Games Will Be the Catalyst for Blockchain Mass Adoption

We’ve Been Hyper-focused on Blockchain Games at Loom Network — Here’s Why

James Martin Duffy
Sep 24, 2018 · 16 min read

Our Long-Term Vision At Loom Network Hasn’t Changed: We Want to Enable Million-User DApps on Ethereum.

We’ve been saying since December 2017 that our goal is to see million-user DApps running on Ethereum.

It just so happens that we’re focusing on games first, because we think a game will be the first “killer DApp” to reach MILLIONS of users.

And to help you understand WHY we’ve come to that conclusion, I need to take you on a journey.

The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.

–Chris Dixon

Ready? Then let’s dive in.

Blockchains Don’t Just Have a Scaling Problem — They Have a USER ADOPTION Problem.

When we first started Loom Network one year ago, everyone was talking about scalability.

User Adoption: How Close Are We to One Million Users?

Let’s look at some numbers.

Daily Active Users (DAU) of the most popular Ethereum DApps on Sept 20, 2018. Taken from dapp.review.
  1. Gaming: CryptoKitties, Etheremon, etc.
  2. Gambling / Casino: 333ETH, DailyDivs, etc.

But the second, and more important thing to notice:

Currently, even the two most popular DApps on Ethereum have only one or two thousand Daily Active Users.

If you add up ALL the 100+ active DApps on dapp.review combined, it’s still less than 10,000 users in total who are interacting with an Ethereum DApp on a given day.

The largest DApps on Ethereum are still TINY in the grand scheme of things.

This is not meant to disparage Ethereum (which I previously opined will be the backbone of Web 3.0), or to marginalize the work being done by the teams who created these DApps. These teams are pioneers who are pushing the envelope with what is currently possible.

Major Roadblocks Toward Mainstream Adoption

Scalability aside, there are two major problems preventing blockchain applications from gaining mainstream popularity:

  1. Friction — UX issues that make DApps significantly harder to use than their centralized counterparts. (Users must first acquire ETH from an exchange, then install Metamask, then transfer the ETH to Metamask, then sign a transaction and pay a gas fee for EVERY action inside the DApp… etc.)

The Fogg Behavior Model

The Fogg Behavior Model: When something is hard to do, only the most motivated users will end up taking action. The red arrow shows us where blockchain applications currently fall — high friction, and low adoption by a small group of highly motivated users.

If your application is difficult to use, it will filter out all but the most motivated users.

And the easier your application is to use — the more casual users will be willing to give it a try on a whim.

In short, if we want to get millions of users using DApps, we have two options:

  1. Reduce friction as much as possible, by improving the UX of blockchain applications until they’re just as easy to use as regular applications.
  2. Build more “killer apps” on the blockchain that appeal to millions of strongly motivated users.

Step 1: Reduce Friction — Make Blockchain Applications Just as Easy to Use as their Centralized Counterparts.

Scalability aside, this has been our major focus at Loom Network over the past year.

To the end user, Zombie Battleground looks and feels like any other mobile game. The fact that the whole game takes place 100% on the blockchain is totally transparent to the end user.

With the Loom SDK, it is now possible to build DApps that are just as easy to use as traditional applications, massively reducing UX friction and opening the gateway for mainstream adoption.

But Loomy ain’t done yet!

Step 2: Build DApps that appeal to a group of MILLIONS of motivated users

So now that we’ve solved the UX issues that have traditionally made DApps difficult to use, that means millions of users are going to suddenly flow in and start using them yesterday, right?

So what kind of DApps can we build that we know millions of people DO care enough to use?

Why, I’m glad you asked!

Games: The Missing Link

Peter Thiel has famously said that to build a successful startup, you need to solve some problem 10x better than any other existing service.

But while we’re waiting — in the meantime we have games.

Games are unique among applications, in that users don’t need to be strongly incentivized to download and play a new game.

  • 27.3% download one game per month.
  • 12.4% download one game per week.
  • 4.4% download new games every single day.

Games, unlike apps, don’t have to do something 10x better than any previous app and convince users to jump ship. Gamers are always looking for new fun games each month, and will try them on a whim.

And the Blockchain DOES Bring Benefits to Online Gaming

With the friction removed from the DApp onboarding experience, gamers will be able to download games like Zombie Battleground on the app store and start playing them without even knowing what the blockchain is.

  • Provable and auditable item scarcity and fairness in drop rates.
  • Infinite modability — games can be built that allow developers to build and upload their own alternate game modes for all players to use. Developers can actually modify and extend server-side logic, allowing for infinitely expandable game worlds driven entirely by community development.
Gamers are starting to get fed up with game companies’ cash-grabbing tactics. No one wants to spend their hard-earned dollars on game items that they can’t resell to other players and don’t really own.

The ability to truly own and freely resell their items is a benefit many gamers don’t even know they want yet. But after they experience it, they may come to demand it from all games they play in the future.

In this way, we can naturally introduce millions of people to the blockchain.

After they’re hooked on the game, they’ll learn they can sell their items for real money. With a properly-designed game economy, some players may even be able to make a lot of money.

Games: The Trojan Horse to Cryptocurrency Mass Adoption

Grinding for rare items in a free-to-play mobile game that can then be sold on a P2P marketplace may be the way millions of users in third-world countries acquire their very first cryptocurrency.

These users are now onboarded, familiar with the blockchain and digital ownership, and able to use their cryptocurrency to interact with other game marketplaces and DApps.

Games As a Driver For Blockchain Technology

It’s not all fun and games — games have serious technical requirements.

Nothing makes gamers rage quit like a bad UX.

By the end of 2018, we will have totally solved the UX issues faced by blockchain games — making them feel just as seamless as normal mobile games.

And if we can get the UX that smooth on a mobile game, making it work for traditional web applications will be child’s play.

Games as a Key Piece in Our Long-term Strategy: Becoming the Most Widely Utilized Blockchain in Existence

Blockchain infrastructure projects love to boast about the technology and metrics like TPS (Transactions Per Second).

Paving the Way for Other Game Companies: Let’s Show Them What’s Possible

We think once gamers experience the benefits of blockchain games, there’s going to be a strong and growing demand — which will lead to an explosion in blockchain games.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

–Buckminster Fuller

And that, my friends, is why we have been putting such a large focus on games.

What’s Coming: PlasmaChain, Validators and Staking, the Loom Marketplace/DEX, and More!

If you made it this far, you now have further insight into our core company thesis — and how we think the future of the blockchain will unfold — than pretty much anyone else in the world.

And for the gamers among you…

The public beta of Zombie Battleground is coming by the end of this year, at which point it will be free to download for everyone on the App Store and Google Play.


Loom Network

🛸 The blockchain platform of choice for serious dapp developers — http://loomx.io

Thanks to Mohit Tater and 🤖 Robert.

James Martin Duffy

Written by

Co-founder at Loom Network. Building scalable blockchains for large-scale online games and social apps 🚀Creators of CryptoZombies.io 🧟‍

Loom Network

🛸 The blockchain platform of choice for serious dapp developers — http://loomx.io