October 19, 2021
Blockchain has revolutionized money, but its work isn’t finished yet. One of the many applications of the technology is turning the virtual world of gaming into a very real economy that anyone can take part in.
DeFi has enabled creative developers to do the impossible – build projects that make trading and investment fun.
How? By integrating gaming. After all, what better way is there to make finance instinctive? Human beings have been playing games for as long as there have been human beings, and video gaming is a global industry worth more than $170 billion.
Crypto gaming is a bit different to regular video games though. In this article we’ll explain why, identify a few interesting ways to get involved, and explain what an NFT is.
What does NFT mean?
Crypto gaming is strongly connected with NFTs, which stands for non-fungible tokens. NFTs have been in the news a lot lately because people are buying them for huge amounts of money. They are basically a kind of cryptocurrency, but each token is unique. You could call them collector’s items. Imagine if the US mint made a clerical error one day and printed a $10 bill with a picture of Godzilla instead of Alexander Hamilton. But only one. Whoever ended up with it would sell it for a lot more than $10, I’m sure you’d agree.
NFTs can be pure tokens, and they can also encode a piece of digital art for whoever holds it to view. Back in March, a digital artist by the name of Beeple (A.K.A. Mike Winkelmann) hit the headlines for selling a piece of digital art for $69 million.
“TORTOR2”, Mike Winklemann. Source: Wikipedia Commons
It may seem strange to some that people pay money to own digital items, but it is a logical progression in the world we live in. Consider that most people in the developed world maintain a digital identity – social media usage figures are in the billions – and spend ever-increasing amounts of time online. The digital world is important to people. So why shouldn’t the satisfaction of ownership that people feel in the physical world not also translate to the digital?
When it comes to video games, where collecting items and customizing characters is a principal activity, NFTs allow people to take even more pride in their digital characters, knowing that they are truly unique. More importantly, they also give people a way to make money. Before cryptocurrency, the only real way to make money from gaming was by winning a video game competition or by inventing one. But now, you can sell stuff that you’ve collected! Let’s look at some specific examples.
This is a Pokémon-style combat card game with cute, simplistic animations. Each character is unique and accessorized.
Axie Infinity gameplay. Source: youtube.com
It’s created an ecosystem which is not only competitive, but that also rewards users for participating, as well as providing a marketplace where people can buy and sell items and characters. These commodities are actually used in gameplay, which provides even more of an incentive to be involved.
Another exciting thing is that the in-game currency (AXIE) can be traded on decentralized exchanges and swapped, another avenue for profit. The game has been going since 2018 and each AXIE is (at the time of writing) worth around $118. The total market cap is over $7 billion.
Enjin – a blockchain gaming platform that works with Atari, Samsung, BMW, Microsoft…need we say more?
This is another gaming platform that combines fun with real economics, moving beyond pre-crypto in-game purchases to NFT-based real digital ownership and profit-making opportunities.
“Lost Relics” gameplay. Source: youtube.com
Apart from hosting around 60 games, the platform features protocols that allow you to lend your ENJ tokens and earn interest – smart contracts making foul play impossible – and others that let users create characters and sell them. People buy these things because they are unique, and truly belong to them. Which means, just like in the physical world, that they can get sold on too.
As testament to the real value of this digital world, ENJ has been whitelisted by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association and approved by Samsung for use on its Galaxy 210 smartphone. It even has its own wallet.
At the time of writing, ENJ tokens were worth around $1.60, with a market cap of over $92 million.
“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”
These words are from the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, written by John Perry Barlow in 1996 and displayed prominently on a sign in the center of Decentraland. Decentraland is perhaps the most ambitious of the three platforms in this article.
You enter Decentraland by connecting a crypto wallet and creating a character. You don’t have to pay initially – you can just wander around as a guest. It’s a Minecraft-like digital world, huge and full of things to see and do. The most important thing to note here is that these things are built by other users. So what kind of things can you do in Decentraland?
Explore. Source: youtube.com
Race. Source: youtube.com
Gamble. Source: youtube.com
Mine for gems. Source: youtube.com
These activities cost you MANA (the in-game currency). But you can also buy your own land (parcels of digital space called, quite simply, LAND) and make your own business. You can design your own scene, game, market, and even host a concert.
The crowd is jumpin’. Source: youtube.com
The less entrepreneurial can stake tokens in someone else’s business for a share of their profit. And if you have a successful business, you can offer staking to people to attract footfall.
By providing a real economic benefit to people, Decentraland has recreated the physical world in a very profound way, and the proof is in the pudding: real estate in Decentraland is selling for thousands of dollars. At the time of writing, MANA tokens are worth around 70 cents each, with a total value of over $1.4 billion.
Attracting customers. Source: youtube.com
Kirobo and gaming
Kirobo is designing the ultimate DeFi platform, and as such we couldn’t fail to support these exciting tokens. They power real, user-based economies. With the Kirobo P2P Swap Button you can trade ENJ, MANA and AXIE – and your unique NFTs – with other people at your own set prices. With our Undo Button, you can transfer valuable assets with no risk of making a mistake and sending to the wrong address (and a lot of money has been lost this way). You can even swap your tokens for KIRO and earn money passively by staking.
To learn more about the tokens we support, and how you can get involved in this brave new world, visit our P2P platform.