Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies are used in a wide range of applications: in finance, banking industry, to verify the identity of data and documents. In addition, it should be mentioned that these technologies have the potential to completely change the way we are used to gaming:
- Now it is possible to use the same skins and items in different games, which turns digital assets into real value.
- A specialized marketplace for selling, buying, and exchanging such digital assets on blockchain appears.
- The cryptographic data protection technology used in crypto ensures the integrity and security of gaming objects, while at the same time confirming ownership.
- The black market is of no use to anyone. Cryptocurrency allows game developers to legally sell gaming items with minimum or zero commissions.
- The technology behind crypto makes rare gaming items even more valuable and rare.
- Receiving payments in cryptocurrency saves a lot of money on processing payments for game developers.
- Every transaction is recorded in the blockchain, which is extremely important to prevent gaming fraud.
Also, blockchain and crypto technologies are in demand among those who professionally deal with esports. For example, the DreamTeam platform provides an opportunity to sell access to streams, and give prizes using DreamTeam tokens. American company Refereum rewards users with tokens for streaming and interacting with game content. The use of cryptocurrency for donates and micropayments was developed in the gaming industry, but quickly went beyond it.
Gaming projects based on Ethereum
Decentralized games are usually defined by the fact that most of both game mechanics and economics are based on smart contracts. These contracts are open-source and available for third-party verification.
The most famous of the decentralized games is CryptoKitties. The essence of the game is to cross different cat breeds to get unique and valuable offspring. One of the kitties was sold for a record 247 ETH (about $118 thousand at the time of the deal). At the peak of the project’s popularity, the daily transaction volume with kitties exceeded $2.3 million. CryptoKitties were followed by CoinDogs, CryptoDolls, CryptoCelebrities, CryptoFish, and countless other clones and followers.
RPG games were among the first to use Ethereum blockchain technology. The OpenSea website has a marketplace for these digital objects. The Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) marketplace, where various digital assets based on Ethereum can be sold and bought, is also gaining popularity. Game items are very popular in the RPG card game “Gods Unchained”, as well as in the “Axie Infinity” battle game. One of the collectable “Mythic Titans” cards from “Gods Unchained” was sold for almost 146 ETH (about $26 000 at the time of the deal). A game of Japanese origin “My Crypto Heroes” rewards players with GUM (Game User Money) tokens. Heroes that are used in “My Crypto Heroes” can also be sold and bought. Data DappRadar shows that every week players sell and buy digital assets for tens of millions of dollars.
The Enjin project uses the ERC20 standard Ethereum token. The Enjin crypto (ENJ) has the potential to become the most popular cryptocurrency used for gaming. The infrastructure of Enjin allows to create game websites and servers, and Enjin services are used by such popular and highly appreciated games as “Minecraft” and “World of Warcraft”. In total, the audience of websites built on the Enjin code exceeds 19 million people.
The Decentraland project has its MANA crypto that allows buying virtual land areas in the Decentraland world, as well as making transactions and purchasing real estate and other game items using Ethereum tokens of ERC-721 standard. The ICO of MANA caused an unseen boom. $24 million needed to launch the project were collected in less than a minute, and many potential participants of the ICO had to be refused. The most expensive land in the “Decentraland” game was sold for 2 000 000 MANA or $175 578 at the time of the deal.
The new “Sandbox” game has the potential to exceed the success of “Decentraland”. Gaming items use the new Ethereum standard, ERC-1155. The principle of the game is similar to Minecraft and Roblox: the construction of the game world from the small details of various 3D objects.
The Playkey project is located at the crossroads of traditional games and cryptocurrencies. Internal tokens of the Playkey project (PKT) can pay for remote access to computer resources, which allows you to run the most demanding game even on a weak PC. The Playkey project provides mining, with the use of which the owners of powerful graphics cards perform useful calculations. Thus, Playkey successfully competes with both console and online gaming providers.
Decentralized games are based not only on the Ethereum blockchain. For example, the “Upland” game with its internal UPX currency is based on the EOS blockchain. The essence of the game is inherited from the popular “Monopoly” board game. There is also the “EOS Knights” best mobile game for devices running on iOS and Android. Actively developing games on Steem and TRON blockchains should be mentened too. There is also a game in the genre of fantasy “LiteBringer”, which works based on the Litecoin blockchain, in the development of which the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, is involved.
Decentralized games based on the blockchain are represented in a great variety. There are gamers adventures and card games, space exploration, strategy games, action games, role-playing games, and more.
Casino gambling, such as slots, poker, and roulette, as well as many other gamblings, thanks to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, got a “second breath”. For example, in 2018, more than 50% of Bitcoin transactions were made at online casinos. The ability to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency make casino gambling available in any country, without government restrictions. The user can deposit the account with a minimum fee, without losing on currency exchange and without giving his bank card details along with other private information. Also, blockchain is used by gambling operators to confirm that their software works honestly.
How the gaming industry will develop in the future
Many people believe that in the second decade of the 21st century, the importance of both online gaming and cryptocurrency will only grow. In 2020 the volume of investments in gaming is expected to exceed $128 billion. AR and VR technologies will become more widely used in gaming and tightly integrated with crypto technologies. Gamers will be able to legally bet on the outcome of a specific esports event. Blockchain voting will allow the gaming community to offer ideas for discussion, and developers will be able to incorporate the best ideas into games. Mobile games have almost completely captured the free-to-play approach. This means that the game is free for the user, but the best gaming progress is only possible through the use of purchased gaming items. So, here we can see one of the best areas of activity for developers of smart contracts and cryptocurrency.