Year in year out, people continue to wonder how long the crypto hype is going to continue. The volatility of the market and the crashes it has faced keep leading some to believe that the digital currency’s time has come to an end, but without fail, it always pops back up again. But why?
This month at The Fintech Times we’re going to be looking at what makes digital currencies, most notably cryptocurrencies, so popular, while also uncovering the emerging alternatives to cryptos and why the digital future looks so intriguing.
We kickstart the month by looking at some of the most popular blockchain initiatives in different sectors, here looking at the gaming world.
We hear from Richard Gardner, Uldis Teraudkalns, Daniel Belda, Amy Kilner about some of the latest ways in which blockchain technology is being integrated into gaming.
Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, providers high-tech products and services to companies, said: “I think that Axie Infinity has definitely shown that play-to-earn games aren’t going anywhere in the near-term. As the arena continues to get more competitive, there is going to be a demand for ever-increasing interaction.
“The P2E arena considers blockchain initiatives to be a critical piece of the marketing budget, not all that different from the proposal once trotted out by Shelly Levine in Glengarry Glen Ross — why spend a boatload on marketing when you can simply pass on that savings to the consumer? He targeted that argument towards prospective real estate investors, but why, too, can’t it work to incentivise gaming? It seems that where the industry is heading, rewarding the community’s most active members and ambassadors, as inserting these blockchain-based rewards pushes gamers to compete in tournaments and use the marketplace and products offered through the game.”
Uldis Teraudkalns, CEO of Nexpay, providers of next-generation financial infrastructure, said: “We are seeing some exciting blockchain initiatives through some of our clients in the gaming industry. This area is attracting large investment at the moment: in just Q1 2022, investors poured $2.5+ billion into crypto games. This is expected to grow to $9 billion by the end of the year. As with any young industry, there are a lot of challenges, but these are also areas for business opportunity. There are needs for better crypto onboarding, gaming infrastructure, and tournament software, to name only a few examples.
“Blockchain-enhanced games have no competition as such, as the traditional gaming industry still refers to the blockchain as an incomprehensible or even “toxic” space. This gives small studios, which are not yet able to create large gaming franchises, a huge head start on development. The ability to quickly launch an in-game economy allows developers to immediately fund the continued development of their game.
“Another exciting example is play-to-earn Blockchain gaming, which allows players to earn while they play. This is quickly becoming an alternative career for many in developing countries. The Philippines has a huge population adoption of crypto games right now and, for example, accounts for 40 per cent of the player base in Axie Infinity.
“Nexpay provides banking infrastructure and services for digital assets and crypto businesses, and we see a lot of potential in gaming for areas like better onboarding, more transparent regulation, and generally building out a more robust ecosystem. This is a very exciting and very new industry!”
Daniel Belda, head of product strategy at embedded finance provider, OpenPayd added: “The killer use case for blockchain is in any setting that requires maintaining a single record of ownership. To date, that has meant fungible use cases like cryptocurrencies, and unique, non-fungible ones like NFTs.
“So what does that look like in gaming? Gamers spend a lot of money within digital metaverses, so cryptocurrencies have a role to play there as in-game currencies. But gamers are also buying and collecting digital products, which can be managed on a blockchain. The ability to own, buy and sell unique digital goods are fundamental to the appeal of inhabiting these virtual worlds. It also opens up completely new markets for goods to be created and sold – from customised digital clothing to virtual land.
“An example of this is Snoop Dogg’s Snoopverse built on The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based virtual world. Here he recreated part of his real-life mansion and allowed other players to purchase property in his digital neighbourhood. Premium users could access other digital services like concerts and virtual pool parties. It’s hard to understate how transformative this is. Snoop went beyond just selling digital services and found a new way for musicians to monetise their presence in the metaverse and create a new class of products that delivers real value to users.
“None of this will be powered by traditional finance – you won’t pull your credit card out of your wallet and punch in card details every time you purchase a digital good. Blockchains, e-wallets and embedded accounts will be the key facilitators of metaverse commerce.”
Value to the chain
Amy Kilner, NFT and Skyhi Design House founder said: “Within the world of NFTs, on the eth blockchain, you can find communities expanding their collection’s brand identity into a gaming experience.
“By ‘holding’ the NFT or in other words, buying into or investing in a project you can then use it as access to benefits in existing games. A great example of a brand that does this is Deadfellaz. On their discord, you can find different chats for various metaverse gaming platforms. They’ve recently collaborated with Sandbox to get their characters in there too! The whole thing adds more value to the eth chain and also the projects and it’s such an innovative way of growing a brand and I 100 per cent believe this is the future.”