Landemic Founder Phil Dhingra on the Future of Digital Assets and Decentralized Applications

CryptoGlobe recently caught up with Phil Dhingra, the founder of Landemic, a fun property collectibles game often described as the “CryptoKitties for land.” Landemic allows its users to buy tiles from a map of the Earth via the Ethereum blockchain.

Just like the available space on Earth, the tiles on Landemic are limited. Each tile covers 275 x 275 m2 and has the initial price of a penny. As scarcity sets in their prices rise. The Petronas Towers are already selling for nearly $20,000.

Players can use their tiles to leave their mark on earth via the Landemic Map. Not only are they going to be able to freely express themselves, they’ll also be able to use their “land” to promote whatever they want to.

CryptoGlobe: Can you walk us through your background? How did you get into crypto?

Phil Dhingra: I was an early investor in Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it wasn’t until I co-founded Titan Seal that I became involved in building dapps [decentralized applications]. Titan Seal is currently the only blockchain startup that has US government agencies as paying customers.

CG: Why are you interested in blockchain and what is the opportunity for Landemic?

PD: Digital assets have existed since the invention of the computer, but it wasn’t until the blockchain that we gained a true sense of ownership. With Landemic, we have the opportunity to be the first meaningful digital asset that’s tied to land.

Many have come before us, but we have a unique set of attributes that makes our token worth buying. We’re the only ones to use Open Location Codes to represent our tokens; our gamification is spot-on; and, we have a simple, legible tie-in with the ERC721 specification.

CG: A lot of companies picked up the idea of creating dapps that leverage online collectibles on the blockchain, made popular by CryptoKitties. Is this trend here to stay and why?

PD: We already see that the market for ephemeral digital assets is approaching the 100 billion dollar range, with Fortnite alone making more than a billion from selling in-game items. It stands to reason that a market for permanent digital assets should become a substantial fraction of that.

CG: How do you respond to critics that point to the fact that Dapp usage is still very low?

PD: The barrier to entry for blockchain has always been usability, but it’s something that won’t get solved overnight. The innovations that companies like Dapper Labs (creator of CryptoKitties) and us are introducing in 2019 are different than what startups were introducing in 2018. I’m sure in 2020 and beyond it’ll be a new ball game for everyone getting into dapps.

CG: Is your project focused on entertainment only? Is there a tie-in to a real-world use case in real estate?

PD: From day one we’ve had our eyes on how to tie Landemic to the real-world. Our first idea is to reward property holders in proportion to how accurate of tile prices are compared to the $/sq.ft. of their underlying, real-world assets. We have other ideas that we’re kicking around privately, but our first goal is to make the market informational.

We want to make Landemic vibrant and full of activity, such that the activity corresponds to the perception people have of the real-world. The stronger that coupling, the greater the opportunity for real-world tie-ins.

CG: Blockchain-verifiable ownership is underpinning an emerging industry of digital souvenirs. Are you seeing this with Landemic?

PD: Absolutely. For example, the Petronas Towers on Landemic are on sale for $19,000. We see that these souvenirs could have a real collectible value.

CG: In your opinion, what is needed for crypto to reach mass adoption? Do we need it?

PD: It’s going to take a massive collective investment in usability to gain mass adoption. Do we need it? Yes. The origins of blockchain can be traced to the 2008 Recession, which was a reality check for the entire world. We realized that we can’t depend on large, centralized entities, such as governments or corporations, to determine our fate.

CG: What’s on the horizon for Landemic?

PD: Now that we have a budding group of professional players on Landemic, we are going to make it easier for them to buy and sell tiles at volume. We will reduce friction anywhere we see it, until it’s as easy to buy tiles on Landemic as it is to color pixels in Microsoft Paint.