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If you’re a regular internet user or technology aficionado, then you’ve undoubtedly already heard the term “blockchain.” Usually, this secure technology is associated with cryptocurrency and keeping information safe, but what many people don’t know is that this remarkable technology is also used in gaming and game development.
As the idea of the metaverse becomes a more and more likely reality, we are moving closer and closer toward an entirely new kind of online existence. With the number of gamers that already exist and play games in the traditional format, we can bet on the fact that this number will increase when access to a true and fully realized metaverse becomes more widespread. What comes with online life, including more online gaming, is monetizing that online life and those games as much as possible. This is where the effects of blockchain technology come in.
New Links in the Chain
The connection between blockchain technology and gaming is very new. Let’s take a brief look at how blockchain technology is defined:
“A blockchain is a type of distributed database or ledger—one of today’s top tech trends—which means the power to update a blockchain is distributed between the nodes, or participants, of a public or private computer network. This is known as distributed ledger technology or DLT.”- McKinsey.com
Blockchain tech is currently one of the safest ways to store any kind of information and pass along cryptocurrency.
How Is Blockchain Implemented in Gaming Software?
Blockchain in games has been a novel concept over the last few years, but there’s no doubt that as both spheres of technology evolve, the connection will too. The proof in the pudding is the number of million-dollar investments being made by big players in the gaming market into the implementation of this tech in gaming software. To single out one example, Dapper Labs raised over 11 million USD to fund the startup of GameFi. GameFi (translated to game finance, which is a decentralized finance protocol that uses gamified elements) is being used by companies all over the world to connect blockchain games to the real economy. Even cellphone giant Samsung has jumped onto that train by including a blockchain-based game in the crypto wallet that comes built into the Galaxy S10.
The gaming industry has been waiting for tech like this for a long time. It creates solutions to a lot of issues in free-to-play games. Free-to-play is a model in which you can play a game for free, but there are in-game purchases available should users want to speed their process or better their chances by purchasing gold or weapons, for example.
Using blockchain in gaming offers a new economic model in which people don’t look at giving money as spending but rather investing, in the game, into themselves, and into the experience they have when they play. Gamers don’t choose a game for no reason. They love the premise, and they want to succeed. Whether they wish for extra help because they are newer gamers or they’d like to purchase extra health or resources to survive, or just a skin that adds value to their character for them, blockchain gives them the option. It also gives them the option, in many cases, to exchange these items on an in-game marketplace with other players. There are trade systems in place and also sales systems where players can buy in-game items for regular currency or Crypto.
What changes are coming to the gaming industry as blockchain is used more and more often?
- There is an added layer of security for players playing blockchain games. Their information and their finances are extra-safe when they pay for subscriptions or make in-game transactions.
- Messaging in the game is similarly protected with extra encryptions.
- Transparency is enhanced, and transactions can take place with far greater immediacy.
- Implementing blockchain tech will allow for centralization for gamers. One profile will offer access to numerous platforms.
Blockchain being implemented in gaming democratizes access to in-game purchases and assets that are available for purchase. Instead of having to buy the items “new,” you may be able to pick them up at a “second-hand” price from a gamer who no longer uses them. This enables gamers to make money off of things they no longer need instead of having essentially wasted that money.
Issues That May Arise
Regulation in the crypto industry, which always goes hand in hand with blockchain, is still minimal. Regulation in selling in-game items from player to player is also still unregulated, and as such, some gamers are concerned that this may leave room for unscrupulous sellers to take advantage of others in the marketplace. Be aware of the laws in your country regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions to stay above board at all times.
Though it is early days yet, we believe that blockchain and gaming will be a partnership that truly stands the test of time.