“I started a multi-million dollar crypto video game”

I think video games were a natural part of my generation’s childhood. I was really lucky to grow up playing with my friends online and for a few years they really shaped my youth.

During this time, my family lived in the lowest income bracket above homeless. Mom was a little too sick to work, she suffered from Crohn’s disease and a host of other health problems and was a single mother with three children, living in public housing and receiving government assistance. But I see wrestling as relative, because we are lucky to live in Australia. There are people who have had a lot more trouble. When I grew up, I realized that my mum was really invested in making sure we didn’t realize how hard things were.

A really pivotal moment in my early years was in grade 11 geography class. Generally, I had been a class clown; I got C’s and maybe some B’s, but I loved sports. Then something happened around the 10th or 11th grade. I really wanted to concentrate because I had ambitions to be a fighter pilot in the military. I studied chemistry, physics and geography, which were prerequisites for entering pilot training.

I had a friend who was advanced in geography, so I asked if I could have her grade 11 homework to read. I decided to take this paper, change the name and return it. We had the same teacher, but she got an A+ and I got a B-. At that time, I felt like I had a name for myself and academic success was just not going to happen for me. I then decided to go into an industry where I could create my own results, namely sales. It turned out to be a door-to-door sales job selling for charity.

Trying to get money from people for nothing in return is exceptionally difficult. I walked 15 km a day and only worked on commission. We went out at 8 in the morning and knocked on doors until 6, and if you didn’t sell anything, you worked all day for nothing. I was 17 but I just had to keep punching and build mental toughness to the point where rejection didn’t mean much. I think that was really important to me and became the basis of everything I’ve done since.

A year later, I got into telesales, which was much easier, people hang up on me! I made some money and got into the timeshare business. It was the worst decision of my life: I didn’t sell anything!

But during that time I had been exposed to cryptocurrencies through social media and friends and made my first cryptocurrency purchase. Initial coin offerings (ICOs), or cryptocurrencies, were really taking off and I started to recognize that I was asking questions and no one answered for an hour or even a day.

I realized there was an opportunity to start a cryptocurrency customer service company, and I did. My business would accept ICO tokens instead of payment with the idea that the tokens would end up being worth something. But startups often fail, and often we wouldn’t get anything back for six months of work.

Then non-fungible tokens (NFTs) arrived and I was exposed to a game called F1 Delta Time, which in a roundabout way introduced me to Ken Pham and Steve Ngyuen. Ken had DM’d me on Discord and looking back I was so close to not replying. Turns out it was the right call to answer, because Ken had an idea for a cryptocurrency video game, so he, Steve, and I hopped on a few calls and started theorizing what we were building. We just started it together from April to October 2021, before launching the game, Pegaxy.

When someone plays Pegaxy, they can either buy a horse, a Pega, and race it, or rent a Pega and race it online in-game. The Pega that places in the top three in each race wins cryptocurrency tokens. We use the Polygon blockchain and our tokens are called Pegaxy Stone and Vigorous. Vigorous can only be earned through racing and you can also sell this token on the cryptocurrency market for US dollars.

Some people will own a lot of horses and then rent them out to people who will play for them and they will split the profits. You can rent a horse without paying anything, but the distribution of profits goes to the owner. There are also players who collect rare Pega and people who create guilds, where they raise as many Pega as possible and bring people inside the guild, then everyone wins together and shares the profits. In a traditional game, you would earn in-game chips, but that doesn’t mean anything. This translates into real dollars.

In a traditional video game, once you reach certain achievements, people may want to buy items or characters, or sell their account. If someone wanted to buy my account, I had to be sure that they were going to send me money, and they had to be sure that I was going to give them an email and a password. This platform allows users to have a trusted medium of exchange, where we don’t need to trust each other. I can put items on a marketplace, someone can buy them, and I will receive cryptocurrency tokens. So initially you don’t need anything to play except a cryptocurrency wallet. Market changes can affect everything. Even now we are down but there has been no lack of interest from players. The reality is that if there is interest in the game, there will always be money coming in, even if the value of the coin is falling.

Over the lifetime of the game, there has been approximately $180,000,000 in Pega peer-to-peer sales volume on our marketplace and we take a 3% commission from the marketplace. So we made about $5,400,000, but we really need to put that back into the game.

At 25, Corey Wilton is already the CEO of a Pegaxy, a play-to-win NFT horse racing game that offers cryptocurrency rewards.

I pay myself 3000 Australian dollars per month because my reward comes from having a team allowance of Pegaxy Stone tokens. If I build a solid game, these tokens will be rewarding in the future. It doesn’t make sense for me to be rich in four months. We also have 80 employees and the game is barely over.

I am 25 now and although I have had some success there have been many failures. I think that’s more the point. Everything seems smooth when you get there; rejection and failure are what people don’t see. But I know every minute of what it took to get here; to be in the trenches and to make sacrifices. I never drank alcohol and I don’t party. I’ve been with my “Mrs” for nine years, I call her my wife even though we’re not married. We sacrificed a lot in our youth to get here.

She’s been in and out of business, but she’s more artistic and relaxed. She loves painting and the piano, so being in the trenches doesn’t suit her that much. She supported me, but obviously it’s not easy to go from being broke to even more broke and finally making money.

I don’t talk too much about money with my mom, but I see her all the time and she knows when it’s okay. I think she’s definitely proud and just happy to have well-rounded sons.

I don’t know what might happen in the future, I’m just living it. But it’s fun and I think you should be grateful. This is the most important thing because companies could go cr**. It’s just life.

I think I will never stop building. I made a lot of money during the first crypto boom in 2018, and the money is great. But the best way to look at it is to think: How much can you travel and vacation for no reason? You can’t do this forever. So I would rather build and go to the Philippines and Vietnam because we have staff there. I live in the “now”. I obviously have huge goals of making a lot of money, but the reality is that happiness is the main thing. I prefer to build my lifestyle around something I love so I can do it forever.

Corey Wilton is chief marketing officer and co-founder of Pegaxy. You can learn more about pegaxy.io or follow on Twitter @PegaxyOfficial.

All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

As said to Jenny Harvard.

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