Silks is the first derivative gaming platform that leverages a blockchain-enabled metaverse to parallel the real world of thoroughbred horse racing. The Silks metaverse is powered by a play-to-earn (P2E) gaming economy where anyone can experience the thrill of owning racehorses and horse farms, while reaping valuable rewards through skilled gameplay and collaboration with other players.
The Silks community has the ability to acquire, collect, trade and interact with digital assets that represent actual thoroughbred racehorses in the real world. Furthermore, they’ll have the ability to acquire and develop land and horse farms, as well as other interactive digital assets that are necessary to support and grow the Silks economy.
At its core, Silks is an innovative, engaging and skill-based game that promotes collaboration between players to optimize rewards and offset risk in the high-stakes world of thoroughbred racing.
The Silks mission is to democratize thoroughbred racehorse ownership for the masses and gamify the experience utilizing a blockchain-enabled metaverse and a P2E economy. In doing so, it will introduce the excitement of thoroughbred racing to a new tech-driven and culturally distinct generation of enthusiasts.
The U.S. Thoroughbred Horse Racing Economy
Silks gameplay is directly tied to the real US thoroughbred horse racing economy
The Silks metaverse is powered by a gamified economy where individuals can own and compete with derivative NFTs that represent and shadow actual thoroughbreds in the real world. Silks tokenizes the nearly 20,000 horses born and registered as thoroughbreds each year into dynamic NFTs that track the lifecycle and productivity of each horse throughout its life. Owners of Silks horses earn valuable rewards tokens based on their real-world racing and breeding performance. They can share ownership of their horses with others or trade their horses as part of the strategic gameplay on the Silks platform. Users can also acquire and develop land into horse farms and estates within the Silks metaverse to enhance gameplay and support and grow the Silks economy.
The Industry by Numbers
The foundation of the U.S. thoroughbred horse racing economy is the approximately 20,000 foals born and registered as thoroughbred racehorses in the US each year. Many of these horses are sold between August and October at yearling auctions when they turn one year old. Once acquired, they are trained and start racing as early as April of the following year. Horses can begin racing as early as two years old, and their racing careers can span many years. Horses can live for more than 20 years and breed for most of their lives.
The US thoroughbred racing industry is massive. Yearlings sell for an average of $60,000 and cost their owners approximately $40,000 annually to feed. Individuals who purchase racehorses do so, hoping to profit from prize money, breeding fees, and horse trading. There are over 30,000 races a year and over 50 million people who wager more than $11 billion on their outcomes. These races are sponsored by racetracks that profit from this wagering, distributing over $1 billion in prize money to the owners of winning horses. Owners of successful racehorses can also generate significant income by retiring their horses from racing to breed. Champion stallions can breed hundreds of times a year and can demand breeding fees in excess of $100,000 per sired newborn. The present value of these future cash flows can make a horse that was sold for $100,000 as a yearling worth $200 million or more in just a couple of years.
The importance of bloodlines
Horse buyers use their knowledge and experience to identify horses at an early age that they believe have the best prospects of winning races. This starts by studying a horse’s lineage or bloodlines. Horses that come from a lineage of champions are believed to have greater prospects of becoming champions themselves. During a horse’s adolescent years prior to racing, its value can fluctuate based on published training workout data that indicates how it’s developing. Additionally, the value of an unraced horse can increase when one of its many older siblings wins an important race.
Pinhookers are professionals who make a living by trading horses during this period and using their experience to process information that helps them identify great prospects within a particular year’s crop. Professional bloodstock agents can also be hired by prospective owners looking to breed a productive horse. These agents use similar historical bloodline information to identify good breeding candidates that can produce champions.
Individuals seeking to become racehorse owners can outsource the maintenance and training of their horses to a professional trainer and horse farm. Horse farms invest in land, infrastructure, labor and consumable resources to provide turnkey maintenance services to horse owners that prefer not to build and manage their own stables. These farms charge a fixed fee and oftentimes a percentage of winnings to train and manage the horses in their stables.
While racehorse ownership is a thrilling experience, it also comes with significant risk. A horse with great prospects may never train well enough to race, may race but never win or may not win enough to become a desirable breeding prospect. Thousands of horses are purchased each year for significant sums of money only to be retired a few years later because they were unsuccessful in their short careers. In such instances, the owners of these horses can potentially lose their entire investment. It is common for horse owners to diversify or offset this risk by purchasing multiple horses and/or syndicating the fractional ownership of their horses to investors.
The Rise of the “Play to Earn” (P2E) Gaming Culture
Technological and cultural advances have led to the consistent rise in gaming to create part of the cultural fabric on its way to becoming a multibillion-dollar industry. Video games that were introduced in the 1970s and played on television sets have evolved into massive multiplayer games with the advent of consoles, the internet and developments in computer technology.
In the last decade, enterprise gaming companies have introduced a multitude of interactive gaming products that generate billions of dollars in revenue and can be played in real-time via the internet with like-minded enthusiasts all over the world. Many of these games offer in-game assets that can be purchased by players who want to enhance the aesthetic and performance of their avatars on the platform. Gaming companies generally limit the use of these in-game assets to specific games and restrict their transferability to maximize their profits.
Enter the blockchain and metaverse technology which has spawned a movement that is redefining gaming entertainment. In its wake, a culture has formed where gamers now want to own their avatars and corresponding digital assets while having the freedom to profit from trading these assets without restriction. The legacy internet model of walled gardens with company ownership and no longer resonates with this gamer community and a revolutionary movement has formed to change this model forever.
Today’s gamer wants to own and control their assets. Those at the forefront of this rapidly growing movement don’t just want to play games for fun anymore - they want to play with a purpose; the prospect of earning, owning and having a seat at the table.
Furthermore, they want their entertainment derived from the satisfaction and excitement of being rewarded for their savvy and skills as part of their user experience. This type of financial incentive driven gaming entertainment resembles the proliferation of online poker and fantasy sports. Both games paralleled elements of their real-world counterparts and both offered their players the prospect of being financially rewarded for skill-based gameplay.
Silks builds upon these models to deliver a gaming experience that today’s gamers covet – an entertainment platform driven by the engagement, involvement, investment and contributions of its participants. This foundation will allow for years of exciting gameplay and has the potential to organically grow the Silks ecosystem in ways we can only imagine and can’t predict.
Silks is the first true NFT “derivative gaming” project that leverages blockchain and metaverse technology to bridge the real world with the digital world.
The Silks metaverse is powered by massive, decentralized data sets representing generations of real thoroughbred bloodlines, historic and current racing results and data representing the birth and development of actual racehorses throughout their lives. The digital assets native to the Silks ecosystem are created on the blockchain from public data sourced from verified data sources in the thoroughbred horse system. The result is a game that has the potential to deliver the same excitement felt by actual owners of thoroughbred racehorses and horse farms. Although Silks horses will exist in the metaverse, their real-life counterparts will allow participants of the platform to track them as they develop, race and breed in the real world.
WELCOME TO THE NEW GAMING CULTURE. WELCOME TO SILKS!
Racing SilksYour racing silk is your unique in-game brand. This foundational digital asset is akin to a prominent family crest and signifies both ownership and identity. It is the visual representation of your dynasty.
Racing silks are colorful and unique uniforms representing the identity of every racehorse owner in the Silks metaverse. Racing silks represent the identity of your dynasty and are traditionally worn by jockeys as a way for the public to identify the owner of each horse in a race. To participate as a horse owner in the Silks metaverse, you must first acquire a racing silk to represent your identity and the ownership of your in-game assets. Your silks will appear virtually on horses, stables, farms and other areas within the Silks metaverse that you possess. Racing silks are collectible and tradable like any other NFT. Horse owners without registered racing silks on the platform are not eligible to earn rewards when their horses win races.
The Silks metaverse is more than just horses and racetracks — much more. Everything in the Silks metaverse takes place in an immersive three-dimensional world of land and structures that mirror the real world we walk around in every day.
The territory of the metaverse consists of 202,500 acres of virtual land, segmented on a 450x450 acre grid. Each plot of land is one acre, with ownership represented by an NFT tagged with its horizontal and vertical coordinates on the grid.
Like any scarce productive asset, land in the Silks metaverse represents a gamified investment opportunity. Land speculators — anticipating that the value will increase with both the growth of the economy and new land uses that may be introduced in the future — may purchase and hold land hoping to profit later. Land speculators may also buy and hold land in the hope that an expanding farm will want to acquire their adjacent land at a premium.
The Silks metaverse will introduce many types of structures to support the needs of its ecosystem. Initially, Silks will launch with a stable - the primary structure necessary to operate a horse farm. The minimum size horse farm is 10 acres and will require a player wishing to build one to assemble 10 land NFTs that are contiguous to each other. Each 10 acres of land will accommodate one stable which can house and maintain up to 10 horses. Horse farms can be as large as 100 acres. There will be a limited number of stables available equal to 10% of the number of horses living in the Silks metaverse. The Silks platform intends to introduce future functionality that will allow owners to syndicate or sell their farms.
Silks horses are central to the Silks metaverse. When a real horse is born and registered as a thoroughbred racehorse in the US, Silks will create a digital counterpart of the horse in the form of a derivative NFT. The NFT will track the lineage, physical traits, development and productivity of the horse as it exists in the real world. Silks horses will be freely tradable on secondary market exchanges that support the technology.
Building your dynasty
With savvy ownership and trading of horses, land, and farms, a Silks player can build a dynasty that grows, lasts, and provides escalating long term rewards.
Own. Race. Earn.
Building a dynasty in the Silks metaverse takes savvy, planning and a thorough understanding of the entirety of the real-world horse racing economy mirrored in this digital world.
The Silks metaverse is a living and breathing ecosystem that will develop over time and eventually take on a life of its own. Silks intends to optimize its user experience along the way by developing new ways for users to engage with the platform, including introducing new structures, businesses, roles, and sub-economies.
The Silks economy will have the potential to sustain indefinitely as it is organically grown by the continual addition of newborn horses in the real world. The Silks community size is necessarily limited by the number of horses in the real world and can only grow, along with the economy, with each newborn horse sold as a yearling. The Silks economy allows each member of its community to adjust their risk tolerance by stabling their horses on private farms. Stabling a horse involves housing one’s horse on a public farm, having a lockup period in which their horse cannot be moved, and splitting pooled winnings. allow people with changing risk tolerance levels to stay part of the Silks community.
For details on Game of Silks gameplay, visit the Gameplay Overview.
Silks Technology stack
The Silks tech stack is built on the Ethereum blockchain using a combination of leading Web3 and legacy technologies for redundancy. Silks supports multiple wallets giving users the ability to utilize both decentralized and fiat on-ramping solutions which will provide flexibility for funding and identity management. Silks will implement L2 Starkware to enhance speed and reduce transaction costs associated with gas wars.
The Silks user experience is built using WebGL and the Unity game engine, a combination which has a proven track record with blockchain gaming and metaverse projects. Arweave, IPFS and AWS localized servers are used for the data layer and will deliver a low latency experience to users around the globe. User Identities will be tokenized allowing them to engage, sign and verify ownership and provide other users who interact with them to verify their identities.