With the creation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, many new opportunities and experiences emerged, all of them based on the same premise: decentralized control.
Cryptocurrencies were created to be decentralized assets stored on digital ledgers under strong cryptography. They are not controlled by banking institutions or government bodies, and were only made possible by the inception of blockchain technologies.
The world’s first blockchain was created in 2008 to act as the transaction ledger for Bitcoin. Within it, records are called blocks, and each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. This process allows blockchains to be incredibly resistant to modification of its data. They are managed by peer-to-peer networks around the globe and keep records of transactions permanently. Even though Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, currently there are several cryptos available on many different exchanging platforms and digital wallets.
Then we get to blockchain games. Also called crypto games, this new genre grants players total control over everything related to the game. From account information to game items and assets, all content is owned by the players and cannot be operated or supervised by anyone else. Just like cryptocurrencies, blockchain games are decentralized and the content rights are held by users instead of publishers and developers. Apart from retaining control, players can also monetize their content within these games and even make a profit or invest in games’ marketplaces. And as blockchain technologies are continuously improved, new crypto games are being developed, offering gamers possibilities never seen before.
But to endeavour into these new gaming experiences, players must follow a few simple steps before choosing which game to play.
Exchanging and storing cryptos
To play blockchain games, players must have cryptocurrencies stored in a proper digital wallet. Digital wallets, or e-wallets, are devices or applications that store some form of currency on a desktop or mobile app, on the cloud or some hardware devices. In the case of real money, the most popular e-wallets are PayPal and Apple Wallet. But for cryptocurrencies, there are specific digital wallets that store these cryptographic keys, like Exodus and Wasabi. Recently, Apple announced that Apple Pay and Apple Wallet will soon store some cryptocurrencies as well.
Then, players need to purchase a cryptocurrency. Most crypto games are based on the Ethereum blockchain, so Ether is required to play. This can be done through a cryptocurrency exchange. There are many exchanges currently available with different features and fees that change depending on the market’s activity, and some of them even offer wallet services. The most popular cryptocurrency exchange is Coinbase, which is one of the oldest active exchanges, launched in 2012.
The list of blockchain games is still limited, but there are a few that are already trending among players, and several others being developed.
Launched in 2017, the most successful and popular crypto game so far is CryptoKitties. The game allows players to collect, breed, buy and sell virtual cats. With a gameplay that resembles the popular 90’s toy Tamagotchi, players must improve their cats attributes, while caring for its needs and breeding them with other players’ cats. Their prices usually start at US$20 in the game currency, and it can go up or down, depending on breed, attributes and market fluctuations. The most expensive cat in the game is called Dragon and it costs more than US$300,000 in Ether.
With the same collecting gameplay, Splinterlands is a multiplayer card game built on the Hive blockchain, with mechanics similar to collectible card games. Players can summon warriors and monsters through collectible cards and engage in battles in its many game modes. In the last month, Splinterlands was one of the games that most attracted new players.
The Sandbox Game
Currently in its open beta phase, The Sandbox Game is an upcoming Ethereum-based game that allows gamers to create their own worlds and build different gaming experiences inside the game’s metaverse. With its own cryptocurrency, players can buy and sell items and assets, design interactive adventures, visit other players’ worlds and monetize any content created.
There’s also Axie Infinity, which is a Pokémon-based universe where players can battle, collect, raise and build worlds for creatures called Axies. With features of social networking as well, Axie Infinity is still in early access but already generated over 6,400 Ether in revenue, equivalent to more than US$2 million.