If you’ve never heard of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, chances are you don’t spend that much time online. Created in 2008, digital currencies have been the talk of the town in recent years. Many investors, men-on-the-street, and businesses have been finding ways to leverage this valuable but still highly volatile form of currency. Back in the late 2000s, few people could have imagined the impact this new technology would have on so many industries and markets. To name a few, there’s software and IT, online casinos and betting sites, eCommerce sites, and even hospitality, among others.
Now, almost a decade later, what seemed like a niche space or passing trend has become mainstream, with people all over the world getting their slice of the cryptocurrency pie, whether for financial transactions or investments. Today, blockchains are completely changing the way we do things online, including the way we play video games.
For the uninitiated, blockchains serve as public ledgers for cryptocurrencies. It features a sequence of records called blocks. Each block contains data from previous blocks, timestamps, and cryptographic hashes, making them almost impossible to hack. Bitcoin blazed the trail for many cryptocurrencies with the first blockchain created as a public ledger before many followed suit. Bitcoin became the world’s first functioning cryptocurrency, but the creation of blockchain has allowed many new cryptocurrencies to enter the market as well.
So, what has this got to do with video gaming? Crypto games or blockchain games are games based on blockchain, and the video game industry is certainly benefitting from this new trend. Gaming is one of the most profitable markets in the entertainment and digital media sectors, and thanks to blockchain, more opportunities are arising for gamers and developers.
Cryptocurrencies as a viable alternative
Because blockchains are completely decentralised structures, developers are now able to reward players for their time and effort spent on playing video games. Before, gaming was all about entertainment. The ability to now introduce exciting play-to-earn features will likely attract a wider, more dedicated audience. Playing for real money is nothing new. Online gamblers have experienced benefits when playing online at various online casinos and betting sites. In fact, the online gambling industry was one of the first adopters of cryptocurrencies, with many sites accepting various digital currencies along with standard fiat currencies.
Many PayPal casino sites, for example, accept cryptocurrencies for real-money play, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, as well as more traditional payment methods like credit and debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid vouchers and bank transfers. Some examples of these top-rated online casinos include Casino.com, an online casino noted for accepting Bitcoins as a deposit option, and Duelz Casino, another site which takes Bitcoins but also accepts debit and credit cards, bank wire transfers payments.
In addition to cryptos, PayPal remains a popular option at online casinos, allowing increased levels of safety, security and payout times. There is no need to include your bank details when using PayPal at online casinos as the provider simply acts as a middleman between you and the gambling site. This means players prefer to use options like PayPal for security reasons, which is why cryptocurrencies are also becoming incredibly popular in this space.
Thanks to content monetisation, online video game players will also have some exciting and game-changing opportunities to thrive. With options continuing to increase every year and new games being developed and released to keep up with demand, the future of the video game industry could very well rest on blockchain technology.
Players getting much-needed recognition and rewards
Video gaming is competitive, challenging, and exciting. It also takes a lot of time, effort, and even money. From creating a character to purchasing new equipment, or farming for gold, gamers usually dedicated hours to mastering just one game. But despite this, gamers have only been rewarded with the ability to use certain in-game features. There was no way of receiving compensation or owning rights to anything related to the game. But blockchain is changing this, and gamers are thrilled.
As decentralisation, ownership, and full control are critical concepts to these games, players can now be rewarded for their time and effort. They can claim their stake in a video game in multiple ways. It could be in the form of items and equipment, virtual worlds, and even cryptocurrencies. Players can also earn money through play-to-earn features within the game. One of the first examples of this is the recently released Sandbox by Animoca Brands.
Based on the Ethereum blockchain, this interactive adventure game lets players build virtual worlds, and design characters, scenarios, and adventures that can be played by other gamers as well. All these creations can be monetised in token form, which can then be sold in the game’s own marketplace. This is a truly innovative introduction into the video gaming world and changes the face of an industry that is constantly pushing the envelope. Additionally, the ability to impress a demanding and tech-savvy audience with something never been done before is in itself is an incredible feat.
Monetising video games is a win-win for all
The basis of monetising video games is non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. These tokens represent various digital items within a game, including songs, video clips, and more. They also allow players to have some kind of ownership and also monetise their content. While most games already incorporate NFTs in some way, Splinterlands has proven to be a firm favourite. In August 2021, the game attracted 420 000 active users making over $55 million worth of transactions. Players collect these tokens, battle each other in multi-play modes and earn real-money rewards.
Blockchain has also meant more players becoming active in the gaming community and fewer gamers enjoying the experience in silos. It really is a winning combination that everyone can benefit from.