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Ex-TikTok gaming head to launch blockchain games startup as big players keep away
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The former head of short video giant TikTok's gaming unit, Jason Fung, is launching a blockchain gaming startup as one of two co-founders, he told Reuters in an interview, as the buzz around blockchain games grows while sector heavyweights remain wary.
The 34-year-old left TikTok last month after two years with the firm, and his exit comes as TikTok and its Chinese owner ByteDance have been aggressively expanding into the $300 billion dollar global gaming market to take on rival Tencent Holdings, an effort that has yielded mixed results so far.
It also reflects ballooning interest among entrepreneurs and investors in blockchain games – a new generation of online games built on blockchains which allow players to trade items in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
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Fung, whose new venture is called Meta0, said he left TikTok after seeing an opportunity to offer a solution to the current segregated nature of infrastructure options available to developers looking to build blockchain games.
"Right now, if you look at any developer when they implement NFTs or blockchain in their games, they have to choose a single blockchain, be it Polygon or Solana or Binance Smart Chain. But imagine a more interoperable option," he told Reuters in Hong Kong, referring to popular existing blockchains.
"So we decided, let's do it. Let's co-found this company. Let's give up my cushy corporate life at TikTok and take a giant risk," said Fung, who was based in Shenzhen and had reported to TikTok's chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas.
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