Outside of its day-to-day uses, many would assume that those most in-tune with the intricacies and niche offerings of technology would be the gamers. People who spend a lot of their spare time on the internet, either surfing or playing online games, are often the go-to source for information on anything internet. So, when cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoin, rose to power in the second half of 2017, people assumed that gamers were among a group of people who were already in the know and using cryptocurrencies. Regardless of what games they fancy, be it Witcher 3 and its Wild Hunt add-on or World of Warcraft, gamers – or rather those deemed to be ‘geeks’ – were assumed to be pioneers of the industry.
So, now, following the tsunami of exposure that Bitcoin received after its jump to a massive $19,343.04 on December 16, 2017, from $1,012.81 on March 20, 2017, it’s expected that even more geeks and gamers have been making use of cryptocurrencies in the way that they’re intended. But, despite games from Electronic Arts’ EA Sports being notoriously microtransaction-heavy, a surprisingly small part of the gaming industry is making use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Geeks and gamers tend to absorb anything that’s original to their arena, so it comes as a surprise that Bitcoin hasn’t been adopted in this way as well.
Games and services utilising cryptocurrency technology
IMAGE SOURCE: Bitcoin View, via Twitter
There are some online games that have specifically been designed with the integration of cryptocurrencies in mind. Moonga is one such example. It’s a part of a bubbling blockchain gaming movement and uses the Bitcoin blockchain by placing cards within it through the use of the Counterparty protocol. Moonga, created by EverdreamSoft, is an online card game, so, when two players trade cards, they do so by making a Bitcoin transaction. The use of Bitcoin in this way opens up worlds of opportunities for trading and transactions within the game. As for purely cryptocurrency gaming experiences, players need not look any further than Spells of Genesis. Its crypto-cards are used like assets within the game and are traded on the Counterplay platform as well, according to News BTC. Through the platform, cards will be issued within the game, allowing players to leverage these assets to represent set cards within Spells of Genesis. Players create the cards in the form of these Counterplay assets, and then they import them into the game for use.
Using the Bitcoin blockchain for the functions of a game that involves trading is one of the more novel uses of Bitcoin in gaming. Many simply expect Bitcoin to be used as a payment method to buy digital copies of games, downloadable content and perform microtransactions. When investors began to look into Bitcoin, the blockchain technology stood out as the innovation that will have the biggest impact on everyday life, whereas the cryptocurrency was expected to fade away. So, seeing a game utilize the blockchain doesn’t come as a surprise.
Games and services defying cryptocurrency technology
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay
One would assume that the rise in Bitcoin’s popularity and its skyrocketing price would make it a much more popular method of making payments as, after all, that is its original purpose. But, if anything, the activity of the Bitcoin price has actually deterred people from using it for its original purpose. Since the start of May 2018, Bitcoin has hit a peak of $9,826.60 on May 5 and sunk to a value of $5,848.26 on June 28. The incredibly volatile price makes it difficult for many people to gauge its true value at any one time. For example, if the Bitcoin price at the start of the day is $7,000 and the user pays for an item, if the price rises to $8,500 by the end of the day, that could be seen as the user greatly overpaying for an item in set payment systems as the value of the amount transferred rose by 21.4 percent over the space of a few hours. According to the NY Times, hardly anyone is using Bitcoin as a payment method for services and goods. But, many people do want to use the cryptocurrency as investable security.
As few merchants want to go through the hassle of adopting cryptocurrency as a payment method, along with the volatility shown in the market, it makes sense that Bitcoin has become more of an investment item as opposed to fulfilling its original purpose. On top of this, there are plenty of online payment methods that are quick, easy, and secure when using gaming services. The console and PC game stores all accept e-wallets and the other large online game providers, online casinos, accept the use of e-wallets. Methods like Neteller and PayPal allow for instant payments in games. At Betway, Neteller is one of the most popular payment methods, ahead of even regular card payments, for users to deposit funds into their accounts to play games. As Betway boasts such a wide range of different themed games, including horrors akin to Friday the 13th: The Game, this would suggest that e-wallets like Neteller are the go-to methods of many online gamers.
Will Bitcoin become the go-to payment method?
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay
Cryptocurrency trading appears to have taken over cryptocurrency application for now. Its volatility and investment potential is simply too much of a pull for people to not see Bitcoin as a method of investing as opposed to being a legitimized payment method. However, that’s not to say that it won’t develop into gamers’ go-to payment method. As more people own Bitcoin and more learn exactly how it works and its tremendous upsides, it will become a more viable option. As Time details, it is only likely to grow in use when the middle-class consumers start to use it regularly. In theory, the stability and incorruptible nature of Bitcoin is the future and will do away with world banks, but, as it stands, even in the gaming community, it’s not a viable payment method, for the most part.