Unless you have been stranded on an island for the past few months, you’ve probably heard or read about blockchains and cryptocurrencies. One of the hottest trends in the online world today, this new technology has been causing complete overhauls in different markets and industries, including online gaming. And certainly, the key aspect behind this quick emergence of blockchain technologies is decentralization.
But if you’re still unsure about all of this, here’s a quick explanation: cryptocurrencies were created to function as decentralized digital assets – which means they aren’t controlled by any banking institutions or central agencies – stored under strong cryptography in digital ledgers called blockchains. Developed by a group of unknown developers to serve as the transaction ledger for the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, blockchains are sequences of records called blocks, each block containing cryptographic hashes of previous blocks, timestamps, and transaction data, making it incredibly resistant to modification or hacking. Even though the first blockchain was created for Bitcoin, today there are several blockchains serving as ledgers for a huge number of different cryptocurrencies.
At first, blockchains and cryptocurrencies seemed like something that would only impact the finance world, stock markets, and exchanges. However, it quickly became clear that this new technology would benefit several industries, and could pave the way for major transformations in the online world. It wasn’t long before blockchain technologies were taken into the video game industry.
Opening up a whole new world of opportunities for both gamers and developers, blockchain gaming, or crypto gaming, has been revolutionizing the video game industry, by allowing players to have total control over every aspect of a game, including making governance decisions and owning content within the game. Since blockchains and crypto games are decentralized, content rights are held by users, instead of developers and publishers, giving players the possibility of monetizing content and finally rewarding them for the time and effort invested into gaming.
As blockchain technologies keep improving, developers become able to provide unique, new gaming experiences. But currently, there are already many incredible blockchain games available, and to enjoy them, you just need to follow a few simple steps before choosing which game to play.
You’ll need some money in the form of a cryptocurrency kept in a secure digital wallet before you can start playing blockchain games. Digital wallets, often known as e-wallets, are software and hardware that allow you to store money on your computer, mobile device, or even in the cloud. There are popular services for fiat currencies, such as PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Wallet, but there are specific wallets for cryptos, such as Exodus and the hardware wallet Ledger Nano.
After picking one of the many wallet services available, you’ll need to exchange money for a cryptocurrency. Since most crypto games are built on the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need Ether to play, which you can get via a cryptocurrency exchange. Currently in the market, there are various exchange services, each with its own set of features and fees that fluctuate based on the market’s activity. Kraken and Coinbase are two of the most reliable exchanges today, with the latter being the oldest operational exchange, founded in 2012.
Even though the world’s first blockchain was created in 2008, blockchain gaming is still something new, so the list of titles isn’t that big, and most games feature collectible-like gameplays that make use of non-fungible tokens.
One of the most popular games in recent months, Splinterlands is a multiplayer card game, with collectible-card gameplay similar to Hearthstone. With more than 600,000 active users last month, the game also features a battle system with play-to-earn features and different game modes. Splinterlands is based on the Hive Blockchain and generated almost $700,000 last month.
But there are also immersive adventure games like The Sandbox. Based on the Ethereum blockchain and developed by Animoca Brands, The Sandbox is a unique gaming experience in which gamers can design virtual worlds, create interactive adventures, and monetize all content created with the game’s own utility tokens and currency. With its own revolving metaverse, The Sandbox allows players to have total control over governance decisions in a fully decentralized environment.
Certainly one of the most played games in the past couple of months, Arc8 is a play-to-earn mobile gaming experience developed by GAMEE and based on the Polygon blockchain, in which users play a multitude of casual games to earn tokens and rewards. According to DappRadar, the game recorded more than 350,000 active users in the last 30 days, with almost $100,000 in revenue.