Virtual currency is nothing new in the video game world. In fact, it’s pretty much existed since the birth of the video game. Many games, most notably fantasy RPGs, use their own virtual currency that players earn by completing objectives within the game. With the money they earn, they can purchase items such as weapons, armour, food, potions and other useful tools and assets that can enhance their character or that can be used to trade in the game. Therefore, the idea of using Bitcoin (BTC) to make real money video game purchases sounds like a no-brainer for gamers. That said, some people wonder what effect this cyrptocurrency, and others like it, would have on the gaming industry?
Why Bitcoin may be the better choice for gaming
This cryptocurrency, which has quickly turned heads and is now growing in adoption, is an alternative form to traditional payment methods like credit cards, debit cards and cash. In many ways, some believe that Bitcoin makes a lot of sense for gamers and the gaming industry. The reason is Bitcoin is decentralized. It isn’t controlled by a third party such as a traditional banking institution, which is the case for all standard currencies (e.g. Dollars, Euro, Great British Pound, etc). It uses blockchain, a publicly visible and anonymous online ledger that records every single BTC transaction ever made.
As mentioned in a comprehensive article by the National, blockchain technology gives users of bitcoins that ability to perform “more complex actions in a shared and decentralized manner.” What’s more, the article points out that blockchain also makes it easier to move money abroad, for clearing complex financial transactions, signing contracts and acts as a medium for micro-payments in emerging countries. Acting as a medium for micro-payments in emerging markets is one of the ways in which Bitcoin could actually effect the video games industry in a positive way because it will make gaming accessible to more players on a global scale.
Bitcoin has come to Steam
Steam, the popular and huge entertainment platform that offers gamers instant access to thousands of video games, accepts Bitcoin. Thanks to their partnership with Valve, which has brought the BTC payment service Bitpay to Steam, players can buy games on Steam with Bitcoin. By doing so, it is now easier for Steam users in emerging markets to purchase games without having to use a credit card.
According to Bitpay, Bitcoin will enable Steam “to easily reach gamers in every market around the world – without the high fees or the risk of chargeback fraud that come with card payments.”
Although using the cryptocurrency is not entirely without risk, blockchain is highly secure, which is another reason of how Bitcoin technology has changed online markets. Essentially, the blockchain tech functions as a private, secure and virtually anonymous public database. This means that none of your information is stored on one, centralized ledger. For this reason, Bitcoin has also had an influence on another genre of gaming; online gambling.
Bitcoin’s influence in the world of iGaming
Outside of the world of video games, Bitcoin is also gaining ground in the online gambling sector. In fact, Malta wants to legalize Bitcoin at online casinos. This is big news for the industry, considering Malta is one of the iGaming markets most prominent regulators of internet gambling. Legally permitting the use of cyrptocurrencies in its many online casinos could revolutionize the industry and also make many gamblers happier, as it would provide another immediate and secure way for them to make fast deposits and withdrawals that are free of fees. In short, they can enjoy a better payout system.
Additionally, for online gambling operators, creating and running a business through Bitcoin is much more straightforward and easier than attempting to operate using flat currency. Bitcoin gaming sites are cheaper and take less time to create. What this could mean is that players may see more Bitcoin-only online casinos in the future.
Either way, regardless of whether it is video games or iGaming, the benefits that this currency offers players and its ability to reach players all over the world, will definitely have an impact on the industry.