Gamers were some of the earliest adopters of new technologies like blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies. The crypto-based company HashCash suggests that that might be largely because many games already have on-board payment systems. That’s only one of the reasons that HashCash has developed a system for blockchain gaming. Their technology has the potential to change the ways in which online games are designed and played. But what does it mean and how does it work?
Who Is Involved in Blockchain Gaming?
HashCash launched their blockchain gaming venture because they see cryptocurrencies and blockchain as being highly compatible with gaming. The project is so successful that the California-based company is currently expanding into Malta.
HashCash isn’t the only group involved in blockchain gaming. The DGA Summit (DGA stands for “Digital Games and Assets”) is an upcoming conference for such groups.
Blockchain Gaming and Security
Many games already have internal payment structures that allow users to pay for items in the game. Many games allow users to pay for items with in-game currencies or with real money through a credit card.
Unfortunately, it is possible for items, in-game currencies, or even real money to be stolen from some game accounts. Naturally, introducing cryptocurrencies and blockchain principles into games and payment methods can prevent this. Gaming accounts can be linked to secure ledgers just like those used for other cryptocurrencies.
Further, blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies allow for microtransactions that aren’t currently possible or profitable with current payment technologies. Have you ever bought a whole package of digital items because you really wanted one item? Have you ever wondered why in-game items can be so expensive? One reason that problems like these exist is that when a company makes a credit card transaction, they pay a certain percentage or sum to the credit card company. That means that if they receive a small enough payment, it’s not financially worth-while to them. This is the same reason that many brick-and-mortar or online retailers have minimum credit card transactions. It’s a problem that doesn’t exist when using cryptocurrencies.
Another hope is that blockchain in gaming will make it easier to monetise games. This could make it easier for smaller developers to competitively enter the gaming market.
Blockchain and the Gaming Experience
Blockchain gaming isn’t just about security, it’s also about ingenuity.
Have you ever played a game that released what was supposedly going to be a rare weapon or character only to find out that it is easily available? Game designers using blockchain technology can prove that items that they introduce in the game are actually rare.
Further, some games allow players to create or customise items within the game. Players could then sell these items with other players for in-game currencies, similar to the character Aech in Ready Player One.
How Does It Work?
So how does blockchain gaming work? It’s actually pretty simple. It works a lot like payment systems in games currently work. In-game tokens can be purchased with off-game currencies, in this case crypto instead of credit.
In a blockchain-based exchange rather than a bank-based exchange, players could theoretically have a lot more freedom. Players could buy and sell in-game tokens for crypto and vice-versa. They could also theoretically buy and sell items for crypto. Having and using the in-game currency would of course also have certain benefits.
Blockchain gaming has a lot of potential for gamers who are looking for more customisability in their gaming experience. It also adds a lot of opportunities for increased connections with other players. The small industry is growing fast, so keep your wallet and your controller handy.
Tamara is a marketing and PR professional, enthusiastic about crypto, blockchain and technology in general. She’s the editor at Bitcoin Australia.