It probably makes sense that cryptocurrency and online gaming would go hand in hand. After all, most of the current generation of gamers are probably already pretty comfortable with digital currency at its most basic. Whether that’s PayPal or in-game credits, most players have probably had to handle something other than physical cash at one time or other. But what kind of knock-on effect is crypto likely to have on gaming in the long run?
The first big appeal of cryptocurrencies lies in the fact that they’re convenient. Once you’re up and running with a digital wallet, it’s very easy to just plug into an exchange and to start trading. Most modern gamers are already likely to be savvy enough with tech to use cryptocurrencies. With that in mind, e-currency is already pretty simple for players to understand.
Beyond this, it’s convenient. Online gamers can already fund their digital accounts, such as through Steam, PSN or otherwise, with a few clicks. Clunkier systems in the past have required users to input credit card numbers by hand to fund even £5 or £10. If you’ve ever had to do this on a Nintendo Wii, you know full well the hassle that’s involved.
Crypto is quick and painless. It’s instantaneous. If you want to credit an online gaming store to buy a new patch or an early release title, you can. It won’t be too surprising to see more online services bring Bitcoin and other crypto into store interfaces. Transactions are fluid, and therefore benefit all parties involved. Traders can even keep an eye on trackers such as the Top10BitcoinRobots website, where they can automate investments, thereby making things easier to manage.
Although some gaming interfaces nefariously ask you to connect social media to be able to play online, our gaming lives are often pretty separate from our real ones. That’s why we have gamertags. Despite the fact the world is always shrinking, and that privacy concerns in general are always on the rise, a lot of online gaming remains anonymous. You have a handle, an avatar, and you’re good to go. Therefore, why would anyone really prefer connecting their personal bank cards and details to their gaming accounts if they had the choice to go incognito.
Cryptocurrency is, for the most part, very private. A lack of trails and complete decentralisation means that there isn’t the regulation or the personal association you get with physical money and cards. Millions of gamers play online to escape their everyday lives. Private, anonymous crypto payments will only help to secure this status. There are plenty of us who have worried about linking our banks to our Xbox Live services over the years. The fact is, it’s more private to fund online gaming with Bitcoin and the like.
Think back to how many times the big gaming platforms have fallen victim to hacks over the years. Despite the strongest will in the world, even if you have the most secure password possible, there is always going to be a risk of hacking. Hackers have been able to bring down networks as big as PSN in recent years, which, of course, has meant that users have needed to change their passwords. Some hackers sell users and passwords before the outrage catches up with them. If you’ve got bank cards associated with your account, you might well be at risk.
Much cryptocurrency is secure and hackproof by design. It’s built to withstand fraud in ways that physical cards and money can fail. Therefore, transactions made through Bitcoin and Ethereum aren’t just private, they’re protected. With so many gaming accounts and platforms always at risk of exposure, gamers are naturally going to drift towards paying with a service that keeps their personal identities clear and off the table. If you’re not already worrying about this, you should be.
Of course, we also need to think about in-game currency. One of the biggest examples of games that have gone above and beyond with this is, of course, Fortnite. Players can exchange their physical money for in-game credit to buy outfits and taunts. It’s not beyond the realms of fantasy to predict that, in the future, plenty of games and software houses will develop their own e-currencies exclusively for in-game use. Some platforms are already making this leap.
Therefore, it makes sense that regular gamers would find this approach easier. Instead of having to dip in and out with cards or PayPal accounts, they could just pay directly into a game. It’s not unheard of for cryptocurrencies to pop up every now and again. We’re certainly not going to be looking at the same set of digital money choices for years to come. If anything, the line-up is only going to get more diverse. The more that games developers throw themselves into the ring on this, the easier and more streamlined it’s going to get for regular players. Again, all parties benefit, as it means the developers get cash instantly with no fees or waiting times.
The future of gaming currency?
It’s worth concluding by saying that it makes sense for games studios to push for crypto more and more. Cryptocurrency is only going to increase in demand. The same goes for online casinos, too. As more and more people cotton onto the idea that crypto is less hassle, more private and overall more appealing, platforms and services are going to be at risk of falling into obsolescence if they don’t step up to the plate. They need to really start thinking about how young people are going to want to play games for decades to come.
Statistics show that more and more people are taking a chance on cryptocurrencies, therefore, it stands to reason more businesses should start opening themselves up to accepting payments. However, this doesn’t always follow. There’s still a lot of confusion over crypto in the mainstream but the gaming world is quick to pick up on a variety of modern trends – so why shouldn’t they be ready to embrace crypto? It’ll be interesting to see how things develop in the years to come.