Industry insiders know that in order to survive the fierce market race, especially in the bear crypto markets, one needs to stay current with the trends at all times
Words by Dr. Irina Heaver
As the industry matures, adopting a thorough approach and following the market trends systematically will ensure the return that investors are looking. Among those on the inside, rumour has it that the industry has a new favourite segment, and I personally see this segment expanding beyond our wildest imagination.
For those who have been in the crypto space for a few years, we are accustomed to seeing trends coming and going, but I have yet to be as excited about a trend as this one. I see the tectonic shifts in the market caused by the collision of two universes – the multibillion traditional online gaming industry and a relatively new, but already amassing multibillions, DeFi.
“Play-to-earn” will truly change how we see online gaming, and how players will expect to be treated and interacted with. The online games that are implementing the perks of decentralised finance in order to incentivise their players will take over the market from those games that are neglecting this development.
As always, numbers speak louder than words. Causing tectonic shifts in the industry, the GameFi boom has been marked by soaring sales of NFTs as in-game collectibles, amounting to $2.32 billion in Q3 2021 alone. The market cap for virtual world dapps has surpassed $4.6 billion, marking the dawn of a new era in the world of crypto. An astounding 2.5 million unique users connect to dapps on a daily basis, making blockchain games account for half of all blockchain usage. Zoomers are seen as showing a 44% increase in user engagement with dapps, which testifies to the fact that the trend is truly going viral.
And all of this is merely the beginning.
Of course, building a DeFi powered online game is not as easy as it may sound. There are a lot of technical challenges to overcome. Projects have to consider utility, safety and transactional fees, as large communities of gamers come with large gas fees. The ultimate pathbreaker Axie Infinity migrated from Ethereum to the Ronin sidechain to reduce gas fees for its users, which made the latter the number one chain by volume of transactions in GameFi. Polygon is becoming increasingly popular with game dapps as well. The renowned project Decentraland gave rise to virtual worlds and is among the first games migrating to the chain. Cross the Ages, one of the most exciting projects in this space, is building on Polygon as well, having assessed the multiple choices available.
The industry is developing very quickly, and having a game itself is no longer enough, it is not only about gaining ownership of in-game collectibles, but also about owning land – virtual land, to be precise. A place where gamers can build their own presence and develop the direction of the game. Virtual land sales have reached $42.6 US million, opening up exciting investment frontiers. According to a recent report from Grayscale, virtual gaming worlds could bring in as much as $1 trillion annually.
As for the players, I predict that for even more people this will become a full-time job, as gaming has never been more profitable. Gaining true ownership of in-game collectibles, reselling game signature NFTs on dedicated marketplaces, creating new breeds of game characters and whatnot now allow gamers to live their wildest dreams – earning a living while playing their favourite games.
Not so much an inside scoop, but rather the talk of the town now, GameFi is opening up new frontiers for the entire crypto community – developers, traders, and businesses. Being one of the most engaging ways to introduce the world to decentralized finance, GameFi starts to pioneer the yet uncharted waters of the market which will, no doubt, drastically transform the traditional online gaming space.
About Dr. Heaver
Dr Irina Heaver is a General Partner at IkigaiVentures.com, an early-stage venture capital fund. Irina is and active investor into Web3 economy supporting crypto and DeFi projects. She is a leading cryptocurrency and blockchain lawyer based in Dubai and Switzerland, she also serves as a Board and Council Member.
You can connect with her on Twitter – https://twitter.com/IrinaHeaver.
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