Mauro Velazquez, a former professional poker player, is planning to use his winnings to develop a new game that will allow players to collect bitcoin from real-world locations.
The game, Coinding, is designed to be virtual scavenger hunt (much like Geocaching) with players finding and collecting bitcoin from locations around the world. Players will be able to retrieve bitcoin deposited on the streets by the game's developers, or collect them by completing challenges. Mauro Velazquez, Coinding's Argentinean founder, said:
Velazquez said he had a team of eight working on the game, which is scheduled for release in three months. It will be available on iOS and Android.
Coinding is scheduled to enter a closed testing phase in three weeks, Velazquez said. Currently, users can join the startup's mailing list and place bitcoin in locations of their choice. The game will be rely on CoinMap to supply its information. CoinMap is a popular open-source map of real-world locations that accept bitcoin.
According to Velazquez, Coinding's stash of bitcoin will come from a variety of sources, including contributions from the developers and businesses who want to attract bitcoin users to their establishments.
Coinding is unusual, as it's a bitcoin startup that isn't directly involved in the storage, production or distribution of bitcoin. Velazquez said:
A lucky hand
Velazquez was working on Battlepro, a company combining games and money, when he discovered bitcoin. Battlepro, which was still being tested, was designed to let professional video gamers compete for money. It was touted as a "universal skill-based betting site".
"We started getting more and more involved in the bitcoin world and seeing how it could change how almost everything works," Velazquez said.
Velazquez decided to abandon Battlepro and focus his team's efforts on a bitcoin-related product, which became Coinding. He said his team is currently funded by his winnings from playing online poker professionally for two years.
He claims he made $250,000 over the course of his poker career. After leaving online poker, he coached several players.
Velazquez said that linking games to money set up an "interesting dynamic" that could get players more deeply involved.
"I don't think profit needs to be linked to playing games … but people always get more excited when there's something at stake," he said.
Game developers have been taking to bitcoin in a big way recently, often with gambling thrown in the mix.
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