What is crypto gaming and why is it popular?
The global gaming industry generated nearly $347B in revenue in 2022 alone and is constantly evolving. The mobile market is the highest-earning segment, generating a whopping $248B in revenue in 2022. Now crypto gaming is growing fast.
The industry is constantly evolving, and technological advancements are opening new avenues for developers to create more engaging and immersive experiences through 'happening' technologies like VR and cloud gaming.
Nearly three billion people worldwide play video games, and the crypto industry is no exception to this boom. As more players get immersed into the world of online gaming, and still relatively nascent blockchain technology gains more global acceptance, the intersection of gaming and cryptocurrencies is bound to flourish.
Crypto gaming is already on the up, with numerous games integrating cryptocurrencies into their economies. The Play to Earn (P2E) model is synonymous with crypto gaming. This model rewards gamers with digital tokens such as NFTs and cryptocurrencies based on unlocked achievements.
Gamers are hence incentivised to profit from their enthusiasm and skill set. Before you dive into the world of crypto gaming, you must understand its pros and cons.
What is crypto gaming?
As the name suggests, cryptocurrency gaming involves video gaming with an added element of crypto-based, real-world economics. This simply means that developers integrate digital asset-earning mechanisms into their games.
A crypto gamer can earn a gaming cryptocurrency upon winning a game or unlocking a particular achievement. Some games reward players with NFTs that then become the player's property.
These cryptocurrencies and NFTs can be exchanged on the open market for stablecoins or other eligible tokens (including fiat).
How does cryptocurrency gaming work?
P2E is the most popular crypto gaming business model. It offers players (and investors) different means of buying and earning gaming assets.
For example, an early-stage investor could buy a heap of tokens and hope that the game is well-received by the gaming community, thereby earning a good return on his investment. Of course, this could be a bit hit-and-miss, so DYOR at all times.
Some cryptocurrency games earn money through advertising and the sale of in-game items such as virtual land, skins, and weapons. Blockchain gaming developers then incentivise players to devote more time to playing the game and earn NFTs and cryptocurrencies for completing certain quests or missions.
Crypto gambling falls under the crypto gaming umbrella as well. This model allows cryptocurrency investors to gamble on games of chance, such as casino games. Some popular crypto-gambling platforms include mBitcasino, 7bitcasino, and BitStarz.
Top gaming tokens 2023
According to CoinMarketCap data, the crypto gaming industry is worth nearly $7.09B at the time of writing. The top five gaming tokens by market cap are:
- Axie Infinity (AXS).
- The Sandbox (SAND).
- Immutable (IMX).
- Render (RNDR).
- Decentraland (MANA)
Each of these cryptocurrencies is currently among the top 65 cryptocurrencies worldwide. Another interesting statistic is the total trading volume of crypto gaming tokens - more than $750M! It is clear to see that crypto gaming is on the rise.
Some honourable mentions include ApeCoin (APE), Gala (GALA), and Enjin Coin (ENJ). Here is an insight into some favourite projects.
Decentraland is a Metaverse, or virtual world, built on Ethereum (ETH). It's native cryptocurrency is MANA. If you have ever wanted to buy virtual real estate, Decentraland is your best bet. Here, users can play games, sell and buy virtual real estate, and interact with other users.
Virtual real estate on Decentraland has sold for enormous sums, with digital land in this Metaverse selling for as much as $2.43M! The crypto asset is currently priced at $0.2906 and is easily available for purchase on most major DEXs (like Binance).
The Sandbox (SAND)
The Sandbox is another Metaverse based on the Ethereum blockchain. SAND is the native token of the ecosystem. With a market cap of well over $600M, SAND plays a crucial role in facilitating gameplay transactions. This includes purchasing virtual real estate called LAND (an NFT).
The most expensive land sale in Metaverse history is credited to Republic Realm. The buyer shelled out a massive $4.3M to purchase LAND on The Sandbox! At the time of writing, SAND is priced at nearly $0.3 and, much like MANA, can be bought on most credible DEXs.
Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is the most popular crypto gaming project at the time of writing, with its native asset, AXS, having a total market cap of over $660M. The game takes inspiration from the successful Pokemon game series and involves collecting, raising, battling, and trading digital pets called Axies.
Each Axie is an NFT with four stats: Speed, Skill, Health, and Morale. These stats play an important role in the battle mechanics of your Axie. You can choose to purchase a Reptile, Plant, Bug, Bird, Beast, or Aquatic Axie - take your pick and have fun!
If you do not wish to raise a real-life pet, Axie Infinity is your next best bet! AXS is used to reward AXS holders and stakers, for governance, and for purchase eligibility on the platform.
Have fun, gamers!
Author: Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh has been working in the tech sphere as a marketing guru and journalist for over 6 years, with his speciality laying in blockchain and Web3. He has donned several hats in marketing and journalism over the years and worked with many reputable brands. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn!