When the first cryptocurrency was created in Japan in 2008, a group of developers solved the double-spending problem for peer-to-peer digital currencies by developing the world’s first blockchain, a sort of digital public ledger. It was the birth of Bitcoin. Since then, many other cryptocurrencies were created, and blockchain technologies became a standard in the crypto world. But in recent years, blockchains are being taken to a whole new level, as they are being applied to different industries and causing complete makeovers in several markets.

One of these is the gaming industry, a market worth more than US$100 billion dollars in 2020, and expected to reach almost US$300 million by 2026. Since blockchains are completely decentralized structures, it became possible for developers to give players total control over every aspect of games, from creation rights to governance decisions, paving the way for new gaming experiences and opportunities. With many games being developed, and several already available or on open-beta phases, developers are applying different levels of decentralization, to provide smart contracts, content monetization and true ownership, as players become able to experience play-to-earn features and cross-game interoperability. 

One of the many tools being used as a means to guarantee true ownership is non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. These are unique smart contracts based on a blockchain that gives proof of ownership of every content created in these games. By allowing players to earn money through the game, blockchain games are showing us that decentralized environments are the future of the gaming industry.

Total control

Total control and true ownership are the key features behind blockchain games, or crypto games. 

All of us gamers have spent hours and hours grinding to develop a character and increase attributes, or searching for rare items, farming for gold, or even playing through endless side quests. We dedicate ourselves to a game, but all we get is the permission to use in-game rewards; we never owned anything related to the game. Not even items bought through microtransactions; we just paid for the privilege of using them.

However, this is slowly changing thanks to the decentralized structure of blockchain games. This allows players to own anything in the game, from avatar skins, items and equipment to virtual worlds and digital building lots. And with the employment of NFTs, all of these assets can be sold and traded, while retaining ownership, to earn money in the form of cryptocurrencies. They also provide players with total control over governance decisions within the game and how these environments are managed and operated.

A great opportunity for players who want to endeavor in the blockchain gaming world is The Sandbox Game, an upcoming interactive adventure game based on the Ethereum blockchain. In the Sandbox, players can design and build interactive worlds, create multiple adventures, design items and sceneries, and monetize every content created. The game is currently in its open-beta phase, but players can already purchase LANDs, the building lots inside the Sandbox, with the game’s own cryptocurrency, called SAND.

NFTs are the future

In the past few months, you have probably read about NFTs somewhere in the media. Elon Musk loves to talk about them, and the financial world seems to be rejoicing over this new trend. Essentially, non-fungible tokens are units of data on a blockchain that represent an unique digital item, such as a piece of art, videos, songs, or, like we said before, items in video games. NFTs are smart contracts based on a determined blockchain, in most cases the Ethereum blockchain, which provide proof of ownership through specific token standards called ERC.

The first game to make use of non-fungible tokens was CryptoKitties, way back in 2017. In this game, players collect virtual cats that can be bred and traded, with different values and attributes. CryptoKitties attracted thousands of players upon its release, and some cats were sold for more than US$100,000. Currently, one of the most popular blockchain games that use NFTs is MOBOX, which accounted for more than 25 thousand users last month, generating over US$130 million in income. With mechanics similar to the Pokémon franchise, players can collect and trade creatures known as MOMOs, and use them to battle or play in adventure games.

Since the emergence of blockchain games, players have become able to truly participate in the gaming industry, by retaining true ownership, making money and being active in the game community. And thanks to NFTs the gaming industry is on a brighter path, both for developers and gamers.


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