Zelf aims to become the neo-bank of the metaverse. But unlike N26 and Revolut, the term “neo” is justified. Because it would not simply be a question of offering a dematerialized card or reducing agency fees. The neo-bank Zelf would be new on several levels. Already new users, who could create an account in seconds. Then, a new market, that of the metaverse, which begins to absorb the world of video games. Analysis with the words of Elliot Goykhman, its founder.
From the explosion of NFTs to the Zelf revolution
The NFT market has exploded over the past couple of years. The year 2021 was that of the discovery of non-fungible tokens by the general public. The market recorded a growth of 21,350%. The year 2022 also started with great fanfare, as NFT’s trading volume already represented $ 37 billion as of May 1, 2022 according to blockchain analytics specialist Chainalysis.
A success recognized far beyond the specialist spheres of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. On board are historic auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s. They, who are used to selling paintings by Dutch masters, quickly adapted to enter this new market, coming to accept cryptocurrencies for the most sensational sale in modern history. This is the work “Everydays: the First 5000 Days”, by digital artist Beepl, sold for 42,329 ether, or $ 69.3 million at the time of events. Making him the most appreciated living artist in the world after Jeff Koons.
Zelf wants to unleash the power of NFTs in the video game industry
However, NFTs are not limited to art markets. Other universes use them, this is particularly the case with video games. A market estimated at $ 222.6 billion in 2024 according to the report Global Gaming Market Report by NewZoo, expert in the field of games.
This is where Zelf, a neo-bank with Web3 sauce, aims to position itself. Its founder, Elliot Goykhman, starts from a simple observation: “Steam (a video game distribution platform, ed) allows users to redeem their in-game items for Steam Bucks, but you cannot send them to an external account, you cannot buy a McDonald’s with “. Other said, game items have value and start trading.
But this economy has no entry points with the real economy. At least not officially. This is called the gray market. According to a report by BNP Paribas, this market is estimated at over $ 20 billion.
A plus for Zelf, especially since it’s akin to a black market with no faith or law at the moment. Without a control body, users are at the mercy of scams of all kinds. However, this gray area has another meaning: there is no competition for Elliot Goykhman. “Occasionally (in a market), there is no competitor, but another way of doing the job. Therefore, the gray market of the gaming trade is our “competitor”, but it is insecure and full of scammers. We want to become solution no. 1 to bring the Play to earn to traditional games.The solution lies in this little-known Anglicism to the general public: the Play to earnabbreviated to P2E.
the Play to earn is a game mode born in the minds of the cryptopunks who built the crypto and NFT universe. It is a game where the objects would not be connected to a platform, but would be NFT. They would have all the characteristics of NFTs: value, exchange, buy and sell. A game Play to earn it is therefore a game where you not only earn fictional levels and rewards, but items with a real value determined on markets similar to exchanges. That is to say dictated by the law of supply and demand. This type of game has been around for several months already and some cases of teenagers winning more than their parents have been noticed in different parts of the world.
Zelf, the neo-bank of the metaverse
This is where Zelf’s positioning becomes interesting. Being the metaverse bank for video game NFTs would not only capture the $ 20 billion that will pass through this space in 2024, their goal goes way beyond that. It is about bringing security and trust to this market for users. Elliot Goykhman’s vision is to create the metaverse bank, an 800 billion dollar market by 2024.
Unlike N26, this neo-bank would not be just an optimized version of a regular bank. “We’re working on some really cool features like metaverse bank, imagine: getting a payday loan, backed by your loot (items won in the game, ed), at more advantageous rates than those of traditional banks. Or, expand the purchasing power of players in games by introducing the Buy now, pay later in cryptocurrencies and traditional games. But unlike a traditional bank, we can actually analyze your game performance through your Steam profile and establish a credit score based on your skills.“
It would therefore be a complete banking offer in terms of services. But also in terms of infrastructure, as this is where Zelf’s latest idea resides, which takes this company from simply innovative to totally revolutionary.
Use the power of instant messaging
Until then, the services offered by Zelf are similar to a mix of Lydia, PayPal, or even wire transfer. The only difference is the type of products you can buy, which would be video game and NFT items. By delivering his offer with a dematerialized payment card available in 30 seconds, Zelf is already starting to widen the gap.
But what really does the magic of this neo-bank 3.0 is its use of the most popular means of communication in the world, instant messaging applications. They are everywhere: in 2021 5.3 billion people owned a mobile phone. Of these, more than 3 billion use such applications. WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger. This is where Zelf has implemented itself to offer an NFT payment, transfer and purchase system. Away from specialized sites, often too complex for newbies, which represent a major obstacle to the adoption of these new technologies and the growth of this market.
Elliot Goykhman doesn’t want to stop there. If messaging applications are not used by 100% of mobile phone users, we can still assume that everyone is using the phone to communicate. And that’s what Zelf aims for:The ultimate goal is a completely channel-independent banking experience, a truly integrated bank, from the most primitive SMS interfaces to messaging bots and fully AI-powered voice interaction. “
Zelf would therefore be the first company in the world to use the power of SMS for financial exchanges. It would also be the first bank in the world to allow money lending thanks to its video game skills. If the transition from classic games to the Play to earn it will be a condition sine qua non for this success, the reward would be great. Develop unique user experiences, bring new players to uninnovative studios, streamline money transfers, and most of all reign in this new world.