Gamers Are Embracing Cryptocurrency in Silicon Valley and Beyond
The aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies hit a record high of over $200 billion this week, according to industry website Coinmarketcap. The milestone came as the biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, hit a record high of $7,500 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, after a 10-fold increase in value over the past year. Meanwhile, the total funds raised via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) has now surpassed funds raised through venture capital.
These numbers reflect just how quickly cryptocurrency is emerging as an alternative trading tool, building a unique economy around it and disrupting the global marketplace in the process. And of all the industries that are embracing cryptocurrency, one of the technology’s most prominent early adopters is gaming.
Gaming, which has already become one of the most profitable entertainment industries globally, has long embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Valve recognized this early on and started accepting Bitcoin payments on Steam last year. In our digital goods marketplace, Gameflip, many of our 2 million gamers make regular transactions with Bitcoin. eSports sites like Unikrn are well-documented hotbeds for digital currency. And who can forget the game Spells of Genesis, which incorporated the blockchain into both its storyline and functionality?
With each passing day, more Silicon Valley gamers, investors and gaming industry veterans embrace digital currency — my team included. When it comes to digital gaming, the biggest cryptocurrency opportunity is undoubtedly in the transaction of digital goods.
The gamer-earned goods opportunity
Gamers purchase more than $100 billion in direct-from-publisher digital goods each year. In a digital gaming industry already generating $94.4 billion in revenue, the ability to securely sell gamer-earned digital goods across games would be a trillion-dollar opportunity. But as many gamers will be quick to share, the enormous amounts of money and time spent earning these goods currently amounts to nothing as soon as they switch to a different game.
Although some gamers turn to forums and third-party websites like Reddit to sell their hard-earned digital goods for cash, this often ends in scams. Steam’s Community Market attempts to fill the gap, but it only allows sellers to transact their digital goods for other purchases within the Steam platform.
The potential of gamer-earned digital goods cannot be understated. Because they tend to be rare, gamer-earned digital goods are worth a lot more than direct-from-publisher digital goods — and they retain this value over time. Gamer-earned digital goods aggregate within the game economy, and trading gamer-earned digital goods within a single game is a core gameplay feature required to make advancement while playing.
With the gaming industry booming and more titles and digital goods constantly entering the scene, it’s clear that gamer-earned goods are a massive untapped opportunity. At Gameflip, we see cryptocurrency (and its underlying blockchain technology) as the key to transforming that opportunity into reality.
We already know that gamers are embracing cryptocurrency. Now, it’s time to truly put cryptocurrency to work for global gamers by giving them real ownership of their virtual goods — and incentivizing global publishers to move their digital goods to the blockchain.
Gameflip, blockchain and cryptocurrency
In order to realize the disruptive potential of transacting gamer-earned goods, Gameflip is taking the blockchain technology in an entirely new direction: the safe buying, selling and trading of all digital goods. Our team recently launched a successful pre-ICO for FLIP, our token and decentralized platform for securely selling digital goods across games and game types.
The FLIP token, which leverages the Ethereum blockchain and ERC-20 Token interface, will open entirely new avenues for gamers. Players will have the flexibility to buy, sell and trade their hard-earned digital goods on a secure platform, in exchange for real value. This will encourage them to purchase more digital goods, because they can finally be confident that they can recoup their investments in a fraud-free, liquid marketplace. Using our FLIP digital token, gamers will be able to generate real value for selling their earned items. And publishers will benefit every step of the way. By integrating our SDKs with their digital goods, publishers receive a commission each time one of their game’s players makes a transaction using FLIP’s smart contract. This untapped revenue potential, along with the revenue generated by gamers buying even more digital goods, takes the gaming industry easily to a more than $1 trillion industry.
After a decade in the gaming industry, I can tell you that this is the right time — and the right team — to usher in this paradigm shift. Our management team has decades of combined experience in the gaming industry, as game developers and publishers in prior capacities, and now as digital goods marketplace operators. Gameflip is backed by top-tier venture capital firms, and we already process millions of digital goods transactions. With FLIP and blockchain technology, we’re taking the next major step to give gamers across games a truly secure way to transform their earned goods into real value.
Gamers, publishers and enthusiasts around the globe have already shown support for FLIP. We’ll be ushering in a new era for digital gaming and taking the industry’s adoption of cryptocurrency to an unprecedented level.
Now is the time to join the movement and embrace the shift toward true ownership of gaming digital goods.