The best way to see whether something considered fringe is going mainstream is by seeing how quickly it moves over into the public sphere, and we are seeing that with new cryptocurrencies coming on stream as well as non-fungible tokens.
Ever since it was mentioned in an episode of The Simpsons back in 2013, we have been seeing more and more references to this alternate form of money.
More recently, it has made the jump into sports, with even mega clubs like Paris St Germain announcing sponsorship deals. And it’s not just sports.
Other industries impacted by NFTs include art and entertainment, while cryptos have entered the world of online gaming.
Online gaming is a broad umbrella covering first-person shooters, sports sims, as well as online poker, casinos and play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity.
It’s a booming industry worth an estimated $23.56 billion in 2022 and estimated to rise to $33 billion within five years.
We can expect to see the ever-increasing influence of crypto enter the world of online gaming as more and more players are attracted to the ease and convenience of playing via their phones or tablet.
We’re going to take a look at some of the ways in which cryptocurrency is changing the way we play online.
Beyond The Card
Traditionally players would sign up for their chosen online gaming account or app and use their bank card or PayPal.
Crypto provides an alternate way of depositing funds while at the same time doing away with any external influence from financial systems and their payment systems.
Indeed, some online poker apps have become solely crypto accepting payments and paying out winnings through the blockchain, cutting out banks altogether.
Safer All Round
In such an environment where in-game purchases or deposits are a regular feature, security is key for operators and players alike, with hackers lurking in cyberspace looking for their own payout.
We see this demonstrated in the use of cryptocurrency in online poker, where blockchain technology and relying on a decentralized register make the games safer for players.
Indeed, the use of crypto can soothe nerves over external money grabs and could have the effect of nudging states with no provision for such games towards legislation. High-profile hacks such as the March 2022 attack on Axie Infinity by North Korean agents show the need for robust security protocols will not go away any time soon, and whilst that was a crypto hack, it is very much an isolated incident when compared to other high-profile hacks in the wider gaming world.
Money In Your Pocket
These days the money spent within a game normally stays within the game.
If the game no longer exists for whatever reason, then any assets a player may have accrued within that game are lost with it; a good example of this is FIFA and their Ultimate Team pay-to-win model.
By utilizing blockchain, technology ownership exists on that decentralized register and not with the game or app developer so that ultimately that asset could be transferred to another game or app.
This would help develop an ecosystem which would spread out across the gaming universe and guarantee players’ security of ownership.
Generally, there has been some resistance to crypto in online gaming; developers such as Team 17 and EA Sports have felt the reaction first hand.
However, with ease of payment, security and ownership three key areas that have often troubled gamers, it’s clear to see how crypto could help shape the industry in the future.
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