Gamers embrace blockchain

Why gaming could be the ultimate use case for blockchain adoption

Gamers are far more likely to see the benefits of blockchain technology than the American public at large, a new poll suggests

Blockchain technology still has a long way to go before it’s understood and recognized by the American public, a new survey suggests.

But there’s one bright spot that might get U.S. consumers interested in what this technology has to offer: gaming.

The poll of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Forte for a report by Vorhaus Advisors, revealed that just 25% know what blockchain is—rising to 42% of 18 to 34-year-olds.

And even among those who recognize the word, there’s a lot of misunderstanding: 62% claimed that blockchain is the same as crypto, while 48% said it’s the same as Bitcoin.

Game on

According to the report, gamers are 20% more likely to see the benefit of blockchain technology than American adults as a whole.

On average, those who like whiling away the hours on their game consoles spend about $168 a year on virtual goods… and many are annoyed at how they’re denied true ownership of these items.

When it comes to the technology’s most appealing attributes, the survey found:

·   57% of all gamers were drawn by how it could provide a decentralized and verifiable record of virtual goods ownership—including the rarest, most coveted items

·   46% of those who currently buy in-game assets liked how blockchain would give them real ownership of virtual goods

·   32% of all gamers pointed to how blockchain could help deliver anonymity (that, of course, depends on the cryptocurrency you use)

·   15% said they liked the idea of exchanging virtual goods and in-game currencies for cash

Close to 40% of gamers said they would be interested or very interested to see blockchain technology integrated into games—rising to half of those who purchase virtual goods on a regular basis.

And there’s an even bigger gap between these two groups when it comes to levels of interest in earning income by playing games. Just 30% of all gamers said they would like to earn financial rewards through this hobby, rising to 51% of those who invest their disposable income in add-ons. Mike Vorhaus, the CEO of Vorhaus Advisors, said:

“Our survey findings indicate we are just beginning to scratch the surface of how companies can monetize their games. It also shows that there is already consumer desire for blockchain-enabled features like virtual goods ownership, and the ability to earn income from playing games. Because of this, we see enormous potential for game companies to grow their business while better satisfying their customers at the same time.”

A growing industry

All of this comes as some of the world’s biggest brands begin to embrace nonfungible tokens, which allow rare collectibles such as digital trading cards to be created. Major soccer and basketball teams have entered into partnerships that allow star players to be tokenized, with the BBC creating NFTs related to their iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who

And it seems NFTs can command big bucks, too. A digital trading card of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé recently fetched $65,000 at auction, according to the global fantasy soccer platform Sorare. Earlier this year, an F1-themed game’s car NFT sold at auction for $113,000, while a skin of YouTuber PewDiePie for the Wallem mobile game went for about $25,000 in November.  Just yesterday, a tokenized digital artwork sold for more than $21,000 at auction.

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Connor Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.