Blockchain technology has been around for a while. It was invented in order to help make cryptocurrencies work and now that the cryptocurrency market is buoyant, people are using blockchain for all kinds of other inventive jobs. Some of these jobs are simply making the lives of massive companies a little easier, but some of them could actually be leveling the playing field for those at a financial disadvantage. One of these areas is the play-to-earn gaming sector, where gamers can earn cryptocurrency through playing video games.
It might sound too good to be true, and there will certainly be plenty of people who sign up to these games and don’t get rich. However, for those who excel at the game, they can truly use it as a platform to lift themselves out of poverty. We’re going to take a look at how.
Where Play to Earn Gaming Began
The play-to-earn movement is slowly gathering steam and is allowing players from countries with a weaker currency to make as much money as their counterparts in countries with a stronger economy. To better understand how blockchain is making this possible, it’s necessary to go back to the beginnings of this gaming movement, which were arguably with the casino sector.
The online casino sector was one of the pioneers of play-to-earn gaming, though not specifically with NFTs. They allowed players to choose cryptocurrencies as a casino payment method, making it possible to play games such as blackjack or roulette using cryptocurrency. If they were successful in the game then they could win cryptocurrency, helping to bolster the success of this new payment method. There are still plenty of online casinos where it’s possible to pay with an E-wallet today, some of them offer payment of winnings in cryptocurrency and others exchange any cryptocurrency automatically into fiat currencies for use on the site. It’s an interesting subsector still, but the true play-to-earn games are maybe even more fascinating.
The Introduction of NFTs
Play-to-earn games nowadays run on NFTs or non-fungible tokens. These digital assets can’t be replicated, forged, or otherwise tampered with thanks to blockchain technology. It’s this technology that allows these tokens to be stored securely and have their existence and ownership recorded on a ledger. This makes it possible for people to prove ownership of the NFT, meaning that they can be assigned a real money value.
All play-to-earn games use NFTs and cryptocurrency in order to make their in-game economy work. What makes them particularly fascinating is that their in-game currency has a direct link to a currency that can be used outside the game. So, if the game runs on the Ethereum network then the NFTs that players are trading can be swapped directly for Ethereum, which in turn can be used in the outside world. This link between the ‘real’ economy and the in-game economy is being exploited by skilled players in order to lift themselves and even their families out of poverty.
Making It Fair On A Global Scale
Players from any country in the world can sign up to a play-to-earn game and have exactly the same experience as anybody else. There are no transaction fees, as cryptocurrencies are decentralized. This means that as long as a person from a less economically developed country can afford the initial buy-in fee for the game, they can earn as much money as anybody else of the same skill level.
In some play-to-earn games, it’s actually free to get started and this can be a great jumping-off point for those who are less financially stable. It’s possible to work your way up to earning enough cryptocurrency to play on one of the larger games by using these free pay-to-earn platforms. You can think of it as the first step on the investing ladder. Initially, you might buy into some penny stocks, with the hopes that one day you’ll be a wise enough investor to see a return on these that’s large enough to buy you shares in one of the bigger companies, like Google or Apple.
Whilst playing video games to earn cryptocurrency might not be the solution to inequality around the world, it’s an interesting start. At the core of this solution is the decentralization of currency, removing the possibility for corrupt governments, corruptable banks, and introducing the idea that peer to peer banking could be the way to a fairer world.