Crypto Meets E-sports: Video Games Race to the Blockchain

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Professional gamers want to get paid. Many of them want to get paid in crypto.

As it stands, the inclusion of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the video game industry is inevitable.

Esports’ massive growth

According to a study by Newzoo (2018 Global Games Market Report) the e-sports market generated approximately $900 million. The growth witnessed in the industry has much to do with the growing viewership for professional gaming. The study identified around 380 million people, who turned in to watch gaming championships from around the world. Viewership on platforms such as Twitch, accumulated over 46 billion minutes of the video watches each month.

However, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are causing massive disruption of this emerging market. The reason why blockchain technology will prevail in this sector is the business model currently powering the gaming industry’s revenue stream. Various cryptocurrencies are already making their way into Esports. 

Cryptocurrencies in the e-sports arena

Recently, United Masters League (UML), an eSports league, began giving away prize money in crypto. This announcement makes UML the first professional gaming tournament with prize money in crypto. The tournament, ChallengeMe, is sponsored by Unikrn, blockchain-based gambling and Esports platform backed by Mark Cuban. The prizes offered totaled $290,000, in Unikoin Gold (UKG), Unikrn’s native coin.

The ChallengeMe tournament accumulated over 400 hours of gameplay. Additionally, the tournament was broadcasted in eight languages. As a result, the tournament indicates a shift towards virtual currencies. At the moment, Unikrn is making a long-term pivot by obtaining licensing for cryptocurrency betting recently.

How Blockchain Can Bring Games to the Next Level

Blockchain tech is about more than digital currencies. It can be leveraged for tracking player records in video games. For instance, blockchain technology can be used to record the scores, stats, and assets of a player in various games. In particular, it can be used in games such as “Call of Duty”, “Fortnite”, “Minecraft”, and “Fallout 76”, to seamlessly synch across all platforms, including mobile, PC, and console.

Currently, developers have to deal with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s consoles, as well as Valve’s Steam PC marketplace, Google, and Apple’s mobile markets. When platform owners resist, cross-play is not possible. Blockchain technology can be used to ease tracking on the digital ledger. E-sports platforms can use Ethereum smart contracts to create ERC-721 non-fungible tokens, which can be used across multiple platforms. As a result, developers can use tokens to create games, players can track their gaming prowess, and users can trade the tokens on the blockchain to view content.

Blockchain technology could soon expand to encompass all levels of play, across multiple platforms and an array of games. The eSports market is expected to grow to $1.65 billion in value by 2020. With the help of blockchain, the growth of the industry could be beyond comprehension.

Last modified: October 17, 2019