Interview with Joseph Bryce Hart, CEO & Founder of ZENZO: For The Gamer, By The Gamer, Through Blockchain.
ZENZO’s principles are by no means small: Community-driven, Open-Source, transparent, and decentralized. ZENZO aims to promote freedom for its users from bringing solutions through open channels of communications and community voting.
Organized on a POS + Masternodes network, the ZENZO team has quite an innovative view on the crypto space and already brings solutions that no other project ever thought about, like the Decentralized Version Manager (DVM) that searches automatically for new versions of the qt-wallet and suggest you to update if 25% of connected peers have a higher version than yours.
They want to create an ultimate suite of products designed to improve the gaming industry. This includes discounts, unique products, and an engaging and supportive community. ZENZO is already changing the way crypto meets video games...
One of their main platforms at the moment is ZENZO Arcade, a marketplace for gamers that accepts crypto payments natively. They have more than 170 games listed and at the moment. ZENZO’s native currency (ZNZ), BTC, and PIVX are accepted, the last one was added in the beginning of May. Everything is right on schedule with what the team promised.
I had the opportunity to interview Joseph Bryce Hart, the CEO and Co-Founder of the project, you can read more about it here:
- What was your biggest motivation on creating ZENZO and what differences do you believe the project can bring to the crypto world and gaming world?
A handful of the ZENZO community had come from a previous project, where the ex-developer had stolen all of the funds and deleted all social all evidence of prior existence. We felt that we had a duty to protect the people affected and do our best to save their investments and faith in the cryptosphere. We have seen this enough in the cryptospace and didn’t want these community members to become another statistic. A large percentage of the premine went our Coin Swap, which has been traceable on the blockchain and block explorer since our launch. With that being said, even with the best of intentions, we also wanted to find something we are all deeply passionate about and create a project of substance. As time went by, we collectively decided on the idea to give back to the thing that was such a large part of our lives...gaming.
We feel that with all of the major corporations controlling the direction of gaming, there needs to be a change, a gamer-driven change. So we are building an ecosystem that allows for genre-changing or genre-making ideas to be nourished through a community driven atmosphere. Major publishers prefer to recycle mechanics and titles that have proven to benefit their fiscal duty to the proverbial “suits.” Because of this, gamers end up with stale games on the market while developers are left doing all they can to overcome the odds of bootstrapping their own game. We aim to better these odds. We also want to provide a place where the creator has the freedom to develop the way they envision their creations, along with support, suggestions, and feedback from the gaming community. Essentially, the gamer gets to provide market research to both ZENZO and game developers who are either being incubated by ZENZO or developers who simply want to interact with our ecosystem.
Purchasing games has become an international issue, as most of them are highly overpriced and some digital games have restrictions on purchasing location. So, we devised a method to reduce the price of most games by smart buying and digital distribution distribution. This helps folks get the games they want to play without breaking their bank, purchasing right from their home. It also enables individuals to test their entrepreneurial spirit and engage in the bidirectional arcade store and our tournament systems. There are many benefits for the ZENZO Masternode holders, but one of the most simple benefits allows the holders to purchase games with their rewards.
As of recent, we have just released the ZENZO Forge Alpha, which now allows for primarily game developers to create transferable assets on the ZENZO Blockchain. This works very similar to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), but they are not tokens on Ethereum. They are blockchain assets that we decided to term as “transferable assets” for mass adoption purposes. This enables players to be able to own their assets, officially. They can create (craft), buy, sell, trade, and even destroy (smelt). Each transferable asset is backed by a ZNZ value, purely dependent upon the creator’s preference. This provides a unique use case for individuals and game developers.
This is just a small corner of what our ecosystem will have to offer. Tournaments, e-Sports, Professional teams (guilds, clans, etc.), and community events will also be a part of the ZENZO universe. So to summarize what it is that differentiates us from the pack, we are here to empower and enable both gamers and developers to produce and play what they desire. It’s For the Gamer, by the Gamer.
- What is the ZENZO team background and how do you think you all are prepared to deal with such an innovative project?
Our team is very diverse in many ways and have so much to offer the space. Many of us have worked on other projects in the space, still assist projects, and others come from a more technical and traditional back. Our team is located world-wide and as difficult as it is to imagine aligning schedules, it actually works out quite well for us. Many team members have been in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space for many years, some dating back to 2011/2012. Being in the space for sometime you get to witness (and even participate) in projects that are successful and many that are not. From both the positive and negative experiences, you learn what works and what doesn’t. With all that being said, the underlying element that keeps all of us here, driven, and working together is our passion for not only games, but blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and various other aspects of this emerging technology. Our teams has vast experience in business development, working as leadership for projects such as PIVX and RIOT Games. We are also expanding the team to include financial experts to ensure proper alignment of vision and fiscal responsibilities.
- Joseph Bryce Hart: CEO, Co-Founder
- Luke Wootton: COO, Co-Founder
- Jeffrey Timms: Tech Lead & Business Development
- Emmanuel Rangel: CMO & Brand Manager
- Josep Gonzalez: UX/UI Designer & Front-End Developer
- Juan Contreras: Technical Support & Ambassador of Colombia
- Shunsuke Kurita: Community Manager & Ambassador of Japan
- Zetty Deschain: Customer Support & Ambassador of Mexico
- Jules Dubois: Technical Advisor & Full Stack Developer
- Akshay CM: Technical Advisor & Full Stack Developer
- JSKitty: Full Stack Developer
- YuurinBee: Designer, Brand Developer, Illustrator
- Joey Lyons: Community and Marketing Support
- Raul Aguilera: Web Development & Community Support
- Elizabeth Warren: International Communications Advisor
- On your bitcointalk ann there's the description "Community Takeover", can you explain to us why and how was the creation and launch of ZNZ?
YuurinBee wrote an article covering most of the event that can be found here.
- Can you give us more details on ZENZO premine and its destination?
From the beginning, we have done our best to be as transparent as possible. It’s important to understand that this project was started from a negative revenue, due to the Coin Swap. So we have essentially bootstrapped this ourselves. Premine funds were not distributed to founders. The history can be tracked on the block explorer and we have the addresses pinned in our ZENZO Discord in the #official-resources channel. You can also see the original Distribution Document on GitHub here.
As of recent, thanks to new financial leadership, we are revamping a new model for distribution that supports a more efficient ten year plan. Once this model is complete, we will be sharing it publicly and everything will be traceable on the ZENZO Block Explorer. We are happy to share that the co-founders have taken 0% of the premine and with the new model, will not be taking any percent of the premine. Our current plans are to lock up all of the 10,000,000 ZNZ in the ZENZO Admin Wallet for over ten years and every year, at certain intervals, x amount will be released for the ZENZO Hatchery. The ZENZO Hatchery will be used a gaming incubator to help game development (both blockchain games and traditional games). It will also allow for ZENZO members to vote on certain aspects, give feedback, and test these games so that they are actually contributing to the games that they want to play. Alongside the game development is also eSports and tournaments. ZENZO will be sponsoring and hosting gaming events that are both purely created by the community and many factors to be voted on, by the community.
- What can we expect for the future of ZENZO?
In the immediate future, you can expect a lot of different things from ZENZO. We are currently working on our first product, the ZENZO Arcade (Marketplace). It is in the alpha stage and we are currently working on many upgrades, both back-end and front-end. We are looking to expand to all digital assets (related to gaming), this includes serial keys, in-game items, and more. We are also working on it being bi-directional that will allow for users to buy and sell game assets, as currently in alpha, it is only available for purchasing.
We have already started to tap into the world of e-Sports, tournaments, and streaming, but will be getting much more involved in the months to come. We will be working on community created and voted tournaments with wide ranges of prizes and rewards. Our first ever e-Sports/Blockchain-Game Tournament we supported was for Axie Infinity, thanks to Axie Life and RCTech.
The launching of the ZENZO Hatchery will be monumental for ZENZO, as it will allow for us to further support game development and also have a more empowering option for gamers to help influence and create the games that they wish to play. We want to open up the collaborative process between game developers and gamers. The ZENZO Hatchery will not just be a pool of monetary resources for game developers, but also it will potentially provide many other forms of support including developers, artists, marketing campaigns, market testing, and much more.
- What are the plans for ZENZO regarding NFTs and blockchain games?
This is a great question and a very exciting development for us. ZENZO is currently running its own blockchain, but we are very interested in cross-chain interaction/interoperability with blockchains, specifically for blockchain game development. One of the biggest ones we are currently researching and looking into is Ethereum. We have many allies in the space who are ethereum-based games or partially built on Ethereum. So, it is very likely that ZENZO will be doing something similar in the future.
For the most part, blockchain games are pretty new. This means that there is a lot of room for improvement. Many projects now are finding off-chain solutions to increase performance and also improve the gamer or user’s experience, which is mandatory. We absolutely love the ideas of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and exchangeable assets. It is actually one of the biggest problems that we intend to help solve. It is almost absurd to think that most of the games we play, invest so much time and energy into, that we will never be able to transform into anything else. It essentially was fun, but that’s that. Why can’t that energy be recycled into something else? We believe that this is future and are very excited to help contribute to this movement.
We do not have it written in stone that we will be working on and with the Ethereum Network, but it is under serious consideration. The ZENZO Team is also considering certain NFTs, or even MFTs, that will allow for certain token holders to have added benefits in both the ZENZO Ecosystem and other ecosystems. One of our goals is to be able to have interoperability between other games and projects. This concept also fascinates us and these ideas become much more of a reality, when you work with other open-minded and creative developers and teams.
As mentioned above, we just released the ZENZO Forge (Alpha) that now will allow for individuals, along with game developers to create blockchain assets that are transferable, just like NFTs. Depending on the game developers, these assets could have interoperability and have special features on multiple platforms, apps, and games. We are excited to launch the ZENZO Forge to begin pioneering the way that gamers interact with games, along with how game developers empower their gamers.
- Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We’ve covered a good amount of ground in this interview and appreciate you taking time to research ZENZO and also want to learn more. We are thrilled to be here in this space, contributing to what we believe in. Our team and community is pretty open and friendly and we encourage anyone that wants to learn more from us directly or indirectly to come stop by our Discord server and get to know us. We have active developers and team members on there daily.
One side note we also enjoy sharing with others...ZENZO truly views itself as an ally in the space. What does this mean exactly? It isn’t saying there is no “competition” or anything, as there are many projects that overlap in some way. What we are saying is that we are all in this space together, working to refine this technology, empower users, protect users, and ultimately add more value to all of our lives. We like to remain as open-minded as possible and are always looking creatively ways to collaborate and work towards the same or similar goals. If you or your project is interested to learn more about us and see if there might be some potential for a healthy alliance, feel free to email us at [email protected].
Regarding ZENZO Arcade:
- Why would people prefer the ZENZO Arcade over other existing websites or even buying games directly from Steam or the Windows Store?
As an introduction to this question, being gamers ourselves, we know exactly what we want.
- Discounted Prices: We find the best deals around and do our best to pass that deal along. Users who pay in ZNZ will also be able to buy the games at more of a discount than the other payment options.
- Instant Purchase & Play: Login with 2 steps, by using Discord (that already has a built-in ZNZ Wallet) and click to purchase the games you wish. You will receive an email immediately that will allow you to input the serial key and play the games as soon as possible.
- Updated Price Balancing: The ZENZO Arcade uses an API from CoinGecko to determine the latest and most up-to-date pricing.
- No KYC/No Credit Card Required: Currently, everything is done through Discord and ZENZO has no plans to create an extensive KYC process for the Arcade Users. It can be as private or public as you want it. We have created an identity system that will show the public rating of vendors and vendors’ sales in the beta release.
5.Eco-Friendly/User-Friendly: The digital aspect of games and assets is more environmentally-friendly, as you aren’t purchasing plastic packaging and paying for the transport costs, along with waiting for the delivery. Users can make an instant purchase and receive their asset or game instantly.
- Low & Competitive Fees: We are currently working on a model that will keep transaction fees to a minimum, that allows for the seller’s to make more and the buyers to save more.
- Which new games do you plan to list on ZENZO Arcade in the future?
There are not any specific games at the moment we are planning on listing. Our goal is to update the Arcade with the newest and most popular games that are available. Mostly, we are taking requests in our Discord and on Twitter. At the moment, we have over 150 games listed on the ZENZO Arcade and are listing more daily. The next biggest thing we plan to list on the Arcade are games from other independent developers and then after that will be in-game items, skins, etc.
- What will the beta release include?
The Beta Release will include a long series of updates, upgrades, and new features. At the moment, there are plans to have 3 cryptocurrencies accepted as payment options, but we are considering more for Beta. We will be implementing a bi-directional marketplace, which means that the arcade is opening up for people to not just buy products, but they can list them as well. This bi-directional upgrade also includes an identity system for the individuals that will allow for rating, tracking how many successful trades, etc. By doing this, it will help to establish some level of credibility for members on the ZENZO Arcade.
- Do you plan on implementing more features? If so, which ones?
Firstly, we are planning on adding more transferrable digital assets to the ZENZO Arcade. We mentioned above some of the possibilities we are looking at. The “end-game” goal for the Arcade is actually to be able to play and purchase any game and buy, sell, and trade game assets (physical & digital) with a focus on cryptocurrency as the primary payment option.
In the immediate future, we are looking at adding in-game items, skins, and other transferable assets. Much of this will be purely dependent upon the accessibility and limitations or openness (developer kits) from game developers. ZENZO will also be integrating NFTs into the ZENZO Arcade, where they can be sold to other users.
There are a few more things, but you will have to wait. We don’t want to ruin the surprise...
Thank you so much for sticking around and stay tuned for more quality crypto articles!
Special thanks to the ZENZO team and Joseph for this interview!
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Thanks a lot dear friends!
Talk to you soon!
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