Bitcoin, Blockchain and Gaming: How Games Can Boost Cryptocurrency Use Case and Adoption
The world is changing at very fast rates. Younger individuals have now a higher premium on leisure time. Due to the fact that there is a lower cost on digital media and high-quality content, non-work activities such as playing video games are growing all around the world – a tendency that started already some years ago. This is something that can also be correlated to the growing virtual currency economy.
Fred Ehrsam, a Coinbase co-founder, shared an article in which Andrew Kortina and Namrata Patel discuss the current nature of the labour economy. The title of the article is “Kinky Labor Supply and the Attention Tax.” Both authors talk about how younger generations (between 20-24 years-old) participated less in the labour force than they have in 12 years.
However, authors believe that there are many reasons for this to happen. As they explain, the digitalization of content-enabled infinite storage of evergreen content is one of these reasons.
And indeed, generating content is not costly nowadays. And this low-cost content can spread on the internet very fast. This is why media distributors need to create better content for an equally low cost.
According to the authors, individuals need three basic goods that are food and shelter, leisure activities and status items. Since it is not possible to cut down on basic needs, individuals would reduce their spending on leisure or status items. In order to gain access to the internet – which provides access to high-quality content and entertainment – users need to purchase some basic things, a router and an internet connection.
If that’s achieved, then, individuals would have to exchange labour for capital to continue purchasing things related to leisure activities. For the authors, work is essential, but they only need it in order to ensure stability and access to the internet.
There are some relationships between spikes in gaming participation and the cryptocurrency community. Gaming and Bitcoin (or blockchain technology) have been always a discussed topic in the community. Although CryptoKitties has attracted several users, the possibilities to see a ‘Fortnite’ based on blockchain technology and using virtual currencies would be game-changing.
Tony Sheng, makes an analysis on the gaming connection and the business models for Fortnite. Fortnite bases most of its profits from in-game purchases that allow users to become better in the game. Some of the main problems also faced by games are related to liquidity, ownership and scarcity. However, these are problems that the creator of Fortnite is not eager to address.
Sheng wrote on the matter:
“But these restrictions are no accidental. They are the foundation of the Fortnite business model. by controlling supply, Epic can maximize sales of each individual item. By preventing liquidity and secondary markets, Epic ensures (virtually) all transactions are with them. Solving these users pains with crypto are against Epic’s interest.”
In general, some accessories in the game have real-world value and could potentially be sold on the market outside of Fortnite’s parameters, This is something that is not new and several users have been doing on the past years. For example, Ehrsam mentions that he sold his World of Warcraft account for $2,500 dollars after spending 3,000+ hours playing.
I suspect blockchain-based digital assets will make virtual economies very real. People will be able to earn their entire living in virtual worlds in the next 10-15 years, changing the definition of “work” itself.
— Fred Ehrsam (@FEhrsam) October 19, 2018
He says that he earned $0.87 cents per hour. In the future, blockchain-based digital assets would make virtual economies very real, he says. People will have the possibility to earn ‘their entire living in virtual worlds’ in 10 to 15 years. That would clearly change the definition of work.
According to Sheng, secondary markets work for items that have real scarcity. If a specific item is put on sale Epic Games would raise supply and make this specific ‘skin’ or accesory more available.
Clearly, the labour force is decreasing in the 20-24 years-old range. There is a shift from status objects to high-quality leisure, which is affecting the labour force. But it will allow for new economic models to appear and change many different things about the gaming industry.
Sheng said that artists, designers and producers are leaving AAA games and are starting to build in the space. Additionally, economic, gaming and leisure activities are changing, and this is something that would have a deep impact in the future.