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Ultra - a Deflationary, Gaming Focused Portal to Web 3.0

Fear & Greed
Ultra - a Deflationary, Gaming Focused Portal to Web 3.0
By Crypto Fear & Greed • Issue #5 • View online
There are 2.8bn gamers worldwide.
However, current distribution models serve neither game publishers nor gamers very well. They have no ownership, and they do not get incentivised well - if at all. This matters, as people seek a good game experience, but also increasingly want to be rewarded.
Ultra will revolutionise this, but could also go on to enable Web 3.0.

TL;DR
  • A blockchain-enabled game distribution platform;
  • Goes beyond feature parity with Steam;
  • An L1 blockchain with high throughput and near-zero fees;
  • Short-term catalysts with public launch of core functionality;
  • The more successful it is, the more deflationary it becomes;
  • A market-leading team that is well-known in the industry;
  • Global partnerships will drive millions of new users per month;
  • Potential to become the iOS or Android for Web 3.0.
  • Significant upside (10 - 28x), but potentially much more.
What do they solve?
Problem: distribution of blockchain games
Back in the olden days, you had to buy a DVD from GameStop. Thanks largely to Steam, Apple and Google, gamers have flocked to digital game downloads. This has pushed the global PC gaming market by an average of 12% annual growth over the last decade, with a projected valuation of $42.2 billion by 2025.
However, this success has also produced a number of challenges that have resulted in the odds being stacked against game developers. Firstly, although “only” 12% of all PC games are downloaded via Steam, this still gives them the power required to charge 30% of all revenue. Secondly, with so many games launching on Steam, many fall under the radar and will never get traction.
The other 88% of games are distributed via independent platforms such as GoG, or by the publishers themselves such as the Epic Games Store. Although this is typically cheaper for developers, it makes the issue of discoverability even worse.
Putting all this aside, many of the existing platforms take a dim view of blockchain and NFTs. Steam, for example, recently banned all NFT games on their platform. Yet we know that blockchain will revolutionise gaming through play-to-earn and NFTs. Only this week, the crypto broker FTX announced the creation of their gaming unit:
FTX
Introducing FTX Gaming

There's a future where two billion gamers get to own what they earn, and we want to help build it. FTX's new gaming division provides complete solutions for companies and projects looking to take that next step into web3.

https://t.co/VR8A00ZMqc
However, putting the quality of the current crop of blockchain games aside, there is a lot of friction involved in them. You need to create a wallet, transfer money from a CEX or DEX, often approve MetaMask, and whatnot. It’s too confusing for most.
There are some blockchain projects that are trying to address this like WAX, Enjin, Equiti or Xaya, but all offer partial solutions, and none remove the friction. In order to get normies into blockchain gaming, we need to see the ease of use and seamless purchasing experience that platforms like Steam, Google and Apple provide.
Solution: the iOS for Games, and beyond.
Ultra is not just a games platform.
Gaming is the first wave, but Ultra can, in time, cater to any media, entertainment or app. This is a big deal considering that we all consume these. In doing so, it could become an essential Web 3.0 portal.
Imagine Ultra as the single interface that ties all your favourite applications together. 
Ultra goes beyond feature parity with Steam and is the first gaming platform to do so. As gaming is the first area where blockchain is likely to see mass adoption, this will be critical. 
It solves many problems for Game Devs.
With their Universal SDK, games can get easily ported to the Ultra platform, whilst the Cloud SDK enables the integration of blockchain elements. Their battle-tested advertising platform, which already serves 33 billion ads a day, allows them to get visibility for their games. Game Devs can get new revenue streams, like royalties on the resale of NFTs or games. All this at 21% more sales revenue compared to Steam.
Ultra also addresses concerns for gamers.
Games and in-game items like skins will be NFTs can be resold via the Uniq marketplace. A share of Ultra’s game sales revenue is redistributed to players and developers who bring new users to the platform. Users can opt-in and receive 50% of the advertising cost when viewing an ad.
The Ultra Vision | Ultra Chill: Episode 10
The Ultra Vision | Ultra Chill: Episode 10
Ultra will get millions of new users each month through their clever distribution strategy. Unlike other gaming projects, Ultra has a clearly defined, diversified and low-risk path to these users.
The key to this is their partnership with AMD, whose gaming CPUs power most PCs, the XBOX and the PS4. AMD are giving away an Ultra game at driver install. Similar partnerships brought in around 1.5 million new users a month. For Ultra, the expectations are that this will be higher.
Furthermore, their strategy is to work with key regional partners to operate Ultra locally. They have already agreed on terms with their first operator in China, with 70m monthly active PC gamers. No names are mentioned, but there’s only one possible candidate: the $523bn behemoth called Tencent.
The token allocation for marketing has vested reasonably aggressively and will be utilised for an early push in user acquisition. This will include incentivisation programs for signing up, for performing certain actions on the platform, and more. 
Ultra hides blockchain and makes it frictionless, which cannot be said about most other GameFi projects. All of the blockchain elements are abstracted away from both developers and users.
Every game published on Ultra is a NFT. Every in-game item bought is an NFT. The Uniq Marketplace will be decentralised and non-custodial, with zero transaction fees and near-instant finality. 
However, gamers don’t care about this tech. They want to game and melt some faces. The platform will look and feel like Steam, and when you onboard, a crypto wallet is created in the background. There is no need for a seed phrase, linking a wallet or any of those shenanigans. You onboard fiat money, and anything that you buy is in dollars, with the UOS token spot-traded in the background for you.
The Ultra platform will even provide a one-click crypto mining application for when your CPU is idle. Earnings will be automatically converted to UOS in your wallet.
Ultra aims to be the iOS for Web 3.0, with its use-case going far beyond gaming. Gaming is massive, NFTs will be huge, mining will remain huge. All these will generate significant revenue streams for Ultra.
The gaming platform acts as the first iteration and will attract millions of users. However, their SDK goes significantly beyond gaming - it makes it easy for app creators, game devs, and others to quickly build what they build, in the same way they have always built them, with blockchain elements.  
In doing so, the platform as a whole acts as a sort of operating platform. Build an app within their ecosystem, and straight away, it will benefit from all its features. It will be accessible to millions of users. You can launch tokens through it. It will be integrated into the NFT marketplace, their blockchain for transactions and linked to users’ wallets. All much cheaper, faster and better than on Ethereum.
When the co-CEO of Ultra was asked whether Ultra could be an app within Discord, his response was this:
ᕫ Hanson david
@UltraDagChad @discord @ultra_io It's the other way around, ultra is the app ecosystem discord could be published in 😘. This said yes it would be awesome and we're working hard to make this kind of integration as easy as possible for companies like discord but also for small devs!
Technology: a high throughput, low cost protocol.
Ultra’s protocol is a modified version of the EOS platform with IP protection. Whilst many have reservations about a permissioned chain, it is needed in the context of trying to become a portal for Web 3.0. 
Some of its features are as follows:
  • 12,000 transactions per second in a test environment, with potential of up to 100k TPS;
  • Free user account creation;
  • No transaction fees with near-instant finality;
  • Flexibility to fix frozen smart contracts;
  • Inter-blockchain communication.
The Ultra chain is powered by a set of block producers and a resource model that is referred to as “Ultra Power”, powering transactions on the network. 
The platform will have two different types of block producers, Technical and Corporate. The Technical ones are experienced EOS block producers who are hand-picked to run the Ultra Mainnet. The Corporate ones are trusted global corporations outside of the crypto world, all of which have a vested interest in the success of Ultra.
Block Producers will be paid with inflation (rather than fees). Inflation is determined in FIAT but paid in UOS. It is not known what share the Block Producers will earn. Initial three block producers are Bitfinex, EOS Rio and EOS New York. Recently Ubisoft joined as Corporate Block Producer.
Ultra’s governance model lacks the EOS DPoS (Delegated Proof-of-Stake) consensus approval voting system with the staking of tokens, where the more tokens you own, the more voting power you have. By disabling the voting by staking UOS, Ultra will be able to onboard new partners and enterprises much easier as they will join the regulated and controlled environment, which will meet their standards. New partners will appreciate the Technical and Corporate Block Producers, which will jointly run the blockchain. This governance model might be easier adopted by the gaming industry and global gaming markets.
The broader tech ecosystem consists of the Desktop App with built-in Ultra Miner, which mines the most profitable altcoins supported by the users GPU, the Go Companion Mobile App, the demand/supply advertising platform, and the Ultra SDK, which allows third parties to build and operate their own game distribution platforms or viral goods websites. Ultra also offers Cloud Code, which allows corrections without having to release a full patch update of the game and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) creation. 
Ultra’s open blockchain framework will allow anyone to build and operate their own game distribution platform or virtual goods trading service. These 3rd party services still require UOS tokens to operate as Ultra’s entire ecosystem is powered with UOS tokens. Any purchases of games, virtual items, and services need UOS tokens. UOS tokens are fully baked into every aspect of the platform.
How are the tokenomics?
Distribution: geared up to drive growth
$UOS has a strong token utility use case with native tokens being used for the game and items purchases, ads services, incentives, p2p payments, referral rewards, NFTs and mined crypto payments. As UOS is used for all transactions, it will cause a constant demand for Ultra tokens as the ecosystem grows. Furthermore, UOS is going to be pegged to FIAT for a seamless and non-volatile user experience.
Ultra has raised in total $11,381,611 between 3 different rounds, with a current circulating supply of 270,391,922. This is 27% of the total supply of 1bn, with a fully diluted market cap of $1.26bn.
The IDO took place on 17th July 2019 at $0.05 token price, with seed at $0.063 and private at $0.077. For the IDO, this represents an ROI of 25.15x, which we need to be aware of as profit-taking of early investors may suppress the price somewhat.
UOS Allocation
UOS Allocation
None of this raises any eyebrows with me, as it is all reasonable. What is encouraging is that the combination of Growth, Content Acquisition and Marketing adds up to 35.7%, which gives them a big war chest to really drive adoption of the platform.
The team has released an article providing further clarity on the allocation of tokens and how they plan to use UOS in the future for different strategic goals.
Vesting: practically fully vested
With the exception of the 10% Company Reserve, all allocations have fully vested. Company Reserves will unlock when 1m Monthly Average Users has been achieved. Therefore, although vesting has been practically completed, most tokens have not yet been allocated, which explains why circulating supply is 27% of total supply.
UOS Vesting
UOS Vesting
Rocket Fuel: insanely deflationary
No matter if it’s used by a developer, a player or an influencer, all actors utilize UOS tokens to interact within the ecosystem.
All transactions require UOS. All features such as beta testing work exclusively with UOS. All marketing programs such as references will be paid out in UOS. Game Devs can store UOS in their NFTs to ensure they have a starting value. All ad split revenue will lead to direct market buys of UOS.
UOS can be bought with Fiat money in a totally seamless experience. It is highly likely that most gamers will leave some UOS in their wallet, in case they wish to purchase NFTs or other assets.
Mining Earnings will automatically be converted to UOS which will be bought on markets and sent to the Ultra user’s wallet.
In the future, users will be able to stake UOS to gain the resource Ultra Power. Ultra Power is used to gain priority in the network, allowing you to execute transactions faster.
On top of this, 5% of all Ultra’s game sales profits will go to Ultra’s “Game Development and Acquisition War Chest.” These coins will stay frozen in a smart contract for a period of at least 2 years. Coins are released to game studios when they reach their developmental milestones.
All this results in a lot of UOS being locked into the platform. In fact, the team at Ultra estimates that for each dollar injected into the ecosystem, at least 40 cents will be retained on the platform.
Their Company Reserve gets unlocked when they hit 1m AUM. Now let’s argue that each of them has spent $50, which would imply that $20m in UOS is locked up in the platform. The more successful the platform gets, the more UOS gets locked up, the more it will create scarcity and drive up the token price.
How are they doing?
Team: market-leading
The Ultra team is 80+ strong and rapidly growing. It is led by David Hanson and Nicholas Gilot, who co-founded several gaming companies and finally got a $100+ million deal with AMD and the Chinese gov to develop a gaming console for the Chinese market.
It is difficult to think of a team that would be more accomplished than them to turn Ultra into a success story.
Ultra Management Team
Ultra Management Team
  • David Hanson (Co-CEO): 18 years of experience founding companies and operating in CEO positions including Xiaobawang, a $100+ million USD game console project in partnership with AMD and a video game studio later acquired by Kingsoft (founded by Xiaomi’s CEO).
  • Nicolas Gilot (Co-CEO): Serial entrepreneur and Strategist led $100+ million USD game console project as Xiaobawang’s CSO, 1.5x - 3x revenue of multiple game/app projects through his monetization strategy firm (Plants VS Zombie, Highnoon, The Economist, …).
  • Michael Dunn (CTO): Former CTO of Dell and Time Warner, accomplished technology executive, building the WWW as a member of the W3C and Techstars Mentor. Mike draws from his strong experience and built multiple startups to publicly listed companies. 
  • Edward Moalem (CSO): Game industry legend, Edward has held positions as Senior Director & Manager at both Apple and Google, SVP PR of IGA Worldwide and Double Fusion, he has brokered deals with most of the leading game companies and founded SKYY Vodka!
Roadmap: well defined
The roadmap has been articulated in detail in a recent blog post.
Ultra Roadmap
Ultra Roadmap
The major short-term catalyst that I see on the horizon is that the NFT marketplace is currently in its second stage of alpha testing. It appears that most of the hard craft on this has been done, and releasing it to the public will be a major catalyst.
The same applies to the actual games platform, which is also in wave 2 of alpha testing. Once it progresses to wave 3, they will add more players and more games to it. Again, this will be a key determinant to drive further adoption.
Besides that, they are talking about bringing a number of AAA games exclusively to the platform. One of them is a sports game, and the other a free-to-play FPS game. No further details are yet known.
Traction: global partnerships
In June 2021, the Ultra Mainnet went live and is currently operating as intended. Since then, the team has been diligently working on onboarding many partners. Tencent is one of the likely ones, as we mentioned before in this article but many more are already known or anticipated, such as Atari, Ubisoft, AMD, Theta.
Atari and Ubisoft are two of the largest game developers in the world. Atari, will add Games, Communities, and Services to the Atari VCS Home Entertainment System, which is launching towards the end of 2020. The gaming giant Ubisoft will also be its Corporate Block Producer. Besides these, Ultra already has 150+ Game developers beginning to build on Games for Ultra.
AMD will be distributing Ultra games to their customers, rapidly expanding the ecosystem. Theta will help embed live streaming within Ultra, and this market alone is anticipated to be worth about $39B.
Ultra is also part of the Blockchain Game Alliance among Ubisoft, Consensys, Alto, Gimli, Everdreamsoft, B2Expand, Enjin, and Fig!
Despite all this, Social Media traction has been fairly subdued: Twitter has 95k followers across two accounts, Telegram has 15k, Discord 5k. In spite of a $340m market cap, and growing recognition of what Ultra could become, the real hyp has not yet set in. It is still early.
Would I buy?
Decentraland $MANA has a market cap of $4.6bn. Sandbox $SAND has a market cap of $3.3bn. Let that sink in.
Yes, there are metaverses, but they are nevertheless stand-alone games. Then compare it to Ultra, which will be a platform that will host thousands of games, and derive value from them all.
Steam is estimated to have revenue of between $3bn and $6bn every year. Their revenue alone is more than the market cap of Decentraland or Sandbox. Yet, as discussed, Ultra exceeds feature parity with Steam and comprises a whole ecosystem:
  • A high throughput L1 blockchain with virtually non-existent fees;
  • A next-generation NFT platform and Cloud Code;
  • An entire app ecosystem that others can leverage;
  • A group of industry-leading Corporate Block producers.
Not to mention that in my view, Ultra has the potential to become a Web3 app operating system comparable to web2 IOS and Android.
Furthermore, there are 300 million monthly active gamers world-wide. Via the likely partnership with Tencent, Ultra could have access to 75m of those. Add in the partnership with AMD, and that is millions more on a monthly basis. Talk about traction.
So what could be the upside? As of March 14, 2019, based on discussions with Michael Pachter, a Los Angeles-based analyst at Wedbush Securities, Steam was valued at around $10 billion.
At today’s market cap of $352,644,839, that’s a multiple of 28x for Ultra. That would put them on par with Cronos $CRO. A 10x multiple would put them in the region of Elrond $EGLD.
All these multiples are absolutely doable. Going beyond that, there are 2.8bn gamers worldwide. If Ultra could get 10% of that, you’re talking about 280m potential users. Ethereum has just shy of 190m unique addresses.
This is why GameFi will drive the first wave of mass adoption of blockchain.
It is also why Ultra is so well positioned to not “just” be a Steam, but to potentially become an iOS or Android of sorts for Web 3.0.
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