When the crypto.com digital asset exchange pays $ 700 million for the naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team’s home, replacing the Staples retail brand, it’s a sign that cryptocurrency and its underlying technological blockchain is fueling mainstream consciousness. . Likewise, the world took notice when iconic auction house Christie’s staged multi-million dollar digital art sales recorded using the blockchain as an NFT (non-fungible token). Collins Dictionary even made NFT its Word of the Year for 2021, beating other shortlisted candidates such as crypto and metaverse.
The big question for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is how to convert all of this growing attention into sustainable adoption. The answer to finding the killer use case for mass crypto and blockchain participation lies in one of the world’s favorite pastimes – gaming. The fact that blockchain can now revolutionize gaming has created an inflection point for the technology to truly mainstream. In addition, a metaverse, enabled by blockchain and supported by culture, will make this paradigm shift permanent.
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If the gaming world were a community, its 2.69 billion players worldwide (3 billion expected by 2023) would constitute the same population as America, Europe and Africa combined. Minecraft’s more than 130 million active users surpass Japan, and League of Legends’ 180 million players can fill New York City 20 times. This “population” also represents a huge economy. In 2020 alone, the global gaming audience spent approximately $ 54 billion on additional in-game content, a market expected to grow to nearly $ 75 billion by 2025. On average, gamers play online for 6 hours. and 20 minutes each week, with some surveys allocating up to nearly 15 hours per week in more developed markets like America. Imagine how blockchain adoption is about to explode as these vast populations reap the benefits of NFTs and cryptocurrencies, which begin to solve some of the industry’s biggest problems.
Gaming started out as a one-time buy economy, with people buying games, devices, and expansions. This is followed by in-game transactions, subscriptions, and apps in purchases. But, with the exception of a few talented kids who became stars in esports, the flow of money has remained unchanged from the start and has remained in closed systems. Now, however, the gaming business models are in disarray. In-game purchases can easily be redeemed outside of the game via blockchain-powered Decentralized Finance (DeFi) systems that also create opportunities for split collectible game cards. The whole concept of NFT is also allowing video game artists to find sources of income unthinkable just a year ago.
From fantasy to reality via the metaverse
Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and gaming are made for each other as they combine to provide a better user experience and strengthen the metaverse – the perfect playing field for gamers. Experts in these fields had created this digital universe long before Facebook catapulted the concept into the mainstream a few weeks ago, declaring its ambition to rule the metaverse with a $ 10 billion investment. The gaming and blockchain industries have already combined their abilities to unlock entire fantasy worlds where you can have a Game of Thrones-like experience in an ecosystem mixing books, games, and NFT. Popular games will attract users for their high-quality content and activity, and then expose them to a new paradigm of goods and currencies that live both inside and outside of these worlds. This will create a seamless access ramp to the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain with millions of players benefiting from their deployment.
The key to keeping all of these new blockchain and crypto beneficiaries will be creating high-quality entertainment and cultural experiences in these metavers. A sustainable metaverse where people want to stay, play, live, and grow combines entertainment, crypto-based economic incentives, new social interactions, culture, and even ideology.
My own wish is to inspire cultural movements within a game-based metaverse that can impact the real world. Can you imagine people discovering through their metaverse interactions how to harness technology constructively so that a new future is built from the best parts of our past? So, it’s not too big a leap of faith to hope that these people take this metaverse culture and create a better world. In a blockchain gaming metaverse, this fantasy can become our reality.
(Sami Chlagou is the CEO of the collectible card game and e-book series, Cross the Ages, which has acquired studios in Europe and Asia.)