Ubisoft launches Ubisoft Quartz platform for playable and energy-efficient NFTs

Starting with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft will drop NFTs to PC players on the Tezos blockchain on Thursday.

French video game publisher Ubisoft announced its first foray into nonfungible tokens (NFTs) via a new platform called Ubisoft Quartz to launch in beta this week with Ghost Recon Breakpoint for PC players on Ubisoft Connect. 

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According to a statement shared on the Ubisoft website, players can get collectible pieces of Ubisoft game worlds called Digits, which are “the first NFTs playable in AAA games and running on energy-efficient technology.” Digits, such as in-game vehicles or weapons, will be released in limited quantities and editions and rewarded to early adopters for free on December 9, 12, and 15 in the United States and Canada. Quartz will also be available in Brazil, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Australia.

Ubisoft Quartz’ energy-efficient technology is leveraged on the proof-of-stake blockchain Tezos. Didier Genevois, Ubisoft’s blockchain technical director, expressed the company’s commitment to reducing its global footprint in an interview published on the corporate website:

“This type of blockchain achieves the same results while using significantly less energy than proof-of-work protocols. To give you an idea, a transaction on Tezos is equivalent to 30 seconds of video streaming, while on Bitcoin, it is equivalent to watching one year straight of video streaming!”

Previously, however, Ubisoft had partnered with distribution platform Ultra to leverage its games on the UOS blockchain. Cointelegraph reached out to Ubisoft to learn about their relationship with Ultra. No comment was received before the time of publication.

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In the same interview with Genevois, Ubisoft’s blockchain product director Baptiste Chardon added his take on NFTs and gaming:

“This new approach can even, on a longer term, open up new opportunities such as interoperability between games. […] We see blockchain as a means of placing back into the hands of players and creators the value they generate through their engagement with their games.”

Ubisoft ranks among the top 25 largest gaming companies worldwide in terms of market capitalization, hovering over $5.8 billion. And it is significant that a AAA gaming company is championing blockchain technology when other companies like Valve have recently removed blockchain games from their marketplaces.

3 reasons why Tezos (XTZ) price broke its downtrend with a 50% rally

XTZ price broke its downtrend with a swift 50% rally once news that Ubisoft’s new NFT platform is built on Tezos blockchain made the rounds in various media.

2021 has been a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market and aside from Bitcoin price soaring to new highs, the emergence of a vast decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem and the rising popularity of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has thrust blockchain technology into the mainstream in a way that looks guaranteed to ensure mass adoption. 

One project that has benefited from its focus on NFTs and the ongoing green revolution is Tezos (XTZ), a layer-one smart contract protocol that is capable of evolving its network without needing to undergo a hard fork.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $3.23 on Dec. 3, the price of XTZ reversed course, gaining 68% to reach an intraday high of $5.45.

XTZ/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the price recovery seen in Tezos are the launch of Ubisoft NFTs on the Tezos blockchain, the projects’ focus on creating an environmentally friendly blockchain platform and rising transactions and protocol revenue on the Tezos network.

Partnership with Ubisoft

The most recent development for Tezos, which really got the price moving, was the announcement of a significant partnership with video game maker Ubisoft.  The gaming company is launching Ubisoft Quartz, a platform where users can acquire unique NFTs called Digits, which can be used in-game and the platform will utilize Tezos blockchain.

Blockchain-based gaming has emerged as one of the hottest sectors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the second half of 2021 and a partnership with one of the largest video game makers in the world could lead to long-term bullish outcomes for Tezos.

The beta for Ubisoft Quartz is scheduled to launch on Dec. 9 and will be open to players of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Players who meet certain criteria will be able to claim three free cosmetic NFTs from drops for early adopters of the platform.

Focus on environmental sustainability

Another reason for the growing strength of Tezos is the protocol’s focus on creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable blockchain network. The network utilizes a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism that is known to offer an energy-efficient alternative to more traditional proof-of-work blockchains such as Bitcoin (BTC).

According to a report released by the project, “the total annual carbon footprint of the Tezos blockchain is equivalent to the average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.”

Reducing the energy required to operate the Tezos network, which has been a goal of the project for some time, has resulted in a 70% increase in energy efficiency on a per-transaction basis for the network in 2021, resulting in the “electricity requirement per transaction being less than 30% in 2021 than what it was in 2020.”

Related: Tezos blockchain records 70% increase in energy efficiency in 2021: PwC report

Transaction volumes and revenues rise

In just the past few days, the Tezos network has seen an increase in transaction volume and protocol revenue as each spiked to the highest levels seen in 2021.

XTZ daily transaction volume vs. total revenue. Source: Token Terminal

As seen in the graph above, the transaction volume on Tezos surged to a record-high $369 million on Dec. 3, which could be a hint that some investors had caught wind of the Ubisoft news. 

The jump in activity and revenue came as the project announced the completion of its Hangzhou upgrade, the eighth protocol upgrade for the Tezos network, which demonstrated the project’s ability to self-amend and upgrade without the need to conduct a hard fork.

VORTECSâ„¢ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for XTZ on Dec. 5, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECSâ„¢ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECSâ„¢ Score (green) vs. XTZ price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECSâ„¢ Score for XTZ began to pick up on Dec. 4 and reached a high of 87 on Dec. 5, around 21 hours before the price increased 49% over the next two days.

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