Many of the builders and investors in the blockchain space believe that the most compelling route to attracting users to the burgeoning crypto-economy is not upending the global financial order but something with significantly lesser stakes: gaming.
And this reasoning makes sense. Both video games and cryptocurrencies feature virtual economies running on a shared set of rules, with a user base that tends to be technically-savvy.
In theory, there should be less friction for blockchain’s penetration into the gaming market, but in practice, serious adoption and traction is not yet evident.
Is it the opportunity to trade items? Or are there deeper implications for unlocking value in virtual worlds shared by hundreds of millions of players?
While gamers have traded virtual assets for years, from Second Life’s real estate and World of Warcraft’s gold, to Dota and Fortnite’s cosmetic character skins, these virtual economies have thus far operated almost exclusively within closed, centralized marketplaces that prohibit players from exchanging with fiat currencies — or even between games.
Players have tried to circumvent this time and time again, resulting in jerry-rigged, untrustworthy markets subject to failure and fraud.