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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Decentralized Future Starts With Blockchain Games

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Everything through the lens of a liberal

The implosion of GameStop stock on Wall Street and the riveting story of amateur investors going against billionaire traders has by now reached many corners of the Internet. Since then, endless articles and memes have been churned in response to this spectacle.

Here, we see the transformational role of financial technology, enabling small investors to go against huge financial institutions and beat them in a finance system that has long been rigged. This is a typical David and Goliath situation where even individuals as young as Mark Cuban’s 11-year-old son, can challenge the increasing wealth gap, just by watching TikTok videos.

These affected institutions then responded by denying people participation in the market. Stock trading app Robinhood blocked investors from buying specific shares. Forums for coordinating trading efforts were removed. More than ever, there is a pressing need for a democratic, decentralized finance system to counter the disparity that defines our modern world.

Gaming As The Tipping Point For Adoption

As fintech innovations continue to disrupt the traditional financial system, blockchain technology becomes the clarion call for curbing market manipulation and upholding transparency. Blockchain’s use case goes beyond cryptocurrency, with potential to revolutionize multiple industries and set the foundation for important infrastructures.

But before we arrive at this decentralized eutopia, mass adoption is required. Blockchain gaming may just be the space you have to watch as this industry is poised to restructure the traditional gaming industry. Similar to how computers showed its potential with gaming decades ago, as demonstrated by the transition of the digital game – Pong in the 1960’s,  history can repeat itself.

[ Anything that can conceive of as a supply chain, blockchain can vastly improve its efficiency- it doesn’t matter if its people, numbers, data, money.

Ginni Rometty, CEO IBM ]

Traditional Gaming vs Blockchain Gaming

Traditional gaming follows a centralized model. Game developers control in-game economies and game logic, while all related data is stored on a server that is fully controlled by the game administrators. Players do not have real ownership of their accounts and items, and face the risk of losing valuable in-game assets that are equivalent in value to money if the game or company owning the database shuts down. Players may also face undeserved ban of accounts, system infiltration by hackers, and manipulation of the game mechanics and rates.

Blockchain gaming on the other hand provides trust, transparency and fairness through user ownership of items and open source game logic in smart contracts. All in-game transactions are viewable on the public blockchain ledger, so anyone may audit their history and logic to see provable fairness.

With blockchain, user experience can be vastly transformed, from the transactions of items to the back-end of games. Even as blockchain gaming is in its nascency, they make up 30% of transactions made on smart-contract platforms. 

Online Gambling Is A Great Use Case For Blockchain Gaming

Amidst the pandemic, casinos all around the world face shutting down but there is no stopping gambling games as online options surface rapidly. The global online gambling market is anticipated to be valued at more than $127.3 billion by 2027. This is attributed to easy accessibility to casino gaming platforms with smartphone adoption, improved internet infrastructure, legalization. In addition, technological advancements such as virtual reality (VR) and cryptocurrencies are also expected to raise the market value. 

The gambling industry has garnered a lot of distrust due to their lack of transparency with questionable online gaming practices, such as how payouts are made. Most online casinos do not comply with the 80-99.9% pay back system, like how most gaming machines are programmed. The industry also faces an impediment on market growth as the rate of cybercrime through signal manipulation and app-based hacking rises. To overcome these challenges, more casinos are resorting to incorporating blockchain into their online businesses. 

How Is Blockchain Transforming Online Casinos?

Restoring trust among players by providing secure and transparent transactions on the blockchain. With more transparency in the pay-out system, more trust is gained among players.

Maintaining user anonymity by keeping identities hidden with crypto payments. Additionally, cryptographic measures reduce the risk of hacking and identity theft.

Removing excess charges as players play games directly from their cryptocurrency wallets. Players retain custody of them while playing games and do not need to go through lengthy wait times imposed by banks. 

Eliminating any form of cross-border monetary restrictions except for the obligations to comply with local and international laws on gambling.

Shifting To A Decentralized Future

As a consequence of more decentralized games being developed and launched, the infrastructure that is essential for blockchain gaming matures. Widespread adoption is likely to happen when the gap between the benefits of blockchain technology and gameplay appeal is bridged.

A game-changer in blockchain gaming may be the casino games recently introduced to Decentraland by the project called Decentral Games. It is the first community-owned 3D metaverse casino with an ecosystem that is self-sustainable and provably fair.

Users are exposed to a novel experience in blockchain gaming when playing in a metaverse. The social aspect is currently a major highlight, as users are able to mimic real-life casino experience in the virtual world, and play blackjack or slots with live avatars around. 

The games attracted over a thousand users and $20 Million worth of bets within the first 8 weeks of launch and over $7M of liquidity locked in by investors.

With gaming infrastructure becoming more robust, and with more people seeking refuge from COVID-19 by staying home, this virtual ecosystem is ripe for expansion. All these conditions are paving a positive outlook for commerce between physical and virtual worlds. 

The picture above shows users participating in an auction of Elon Musk meme NFT at Decentral Games


The unique selling point of blockchain gaming is that real money is used within games, and that itself makes the platform fertile ground to test blockchain features and set the path for more widespread application of blockchain.

One day, users may not even be aware that blockchain technology is the efficient tool driving the back end of the applications they are using.

This tipping point is anticipated when blockchain games earn mainstream status in the gaming industry. For now, how this industry embraces blockchain will very likely set the benchmark for other major industries. 


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