one of the best performing secure web wallets in the industry. Our web wallet makes it super easy for anyone to manage their ION through an intuitive interface. No tech knowledge required.
For the gaming platform we developed a secure API connecting user accounts on ionomy.com with the mobile gaming app. The API lets any gamer sign up for an account from their phone and get instant access to the entire web platform. They can then easily buy electrons from the ionomy.com store at a substantial discount with ION, and transfer them immediately to the game or app.
Q: Could you tell us more about where you see blockchain technology in the future?
We have a lot of respect and admiration for the innovations we’re seeing in coin tech. In principle we’re most interested in the applications best suited to blockchain technology. What problems can we solve with blockchain more effectively than we could with traditional tools? It’s our ambition to combine technology with new social and economic systems to bring access to financial services to people who are excluded and exploited by the current systems — especially people living in low income nations. Just as we’ve said that ionomy is about more than fun, ION is also about more than money. In the coming years we’ll be pursuing blockchain technology and financial infrastructure that can materially improve lives.
Of course, we’ll also be developing blockchain technology that will increase ionomy’s transparency and expand utility for various digital assets.
Traditional solutions are great for some purposes, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. But a lot of institutional practices have grown up around traditional solutions — like banking and credit cards — that leave a huge portion of the world without easy and affordable ways to manage their resources. We’re interested in ways that blockchain technology can create alternatives. The current arrangements make it easy for money transfer systems to extort exorbitant fees from the needy and the unbanked. We intend to pursue alternatives.
Q: What’s the key thing you want readers to take away from this interview?
The major achievement for ionomy is not the creation of a currency, but the development of an economy that has its own native currency. Another accomplishment is that we’ve developed a model to populate the economy through gamified distribution of ION. The games, starting with Crypto Gravity, are one tool for distributing ION. The games also a place gamers can spend it to make the game more entertaining. Because we’re selling digital assets that create a fun experience, we don’t have to sell ION to keep the business going — and that’s a good thing because it means we aren’t devaluing the coin by selling it. The prizes gamers win for playing attract interest and make it even more fun to compete. We’ve also structured the game so that gameplay increases the value of ION. This structure creates a virtuous cycle:
People have fun playing our games. They earn, win, and spend digital assets. The value of ION rises. We have cultivated a community and we have a mechanism to continue to do so. and we have built a community that has an economy. and that economy is driven by the play of games and by the usage of ION and other ionomy digital assets within the games and on the ionomy platform.
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