Uniswap Labs acquires Crypto: The Game—’It’s ballooned into this 24/7, crypto reality show’



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The second season of Crypto: The Game (CTG) sold out in 13 minutes. Thousands of fans scrambled for one of 800 coveted spots on the survival game built on the Base blockchain. Given this popularity among crypto’s core community and the growing interest of outsiders, decentralized exchange Uniswap Labs announced announced today it has acquired the game.

“We’ve seen CTG generate a ton of excitement and Uniswap is focused on making on-chain experiences more human and fun,” Uniswap Labs’ chief operating officer Mary-Catherine Lader told Fortune. The purchase amount is undisclosed, but is a mixture of cash, tokens, and equity.

As part of the acquisition, founders Dylan Abruscato, Tyler Cagle, and Bryan Lee will join Uniswap. Together the companies are currently working on developing season three, while also exploring new interactive consumer crypto experiences. However, the game will not simply become an advertisement for Uniswap’s wallet or exchange, the companies explained on a call.

“Now we have the full force of Uniswap Labs behind us, we think that’s going to help us make season three the best one yet,” Dylan Abruscato, the game’s cofounder, told Fortune. Abruscato’s entertainment career spans beyond crypto, as his previous gigs include working as a producer for Saturday Night Live and developing once-viral mobile game HQ Trivia.

CTG has drawn inspiration from TV shows that pit contestants against one another like Survivor and Squid Game. In the first two seasons of CTG, contestants bought in with 0.1 ETH (about $367), joined eight tribes of 10, participated in daily challenges, and voted one another out over 10 days, until one person won the entire pot. A Japan-based player won the grand prize pot of over $150,000 in season one, with the prize pool growing to around $250,000 by season two.

Uniswap Labs sponsored a challenge in season two, joining the likes of Adidas—which created branded tracksuits for each player in the form of non-fungible tokens—and crypto firm Wormhole, among other partners. The sponsorship gave Uniswap a “behind-the-scenes look into how [CTG] cracked this code for bringing new users into crypto,” Lader said.

Following its launch at the end of January, followed shortly by a second season in April, the game has generated cultlike status within crypto, with speculators watching from the sidelines via X, Farcaster, and even a podcast created by Web3 and culture media outlet Boys’ Club. “My 68-year-old mother-in-law called me after listening to a podcast episode and asked if I thought if Ted was going to buy back in and play anonymously after he got voted out,” Abruscato said.

Abruscato described the fandom as a mixture of crypto Twitter enthusiasts, venture capitalists, founders, and notable crypto influencers such as 3LAU, Packy McCormick, Jesse Pollak, and Bored Elon. But, more crucially, about 10%–15% are “normies,” in other words, those who have never before engaged with crypto, suggesting the game can be an opportunity to onboard new users to decentralized finance.

While CTG can’t calculate the precise number of onlookers who watched the game last season, Abruscato says there were 50,000 unique visitors on the site during a 10-day period. “It’s ballooned into this 24/7 crypto reality show where there are villain arcs, drama, and fan favorites, and it’s kind of become this spectacle in the crypto community,” said Abruscato.





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