Want to get involved in cryptocurrencies? Like many new technologies, gaming might be the best and most fun way to do just that.
Blockchain technology and gaming are a match made in heaven. The gaming industry has been struggling with payment, safety, compatibility, and item trading problems ever since online gaming began. The blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the perfect innovation perfectly suited to solve these problems and give players more a complete and free gaming experience.
However, using crypto has a steep learning curve, so why not enjoy it when trying to learn it? Here are five games that are integrating blockchain/DAG and cryptocurrencies into their gameplay. By giving these a try you can get a head start learning how to navigate the blockchain gaming world, start building your cryptocurrency portfolio, and have fun earning a bit (or a lot) of digital cash along the way.
We would like to thank the team at Worldopoly for their contributions to the design and implementation of the research and to the analysis of the result.
1. Cryptokitties – Tradable Crypto Assets
Cryptokitties is the quintessential blockchain game. If you want an introduction to the power of smart contracts, crypto-tokens, and how crazy people are about them, look no further.
Released in 2017 by Axiom Zen, Cryptokitties is a game where you collect and breed virtual cats. It sounds simple because it is. The real value is that each of the cats is cryptographically unique (non-fungible) and can be traded on the Ethereum blockchain for real money. Each “kitty” has its own unique appearance, and there are 4 billion possible cats. Some much rarer than others. New Generation-0 cats are created by the developers once every 15 minutes until November 2018. From then on, the only supply of new cats will be through breeding.
There have been similar virtual pet games before, but the idea of true ownership of a cat (it can never be destroyed, copied, or confiscated) rather than just some data on a central server has appealed to players. Within months of release, a kitty had already sold for $100,000. More recently, a kitty was auctioned for $140,000.
How does it work?
On a technological level, Cryptokitties is based on the ERC-721 Ethereum token. Basically, the non-fungible version of the ERC-20 token. That means they are unique tokens that use the Ethereum blockchain. All payments and auctions are done with Ethereum, and you’ll need to buy some in order to get started and buy your first kitty.
The Cryptokitties developers have struck gold with their business model. They earn a cool 3.75% fee on each auction and get to sell all of the newly created kitties in the first year.
The benefits of playing Cryptokitties
Apart from being a serious money maker if you’re good, Cryptokitties is an awesome way to get involved in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. You’ll get:
- A quick, practical education on how Ethereum tokens like ERC-721 work as well as how to trade crypto assets.
- Experience using important blockchain tools like Metamask.
- A fun way to get involved in the vibrant crypto community and maybe make some friends.
- Some adorable new digital pets!
Collecting crypto assets is fun. But why not take it one step further?
2. Spells of Genesis – Playable Crypto Assets
Spells of Genesis (SoG) is kind of like Cryptokitties if the kitties could help you win a battle in the Askian Valley rather than breed with one another.
SoG is a mobile magic card game. The difference is, you can store your cards on the blockchain for that “true ownership” that’s so important in the crypto world. Cards can be used in battle and have elements like health, speed, spells, and rarity. They can be leveled up and fused into much stronger and rarer varieties.
How does it work?
The blockchain cards actually use the Bitcoin blockchain by using the Counterparty platform. That means you need Bitcoin to use these cards, and you can trade them freely both inside and outside of the app using the Book of Orbs. Bitcoin is the largest and most popular blockchain, so you know your cards and transactions will be relatively safe. However, congestion on the Bitcoin network could mean that fees and transaction times increase.
The benefits of playing Spells of Genesis
Unlike many other trading games, using the Bitcoin blockchain for games means a totally transparent game economy. The most valuable blockchain cards in SoG are stored on the Bitcoin blockchain and can be seen by everyone playing the game. You know how many there are of each in existence, but not necessarily the identities of who owns them. That is the beauty of blockchain technology.
3. Beyond the Void – In-game Cryptocurrency Economy
Cryptokitties introduced to us tradable crypto-assets, Spells of Genesis introduced tradable blockchain cards that you can use in-game, and now Beyond the Void is about to show us the power of a full-on, crypto-powered in-game economy.
Beyond the Void gives players a free-to-play interstellar Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The secret sauce here is that the in-game economy is based on a cryptocurrency token called Nexium. What’s more is that the in-game spaceships and items you buy are all registered on the blockchain. That means you really own your items.
This means that there is a marketplace for game items and currency that exists outside of the game that is both safe and transparent. This will come as a refreshing change for those games used on the market economies of games like World of Warcraft.
How does it work?
Beyond the Void’s cryptocurrency, Nexium (NXC), is a standard Ethereum ERC20 token. To get started, you’ll need to use an Ethereum wallet, such as Misk or Metamask, and load it with some Ethereum. The game assets and currency can be freely traded on the blockchain, but the developers have also made an online shop where you can buy new assets from the team or trade with other players.
The benefits of playing Beyond the Void
Ethereum tokens like Nexium are popping up all over the Internet and in all kinds of games. Spend some time playing Beyond the Void and you’ll add to your token portfolio while leaving you the option to cash out if you want to move onto a new game.
4. Privateers Life – Closer to a Real Economy
The developers of Privateers Life are striving to take this idea even further and create an in-game economy that truly mirrors a real-life one. It’s a place where no goods can appear out of nowhere, but have to harvested, mined, or manufactured from the materials found the game.
This adds a whole new dimension to the game. You can be a part of the production of goods in the Privateers Life economy and sell them for crypto-tokens worth real money. You can think of it like the World of Warcraft gold-mining economy, if all in-game items and commodities could be produced, and the gold couldn’t just appear out of nowhere causing rapid inflation.
How does it work?
While playing the game, you can buy things using Ludem tokens (the currency of the game) in-game from other players or from the premium store. However, the goods in the premium store need to be crafted from other players by collecting all of the materials and ingredients to make them. The developers take a cut of the items sold in the premium store, and also charge a tax on items sold on their “territory.” If you want to avoid this tax as an in-game merchant, you’ll have to buy your own island and really set yourself up.
The benefits of playing Privateers Life
Games have traditionally had to clamp down on the real-money economies that develop around popular multiplayer games. Games like this one are taking a completely different approach and actually encouraging it. As a player, you can easily start foraging, harvesting, mining, and crafting to earn yourself an in-game income that you can easily and safely cash out on.
5. Worldopoly – Augmented Reality Game Based on Blockchain/DAG
When it comes to features, Worldopoly really does have it all. Augmented reality, geopositioning, MMORPG, gameplay, world building, blockchain assets, and DAG. Worldopoly combines all of these factors and creates an immersive multiplayer mobile game.
Imagine if the world was a Monopoly board you could view through your phone’s camera. You can buy streets and buildings and construct your own hotels on them. Now, imagine if you could sell parts of your empire for cryptocurrency worth real money, rent out your shop fronts to advertisers, and even raid or burn down competing players’ buildings.
How does it work?
Worldopoly uses two platforms for its cryptocurrency economy, Ethereum and Byteball. It uses Ethereum because it’s the most popular blockchain platform and many players are already comfortable using it. The second platform, Byteball, is offered because of its advantages over Ethereum when it comes to transactions.
The main problems with Ethereum are slow response times (~10 seconds) and high transaction costs (~$0.20-$1). These are big turn offs for players. Byteball is a cryptocurrency platform that uses Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology, which is technically not even blockchain technology. You can think of it like a generalization of blockchain technology, with more relaxed rules about how transactions can be organized. Byteball’s DAG platform allows for less than one second transaction time and basically free transactions of ~$0.0001. This is much more player friendly.
The benefits of playing Worldopoly
Games need to be easy and cheap for players, at least to get started. That’s why platforms with rising costs and congestion problems like Ethereum may struggle to become the cryptocurrency platform of choice for games. Playing Worldopoly can give you exposure to more practical cryptocurrency technologies, like DAG, and save you some money in transaction fees while playing the game.
Blockchain, DAG, and cryptocurrency are taking the world by storm. They solve many core problems of the Internet in regards to payments, centralization, and security. But these new technologies require a new way of thinking for users.
From trading and breeding crypto “kitties” to global, AR-powered monopoly economies, gaming is a helpful and fun way to learn these new technologies. You’ll get to experience ownership and open game economics that have never been possible before. And, if you’re good, you can even make a fortune.
We’ve created an infographic to better explain this idea to you: