Blockchain technology is fairly new, yet already refined. The purpose of Blockchain is vast. There’s not one single way of utilizing it best; whatever you need it for, it’ll do the job. When it comes to the harmonious relationship between Blockchain and gaming, the future looks promising.
Remember when the first mention of Bitcoin burst through the veil; it wasn’t considered something worthwhile but well, here we are; a couple of years later & loads of new cryptocurrencies, the online market has changed drastically. It is well-known that gamers were amongst the first people who decided to give Bitcoin a shot and most of them received an amazing result.
So how does Blockchain gaming influence what we’re in for in a couple of years and how would it work? At the moment, most payment methods for, let’s say Esports betting, are centralized. This means they depend on a multitude of other factors, many of which can drastically change how a bet is placed or how rich the return is.
However, with the rise of Blockchain technology; cryptocurrency payment methods and decentralized models are brought into the fray.
This is still relatively far away time-wise, but it’s worth giving it some thought because honestly, it seems innevitable. Let’s discuss the semantics of Blockchain gaming and what it might achieve a few years from now.
What are the Benefits of Blockchain in Gaming?
For those that are unaware, Blockchain basically guarantees perfect security as far as cash/crypto transactions go, it is a decentralized system meaning it doesn’t depend on the middle man (like banks for example), and can provide loads of flexibility.
This is why cryptocurrencies based on Blockchain are taking the market by storm; high-end security, quick transactions, seamless integration:
Blockchain can easily be considered a useful tool for gamers since the gaming market nowadays has evolved drastically. Take skin trading or Esports betting; both of these activities depend on security, quickness, and verification. Each transaction must be completely safe and straightforward; nothing more nothing less.
This also lets game companies and developers properly monetize their products without invoking gamer rage (ya know, when EA decides Loot Boxes are completely fine). The more transparency we have in gaming, the better it is for everyone.
We might even see blockchain-based games in the not so distant future. Who knows, right?
What are the Uses of Blockchain in Gaming?
At the moment, the most popular example of Blockchain being used in gaming is through something called ‘non-fungible’ assets. These are mostly virtual gaming cards or game skins belonging to a single game where verification is scarce. Blockchain allows these items verification; something much needed in the market. Gamers generally aren’t keen on spending money on something that they feel isn’t worth it.
Blockchain technology helps explain this and verify the items; previously through the ERC-721 standard (which is a non-fungible token standard) and recently, through the ERC-1155 reference implementation. If this is a bit confusing, don’t worry; Blockchain is a bit tough to understand at first but once you do, everything else is a piece of cake.
How can Blockchain Change the Gaming Market?
Let’s say you want to purchase a cosmetic item (like gamers do) to make others fear you or loathe you for having the skin. And, let’s say you want to spend around 300 Euros for it (a rare and expensive CSGO skin). Unless you’re purchasing from verified vendors, chances are the item you want to buy might be a fluke. It’s even worse if you don’t get what you paid for (literally).
Currently, you, as a customer that’s willing to spend some cash, relies on the honesty of the seller. But we also won’t act like all sellers are reputable and honest. Getting ripped off is a common occurence in the world of gaming, especially with game code vendors (if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is).
This related article might interest you: What are the Best Alternatives to Official Digital Sellers?
Blockchain technology in gaming will massively improve the whole situation. First up, all cosmetic items, in-game currency, whatever – will be tied to the blockchain. In essence, this means complete transparency but also a guarantee that you will receive the item you paid for.
Eliminating the Middle Man
Blockchain gaming completely ignores the middle man; continuing our trend of cosmetic item examples, currently, you can get skins either in-game (paying the full price the developer decided), or through third-party websites. However, Blockchain gives you direct communication with the person you want to purchase from. Think of it as a P2P method of interaction.
There are some crypto websites that only use cryptocurrencies as payment for services or other prospects. These can range from crypto gaming websites to Esports betting websites like UKG, NitrogenSports, and OneHash.
If we imagine a future where Blockchain gaming is reality, we see a vast, bustling marketplace! People buying from other people at affordable prices, modified towards the market. What this means is that item rarity might not be the only method of giving value to it; market demand, availability, quality… All of these could potentially influence the prices.
Why Blockchain Gaming is the Way to go?
The first and most important reason to support Blockchain gaming technology is quick and secure payment. Cryptocurrencies now are a big part of the gaming market, and with the rise of Esports, it’s no surprise that this could become a trademark way of purchasing or selling things.
You might also like: Are Gamers Good with Cryptocurrencies?
Simple in-game tokens could be offered to players (in lieu of today’s in-game currency) to make this entire system seamless. For example, UnikoinGold is one such gaming token. Granted, UKG is oriented towards Esports gambling and betting, using the UKG token to place bets – in a completely decentralized system.
On top of that, game developers face a problem today as far as releasing their products are concerned. In 99% of the cases, distributing their products is difficult and requires an intermediary (remember the middle-man part of this article). This costs more than it should and it just seems messy.
There are already a couple of great Blockchain gaming examples; these Blockchain-based gaming platforms are still young and the combined Blockchain gaming sector dominance is a little over 0.10%. This number is low but ultimately, with the advancement of Blockchain gaming, it will grow.
Most Popular Cryptocurrencies in Gaming
- EOS – This smart-contract platform hosts a couple of games, most of which aren’t really popular with gamers. However, there is one standout called EOS Knights. EOS Knights is an RPG game where you can collect materials, craft items, trade with other players; all the while using the platform’s main currency – EOS. One unique trademark of EOS Knights is that the game is mobile-optimized, so you can easily play it through your phone. Any transaction or fee present in the game is paid by the platform’s own cryptocurrency. As long as this system is in place, the value of EOS will be steady.
- TRON – The TRON smart-contract platform is oriented towards entertainment. Similarly to EOS, TRON is used in a variety of cryptocurrency games that haven’t quite resonated with gamers. But again, there is one game which rises above the rest titled TRON Legend. This is a multiplayer RPG game with a simple premise – collect heroes, equip them with items, level up to create powerful magical items, fight monsters and bosses, and engage in PVP battles. Though the number might seem small, 2,000 people who play each week are a lot when we’re talking about such a secluded market. As with EOS, the TRON cryptocurrency is used to pay transaction fees or to trade.
- Steem – Steem is a cryptocurrency originally designed for social networks but the creators decided to make an unexpected turn in their plans. They released SteemMonsters; a digital collectible card game that uses the Steem Blockchain. The premise of it is simple: collect monsters by virtue of packs (which they buy with Steem), and then fight other players with your monsters. The great part about SteemMonsters are tournaments which give out Steem prizes to the best players! More than 15k games are played each daywhich makes SteemMonsters one of the most popular Blockchain games in 2019.
- EMONT (Etheremon Token) – EMONT is the prime cryptocurrency used in a Blockchain-based game called Etheremon (inspired by Pokemon). The in-game currency is used to buy ‘Mons’ (creatures from the game). You can also catch Mons so there really isn’t a necessity for purchasing them. An intriguing bit related to Etheremon is the ability to purchase Mons with Ethereum, although this won’t be available for long because the developer will ultimately make it so only EMONT can be used. In any case, Etheremon makes over 4,000 transactions weekly which is a fairly high number. Finally, EMONT is awarded to players whenever they win a battle, but the reward rate decreases as you play.
- EnjinCoin – EnjinCoin is the market cap leader at the moment but it doesn’t appear in any games. How so? Well, the team behind this smart-contract network is extremely ambitious yet calculated. They know what they’re doing. It’s the same team that created Enjin Network for Minecraft, giving players the possibility of trading and setting up servers with ease. EnjinCoin is supposed to enable game developers make their in-game items tradeable between different games. This trait is a first in the market and could revolutionize the way in-game items are created and marketed. Currently, there are a couple of games in development that are going to use EnjinCoin as their in-game currency such as Age of Rust, Bitcoin Hodler, Forest Knight, War of Crypto, etc.
- UnikoinGold – UnikoinGold is Unikrn’s cryptocurrency and is one of the biggest ones in both gaming and Esports betting. Since it was launched in 2017, it has increased in ‘customer’ (player) count and efficiency. UnikoinGold uses an Ethereum-based Blockchain which makes it perfect for the uses herein described. There are 4 main segments behind UnikoinGold: EsportsBook which specializes in Esports betting and lets you use UKS (Play tokens) to place bets. Then, you can use your winnings to enter for prizes! UMODE where you bet on yourself playing CSGO, Dota 2, Halo 5, League of Legends, Starcraft II, and Fortnite (by winning, you earn more Unikoins!). Connekt that collects your gaming data such as win rate, leaderboard rankings and other info. This enables the player to earn rewards each time they play (includes mobile games too!). And lastly, Other Uses such as entering giveaways, shopping online, trading with other people at cryptocurrency exchanges, and much more.
In a world where Blockchain gaming is king, these issues would all go away. Sure, it still requires loads of planning and integration, but it’s nice seeing just how good such a system would work.
What do you think? Can Blockchain gaming have a future worthy of gamers? Tell us in the comments below!