Zelf, the neo-bank that is revolutionizing the purchase of NFTs – Forbes France

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 reduced agency fees. The neo-bank Zelf would be new on several levels. Already, new users, who could create an account in a matter of seconds. Then, a new market, that of the metaverse, which is beginning 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 in 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 has also started with great fanfare, since the trading volume of NFTs already represented 37 billion dollars as of May 1, 2022 according to Chainalysis, which specializes in blockchain analysis.

A success recognized well beyond the specialized spheres of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Historic auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s are on board. They, who are used to sales of paintings by Dutch masters, quickly adapted to enter this new market, going so far as to accept cryptocurrencies for the most resounding sale in modern history. This is the work “Everydays: the First 5000 Days”, by digital artist Beepl, sold for 42,329 ethers, or $69.3 million at the time of the events. Making him the most highly rated 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 confined to artistic markets. Other universes use them, this is particularly the case with video games. A market estimated at 222.6 billion dollars in 2024 according to the report Global Games Market Report from NewZoo, expert in the field of gaming.

It’s there that 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, Editor’s note) allows users to redeem their in-game items for Steam Bucks, but you can’t send them to an external account, you can’t buy yourself a McDonald’s with“. Other said, the game objects have a value, and begin to be exchanged.

But this economy has no access point 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 more than 20 billion dollars.

A boon for Zelf, especially since it is akin to a black market without faith or law for 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. Thus, the gray market for gaming commerce is our “competitor”, but it is insecure and full of scammers. We want to become the No. 1 solution to bring the Play-to-Earn to traditional games.The solution lies in this Anglicism, little known to the general public: the Play-to-Earnabbreviated as P2E.

the Play-to-Earn is a game mode born in the minds of cryptopunks who built the crypto and NFT universe. It is a game in which the objects would not be linked to a platform, but would be NFTs. They would have all the characteristics of NFTs: value, exchange, buy and sell. A game Play-to-Earn is therefore a game in which you not only gain levels and fictitious rewards, but objects with a real value determined on markets similar to the stock 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 gets interesting. Being the metaverse bank for NFTs from video games would not only capture the 20 billion dollars that will pass through this space in 2024, their goal goes far beyond that. It is about bringing security and trust to this market for users. Elliot Goykhman’s vision is to create the bank of the metaverse, an 800 billion dollar market by 2024.

Unlike N26, this neo-bank would not just be an optimized version of a normal bank. “We’re working on some really exciting features as a metaverse bank, just imagine: getting a payday loan, backed by your loot (items won in game, editor’s note), 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 crypto and traditional games. But unlike a traditional bank, we can actually analyze your performance in games 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, since this is where Zelf’s latest idea lies, which takes this company from simply innovative to totally revolutionary.

Use the power of instant messaging

Until then, the services offered by Zelf are akin to a mixture of Lydia, PayPal or even bank transfer. The only difference being the type of products one can buy, which would be video game items and NFTs. By providing its offer with a dematerialized payment card available in 30 seconds, Zelf is already starting to widen the gap.

Integration in 30 seconds
Integration in 30 seconds

But what really makes the magic of this neo-bank 3.0 is its use of the most widespread means of communication in the world, instant messaging applications. These are everywhere: in 2021, 5.3 billion people owned a mobile phone. Among them, more than 3 billion use such applications. WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger. This is where Zelf has deployed to offer an NFT payment, transfer and purchase system. Far from specialized sites, often too complex for novices, which represents a major obstacle to the adoption of these new technologies and the growth of this market.

Elliot Goykhman does not want to stop there. If messaging applications are not used by 100% of mobile phone users, we can however think that all use the phone to communicate. And that’s what Zelf is aiming for:The ultimate goal is a completely channel-agnostic 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. She would also be the first bank in the world to allow money to be borrowed thanks to her skills on a video game. If the transition from classic games to format Play-to-Earn will be a condition sine qua non for this success the reward would be great. Developing unique experiences for users, bringing new players to studios lacking in innovation, streamlining the transfer of money, and above all reigning over this new world.

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Zelf, the neo-bank that is revolutionizing the purchase of NFTs – Forbes France


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