The rise of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, in the last decade has spurred many industries to at least consider how to implement it in their daily operations. While not everyone agrees that cryptos are the next big thing, the fact is that they are here to stay, and ignoring them is no longer an option. One industry that is especially interested in implementing bitcoin is gaming. There is a big overlap between the two and using crypto coins in gaming just feels natural. It is no wonder that gaming and cryptocurrency share some key technologies that will help their integration in 2021. It only makes sense for gaming companies to work on the implementation of crypto coins since they don’t really care in which currency they are being paid. On the other hand, gamers will have easier ways of making purchases and enjoy the convenience of using digital currency. This integration will go a long way towards the normalization of bitcoin and its wider acceptance.
Blockchain is usually associated with cryptocurrency, as it was developed as a platform for the creation and management of digital coins. However, gaming can also benefit from it and blockchain can be used as a gaming platform as well. Its inherent advantages, like scalability, built-in anonymity, and security make it a true next-gen technology and something that can be implemented in gaming. Some of its mentioned qualities have been sorely missing from the world of gaming in the last couple of decades, as it shifted its focus from small, independent studios to large corporations. Hopefully, blockchain can bring it back and restore some of its old-school charms.
iGaming and crypto
iGaming has always been at the forefront of technological development ever since it was created in the late 1990s. The nature of online gambling has forced online casinos and other gambling platforms to always be on their toes when it comes to new developments. Their entire business model depends on security and this is the area that has been of special concern to the people running iGaming companies. It is not surprising then that they embraced cryptocurrency and made bitcoin gambling a reality for their players. More than 130 online casinos accept bitcoin deposits today, which is a significant portion. Not many industries can brag with such wide adoption of cryptocurrency.
Crypto gaming is a term that is mostly used to describe using bitcoin and other currencies as a payment method in gaming. The amount of transactions has been low so far, but it was steadily increasing. That trend will continue in 2021 as well. More and more players use bitcoin to pay for in-game transactions and similarly, the number of titles that support this kind of payment has been also increasing. Guided by the saying “give people what they want” developers have made it possible for their players to use digital coins to pay for upgrades, subscriptions, and premium items in their games. It may take a while before bitcoin surpasses fiat currencies as a majority payment option, but that day is no longer hard to imagine.
Bitcoin has had a rough time getting accepted by the mainstream. The reason for this is because it was considered shady, a currency only used by the criminals to cover their tracks and stay one step ahead of the law enforcement. As time passed, more and more people discovered that it is quite handy having access to a currency that can’t be tracked. Its growing popularity has made many big tech names reconsider their position and start taking it seriously. Elon Musk’s Tesla, for instance, has over $1.5 billion in bitcoin and the company is mulling accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for their vehicles. Mark Cuban recently announced that his NBA team, Dallas Mavericks, is the largest dogecoin merchant in the world. You can even use dogecoin to buy tickets for their home games, once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
And that is by no means the end of the list. Microsoft has been accepting bitcoin as a payment for their apps and digital store purchases. Now they are considering using blockchain as a basis for their next Windows. As far as the tech world goes, that is as mainstream as it can get. Even PayPal, the world’s largest online financial service, has started accepting bitcoin. In 2021, we will see even more big names accepting the reality and allowing cryptocurrencies into their businesses.
Esports and Bitcoin
Perhaps the biggest push for wider acceptance of crypto coins in gaming comes from the eSports audience. The immensely popular competitive gaming has been attracting millions of viewers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of those viewers weren’t even gamers, just people enjoying watching players compete against each other. A vast majority of them are people who follow the latest online trends and this has inevitably lead to demands of bitcoin payments to be allowed. Those demands were quickly accepted and today, a significant part of all transactions in esports are performed in bitcoin and other digital coins. This has done wonders for bitcoin’s reputation and made it a household home among esports audience and participants. The Esports market is projected to reach a value of $1.6 billion in the next three years and some experts predict that a sizeable chunk of that money will be in cryptocurrency.