How Cryptocurrency and the Blockchain Could Impact the Gaming World – Guest PostCarmine
With the rise of Bitcoin and all other variations of crypto making a splash in the online world, it shouldn’t take long for this new economy to collide with another virtual medium that already has one of the biggest economies the world has: video games.
And it hasn’t taken long at all, like the Refereum ICO which is just the foot in the door of possibilities.
The greater ambition of the blockchain doesn’t just stop with making your real life wallets bigger and fatter.
This new e-economy and technology opens the door to reinvent how we use and design our already existing technological instruments.
Just as people discuss Bitcoin ATM machines and sending crypto through text messages, gaming may be the next big step in securing a more mainstream role in society for cryptocurrency and utilizing the blockchain technology to its fullest capacity.
More and more games these days rely on in-game tokens or currencies that can be used to purchase in-game items, be they fashion accessories or optional content or anything that can tailor and customize a user’s individual experience. You’ve probably heard of DLC, microtransactions and the like.
Sometimes these can only be purchased using cash, but more and more developers are opting for the ability to earn “money” in-game that can be transferred for these extra pieces of content, not unlike earning air miles.
If the world of crypto became integrated with the free market of video games, we could see Bitcoin and Ethereum being an all-new payment option for these in-game items.
Nitro covered this in an infographic last year:
Twitch.tv has already enabled people to donate Bitcoin and Ethereum to streamers. It’s not an unreasonable leap of logic to see this happening in the future.
Not to mention that the technology of the blockchain itself could reinvent how in-game “economies” function.
Many popular titles like World of Warcraft operate on in-game currency in which players can perform transactions with each other. If an MMORPG of some sorts adopted Bitcoin or its own proprietary cryptocurrency instead, it could be a revolutionary moment.
Gamers could then earn crypto in-game which could theoretically be exchanged for actual dollars later down the line.
It goes without saying that buying the games themselves and not just their in-game items with crypto would be an interesting development.
Similarly to how PayPal accounts have become almost as mainstream as debit and credit card options, the future could see crypto wallet addresses be a new feature on the checkout page of your Steam purchases.
The ambitious continuation of this train of thought, however, would be an entire gaming service platform like Steam that operated off of cryptocurrency.
It would be a fascinating experiment, even if only to emphasize our next point:
Decentralization is a gamer’s issue
More and more, gamer’s are worried about ethical issues that pertain to the development and quality control of their products.
Status of ownership become less clear and muddier as more and more games are being digitally purchased or streamed from a private server.
Gamer’s are starting to become more and more skeptical and paranoid of big corporations cheating them out of a fair deal.
Blockchain technology can be used to alleviate this problem as the open-source technology records all transactions through its system of nodes.
This would force developers to make products with a greater sense of transparency, giving them a better public image and earning back the trust of the consumer.
Blockchain technology avoids a lot of the headache associated with conventional transaction fees. As such, the implementation and usage of crypto could allow indie developers to lower their fees and incentivize consumers to follow and adopt their model of paying in Bitcoin or what have you.
The blockchain itself would also constantly update and regulate prices and be a more accurate and reliable way to gauge market trends and fluctuations and allow people to make smarter purchases when it comes to in-game micro transactions.
Subscription fees can also be monitored and calibrated more accurately as well. They can be based on actual time spent instead of per month like typical online fees.
A typical fee for an online service might be 10 dollars a month, but what if you only spend 10 hours that particular month instead of the expected 60? You might feel ripped off.
The blockchain will be better suited for monitoring and prescribing subscriptions based on actual time spent online. You can pay $10 worth in Bitcoin for 60 hours, as an example, and take up to two or even three months to exhaust that subscription plan, instead of having to pay $30 in cash as is typically expected these days.
This is just another way in which decentralized markets can provide innovative improvements to the gaming market.
We could go on and on and on about how blockchain technology could revolutionize the gaming economy but we hope these few but immensely important points have got you thinking about the possibilities that await us all.
How do you think crypto will change the gaming world?