As technology becomes more relevant in our lives, we are starting to see traditional money-making methods slowly fade away. The majority of us are used to working for corporations with a structured team and a boss above us, but what if the future saw us working for a digital protocol instead. Although it may be hard to conceptualize right now, we see new innovations of money making methods stemming from the blockchain every day. The hottest novel innovation in the crypto industry right now allows us to make a living by playing video games. This concept is called GameFi, or in other words, Play to Earn (P2E).
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GameFi is a combination of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) using blockchain technology to rewrite the gaming experience. Unlike traditional games where users play to win by purchasing upgrades to gain advantage over the other users, GameFi was created for the user to play and earn rewards. This concept involves giving players financial incentives to play and progress through games. Think about it like playing monopoly, but instead of using fake money to beat your friends, you are using real crypto to beat others.
Unsurprisingly, the idea of playing games to make money has caught the eyes of many gamers around the world. Who wouldn’t want to earn money while having fun? The Play to Earn industry has absolutely blown up recently, and this article will help you get a good understanding of how it works and some top play to earn games right now.
From virtual horse racing to online shooting games, the possibilities for the future of Play to Earn applications are endless. But how do they work? P2E video games run on distributed ledgers, which enable players to have verifiable ownership of the virtual items in the games. All items in these types of games are expressed as NFTs. These NFTs can be anything that holds value in the game like plots of land, avatars, costumes, weapons and much more. Once players find and accrue these items through gameplay, they have the option to trade with others on digital marketplaces for different NFTs, or sell them in exchange for cryptocurrency.
Because these gaming projects use blockchain technology, users can always keep track of what they own, as all transactions are stored on the public blockchain. Depending on which game is played, users can increase their potential earnings by dedicating time to level up and improve their characters, create monetized structures on their land or compete against others in specialized tournaments.
GameFi is revolutionizing the traditional gaming industry by giving more incentives for users to dedicate time to the game. Blockchain gaming looks poised to disrupt the $175 billion global video games market with titles like Axie Infinity, the top Play to Earn project right now, having more than $1.1 billion USD in total in-game trading volume. This has caught the attention of traditional gaming giants, as these companies are scrambling to find a way to adhere their games to work with blockchain technology. EA Sports CEO, Andrew Wilson, called NFTs and Play to Earn games the future of the industry.
He went on to say, “I think that in the context of the games we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future,” Wilson said. “So, it’s still early to tell, but I think we’re in a really good position, and we should expect us to kind of think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis.”
EA is just one of the gaming giants to come out with a statement like this, and we very well might be seeing GameFi projects from them sooner than we think.
In the early stages of play to earn crypto, GameFi projects used the Bitcoin blockchain. One of the first GameFi projects to hit the public was Gambit.com, whose concept included the integration of Minecraft servers with Bitcoin and had online games like Bombermine (shown in the image below). This and many other projects on the Bitcoin blockchain had lots of difficulty gaining a significant user base due to the cost of transactions being exorbitant and the transaction speeds being very slow. As you would guess, a game will simply never enjoy the user base of mainstream titles if many of the actions the users need to take require unreasonable transaction fees. Because of this, most modern blockchain games transitioned to smart contract enabled networks. Of these, Ethereum was the first smart contract network to be used for Play to Earn projects and remains the most popular for developers and gamers alike. But similar to the problems faced by Bitcoin blockchain games, the demand on Ethereum’s network is starting to exceed the amount of block space available. To take on this dilemma, crypto game developers are starting to spread out their projects to other networks like Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, WAX and Binance Smart Chain.
One of the early investors in the P2E industry was Huobi which is a crypto exchange who dedicated a $10 million fund to coach and incubate several emerging Play to Earn projects. Huobi’s fund backed P2E projects in the start-up stage to make an impact in the blockchain world via marketing and PR support, financial and legal advice, and introductions to potential partners.
Jeff Mei, the director of global strategy at Huobi quoted “Our investment teams and our research teams are working around the clock to find these products … We want to help users find the best projects that might have value, the best projects that might have some type of innovation, some type of quick adoption,” he said.
Supernova, Immutable, and Rangers Protocol are some examples of the first projects Huobi’s investment arm funded. Huobi saw something in GameFi back then and now everybody is starting to catch on. New Play to Earn projects are being released every day, and the future of the gaming industry is in constant flux. If you are a gamer, the future looks very promising!
1. Create a Web 3.0 Cryptocurrency Wallet
The first step that you must take to enter the GameFi and NFT world is create an account on a web 3.0 crypto wallet and add it to your browser extension. Unlike non-blockchain based games that you may be used to, your wallet will act as the key to all GameFi platforms as a substitute for a username and password.
Please note, the wallet that you need will depend on which blockchain networks the game was built upon. For example, Axie Infinity was built on the Ethereum network, so you will be required to have an Ethereum-compatible web 3.0 wallet like Metamask or OKX to play.
When you go on a GameFi website, you will be asked to connect your wallet. Once you press the button to sign off on connecting them, you will automatically be logged onto the site forever, providing the web 3.0 wallet in your browser extension is logged onto your account.
Not only does your web 3.0 wallet act as your username and password for all compatible GameFi platforms, it also enables you to make in-game transactions and save the progress you have made on top of storing your cryptocurrency and in-game items.
2. Add Funds to your Web 3.0 Wallet
Once you have created an account on a wallet that is compatible with your chosen game and have added it to your browser extension, the next step is to add funds.
Log onto your Bitbuy account and send the certain crypto that you need to your web 3.0 wallet. As mentioned earlier, if your chosen game is an Ethereum blockchain based game, you will need to send ETH to your web 3.0 wallet. If the game was built on a different network, make sure you have the correct wallet and crypto before you continue. Once you have the crypto funds in your web 3.0 wallet, you are then free to make any in-game purchases.
3. Purchase Any Starter Assets Needed to Play
The last step that you must take to start your journey into the GameFi world is purchasing any starter items needed to play your chosen game. All P2E games are free to download. However, many require players to first purchase characters, items or upgrades in order to begin. In some cases, you will have to convert your crypto to the game’s native in-game token. For example, in Cryptoblades, users are required to send Binance coin (BNB) to their web 3.0 wallet and then exchange it in the game for the native token, SKILL.
Recently dubbed the best GameFi application right now, Axie Infinity is a Pokémon inspired game built on a side chain off the Ethereum network. The purpose of the game is to buy, take care of, breed and trade digital monsters called “Axie’s.” Players can also battle each other for the platform’s native currency, Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens. Axie players can use SLP tokens to enhance their pets’ attributes, purchase new ones, or convert to fiat currencies.
Recently, Axie Infinity added a feature allowing people who couldn’t afford to buy Axie’s to still participate by renting them. This increased the total of players to over a million and helped Axie’s revenue surge 85% to $364 Million in August. Rapid growth for Axie Infinity came to an immediate halt in September, with revenue sliding by 40% from August, the first month-over-month decline for the company since January.
Native Token: Smooth Love Potion (SLP) and Axie Infinity (AXS)
Blockchain Network: Ethereum
Trading Volume: $1.1 Billion+
Required Starting Investment: Before you can play Axie Infinity, you must purchase 3 Axie’s from the in-house marketplace.
Where to find Axie Infinity
CryptoBlades is a Binance smart chain based role playing game that allows players to defeat enemies and participate in raids to obtain the game’s native token, SKILL. To help win battles, players can build an advantage over their opponents by crafting weapons or boosting their power. These items and powers are traded and upgraded on the in-game open marketplace. The gameplay includes four main components, fire, earth, lightning and water which are allocated to each character, weapon, attribute and enemy. Players must strategize their raids and battles by assessing each component’s strengths and weaknesses against each other.
Recently, CryptoBlades announced that they will be taking on a new partner, Celestial, an open world space survival game. Celestial’s focus is to help with playability, community, and finance as an MMO space-themed game. Celestial will allow players to join federations, develop and expand colonies, explore planets and galaxy clusters, gather minerals and rare resources, research technology, and forge weapons and spaceships, all while fighting alongside other gamers and friends.
Native Token: Cryptoblades (SKILL)
Blockchain Network: Binance Smart Chain
Trading Volume: 6 Million+
Required Starting Investment: The lowest possible amount you are required to start playing is around 5 SKILL which covers the minting of your first character and a starter weapon. The recommended starting amount is 10 SKILL.
Where to find CryptoBlades
Alien Worlds is a WAX, Ethereum, and Binance Smart Chain based game that takes place in an alien metaverse with several planets where users act as adventurers from the year 2055. In the game, players fight for scarce resources and perform missions to mine the game’s native token, Trillium (TLM). Players can also battle each other, go on quests and earn additional income by renting out their land to others.
Alien Worlds was the first ever GameFi application to break 100,000 users and now hosts over 3 million with around 300,000 active daily players and more than 11 million plays per day. Launched only at the beginning of 2020, Alien Worlds looks poised to be the number one blockchain game in the world by the end of the year, passing Axie Infinity.
Native Token: Trillium (TLM)
Blockchain Network: WAX, Ethereum, and Binance Smart Chain
Trading Volume: $250 Million+
Required Starting Investment: To start mining, you are required to purchase land and tools.
Where to find Alien Worlds