The first decades of the twenty-first century brought the internet into our pockets. Technology penetrated daily lives in an unprecedented manner. To nobody’s surprise, such a change ignited a revolution in the way people interact with the world. What was impossible just a few years ago is a daily routine today.
There is a lot to be told about those changes and how they affect almost everything. However, this paper will focus on three phenomena that gained prominence in recent years: cryptocurrencies, fintech, and gaming.
They do not seem connected at first sight, but they do have a lot in common and interact with each other creating needs for new revolutionary products. Responding to this newly created demand is a challenge for innovators to face.
With the emergence of fintech, money has become an abstract concept more than ever in history. More and more people tend to appreciate the convenience of inviting financial applications into their lives. This shift opens them up for changes that go even further, like embracing cryptocurrencies.
This paper will examine the connections between video games, cryptocurrencies, and the fintech industry looking for trends that can be noticed, described, and monetized.
The Brief History of Cryptocurrencies
Before diving deep into relationships and interactions, it’s good to have a brief account of the history of cryptocurrencies. This summary will highlight the turning points and key events that helped crypto enter the mass imagination.
What was it that made the niche project a mainstream phenomenon? How come a group of enthusiasts created something worth 2 billion dollars just a few years later? Further paragraphs should provide answers to such questions. They will also touch upon the emergence of NFTs and their influence over the crypto industry, as well as the relationship between crypto and gaming, which is as new as it is influential.
Let’s dive into the history of the crypto industry!
There is no history of cryptocurrencies without mentioning the three key facts:
- Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency ever created.
- Satoshi Nakomoto is the name of an individual or a group of people that created it. Their true identity remains unknown.
- The first Bitcoin was mined in 2009.
Those facts are common knowledge that can be found on Google with just a few clicks. There is no need to discuss them. What needs to be addressed is what followed.
In 2009 Bitcoin was seen as a niche kind of entertainment, a thought experiment for cryptography enthusiasts. Sure, it was devised as an answer to the 2008 financial crisis as a trial of a new decentralized approach to money. Though, it was never intended to become a part of a “true” financial market.
And yet, only thirteen years later, it is considered a cornerstone of a billion-dollar industry.
This change would not be possible without the development and evolution of the very idea of cryptocurrency. The sheer fact that in 2022 Bitcoin is no longer THE cryptocurrency, it’s just one of plenty, tells a lot about the changes that took place between its emergence and the present day.
The number of cryptocurrencies per year
And when it comes to those changes, the birth of the idea of a stable coin might be one of the most interesting ones.
Bitcoin Price Volatility
For three years between 2009 and 2012, Bitcoin’s price was subject to substantial fluctuations. It could rise up to twenty-something dollars a Bitcoin-only to drop by more than 75% shortly after. However, since Bitcoin’s initial value at the moment of creation was zero, there was a visible trend for growth. Or, for those ready to take risks, for a substantial short-term gain.
At that time, Bitcoin was seen as an investment opportunity only by investors who were tech-savvy and risky by nature. It was very far from substituting currency. If it ever made into the media, it was portrayed as an interesting new phenomenon and nothing more.
Stable Coins as a Remedy
Looking at such a crypto landscape, in 2012, J.R. Willett wrote a whitepaper describing the possibility of building new currencies on top of the Bitcoin Protocol. This paper became the foundation of the Tether cryptocurrency. It took another two years for it to become real, but in 2014 the world witnessed the birth of another type of cryptocurrency – the stable coin.
TetherUSD price compared to other investing opportunities
The stable coin value is tied to something else – it can be another cryptocurrency, traditional money, or any kind of exchange-traded commodity. In this way, stable coins introduced some stability into the (at the time) utterly unpredictable crypto market.
The introduction of stable coins (because Tether wasn’t the only one) was the first signal that cryptocurrencies may one day become something more than just a hobby for crypto enthusiasts. It was also the first step toward introducing any regulations into the market, thus making crypto investments more accessible for non-technical people.
The Introduction of NFTs
Stable coins were the first attempt at closing the gap between traditional and crypto markets. Investing in digital currencies with predictable exchange rates started to be seen as something to consider, especially given the potential revenue. There were periods when Bitcoin noted growth in value as significant as 2960% within months. Indeed, stable coins were more stable, but still, such figures could hardly be ignored by seasoned investors.
But there was another revolution in the crypto industry waiting just around the corner. The introduction of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) was a true game-changer for the entire crypto ecosystem.
Crypto – More Than Currency
The development of blockchain and cryptocurrencies paved the way for a lot of different projects. There were stable coins described in the previous section, but they didn’t even come close to exhausting the possibilities of the network.
Attempts to move crypto beyond being just a digital currency were the logical consequence of the market growth. The first such project was named – Namecoin. It was designed to create a decentralized alternative for the DNS (Domain Name System). It was only remotely successful, but it laid the ground for the idea that crypto can be used as something more than just digital money.
NFTs – Crypto Assets
The true revolution was started by the introduction of NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). They tied cryptocurrencies to assets that were more tangible than just entries in the distributed ledger. This paper is not intended to discuss the changes brought to the industry by the NFTs. Suffice it to say that in 2022 they constitute a substantial part of the ecosystem.
Market capitalization of transactions globally involving a non-fungible token (NFT) from 2018 to 2020(in million U.S. dollars)
NFTs are commonly called digital art. Their prices are soaring. And, just as in the case of traditional art, NFTs are seen as a means of investing money.
Crypto Games and Mainstream Popularity
Cryptocurrencies and the entire crypto industry that followed them are steadily gaining popularity and making their way to the mainstream. It seems that the long way between the initial point of being a technical curiosity and a widely-recognized financial instrument is steadily coming to an end. The next chapter will be entirely devoted to crypto investment. However, now there is one more phenomenon to be described – crypto gaming.
Gaming and Crypto – Similarities
A lot has been written about how the gaming and crypto industries share the user base. In recent years video games escaped their previous box of being seen as a childish kind of entertainment. They are now a part of pop culture like movies, books, and magazines. Still, the gamers tend to be more tech-savvy and open-minded than the average.
Having said that, there should be no surprise that they were eager to adopt cryptocurrencies.
There is much fewer crypto enthusiast than gamers. Yet, the latter are likely to be interested in the technical novelties. That’s why the introduction of crypto games constituted a major turning point for the crypto industry.
Crypto games exposed the population of gamers to the new trend, and they seemed to love it instantly. At the peak of its popularity, the first viral crypto game – CryptoKitties, had a significant impact on the entire chain, noticeably slowing it down.
In this way, joining crypto and gaming gave digital currency its final push towards gaining a massive user base.
Cryptocurrency as an Investment
As demonstrated and described in the previous chapter, cryptocurrencies are more and more often seen as serious financial instruments. Though the change is happening as we speak, crypto is still far from being a default investment. Surveys show that only 2% of investors are willing to put their savings in crypto.
Financial experts are cautious as well. They advise that, depending on the investor’s age, no more than 5% of the investment portfolio should be put in crypto.
The above information may sound discouraging for companies wanting to build another crypto solution. But it doesn’t have to.
Cryptocurrencies have been around for just thirteen years. During that time, they gained significant recognition. If only 2% of investors are convinced into putting their money into them, it means there is still a lot of room for growth. Thus offering user-friendly solutions that directly respond to users’ needs is precisely what the market needs at the moment.
Gaining Popularity but Not Mainstream
The previous chapter was a brief account of the crypto industry’s history. It demonstrated the way of crypto from being a niche phenomenon to reaching the mainstream with particular emphasis on the events that facilitated the process.
The events that brought crypto to mass recognition:
- The introduction of stable coins.
- The emergence of NFTs.
- The alliance of crypto and gaming industries.
- Crypto-based financial products.
Stable coins were intended as a means of taking the volatility and unpredictability of prices out of the crypto landscapes. Or at least of the part of the landscape dominated by them. Their creation aimed at bringing cryptocurrencies closer to traditional fiat money. Such a move encouraged those looking for a novel yet safe way of investing money. And additionally, it slightly changed the image of the entire crypto industry. It made it look more serious.
While stable coins tied cryptocurrency to tangible assets, NFTs added a fun part to them. The invention of NFTs also opened crypto to cooperation with the gaming world, leading to the next significant event.
With NFTs in place, crypto was ready to enter the gaming world. Trading in-game assets and play-to-earn mechanisms are significant incentives for mass crypto adoption among the gaming community.
Crypto-based financial products are a relatively new invention. They can be seen as a next step towards taming cryptocurrencies and making them easily accessible for those less tech-savvy yet interested in crypto.
The Need for User-friendly Solutions
Despite all the improvement and development of the crypto market, every investor willing to add blockchain products into their portfolio needs to start by educating themself. This friction can be seen as an obstacle too difficult to overcome, especially for those who are not 100% convinced. All those wallets, vaults, and exchanges sound strange and scary for those not yet experienced in crypto.
What scares investors away from crypto
This kind of friction has been noticed and is now partially reduced by crypto-based financial products. Yet it’s not entirely gone as using such products requires additional trust from investors. Putting money in instruments one does not understand is not comfortable.
Most crypto solutions and platforms came into being when cryptocurrencies were still a niche. They were developed with geeks and crypto enthusiasts in mind. As the times are changing and crypto is becoming more mainstream, there is an evident need for more new platforms and solutions.
Crypto newbies deserve their own set of tools to navigate the world of blockchain. Especially the large group coming from the gaming world brings new habits and tastes to the crypto ecosystem.
With their needs in mind, we propose an innovative solution – an intuitive and simple crypto wallet with a game-like interface and gamification feature. We are convinced that such a solution will reduce initial friction coming with investing in crypto and will serve as an incentive for gamers to turn their heads towards cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets.
Gamification – A Way to Attract Users
Is there a universal recipe for engaging customers across different industries? The prevailing belief is that people buying M&Ms and those learning foreign languages are totally different. Hence, to win their hearts and wallets, you need different strategies. The truth might be entirely different, though.
What’s the magic ingredient? GAMIFICATION.
And what exactly is it?
The definition only takes one line:
Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.
How is it implemented in practice? Gamified applications reward users with achievements, points, badges, levels, etc., for the desirable behavior. The extent to which it is utilized might differ for different purposes.
In the Duolingo learning app, users earn points for each completed lesson and compete with other learners in leagues.
In corporate systems, employees can earn badges for studying documentation or training new hires.
The idea remains the same for every use case. The more of desirable behavior, the more points, badges, or achievements – in other words – the more the users feel they’re winning.
The whole point of gamification is to use what’s natural and rooted in human nature and make it work for the desired purpose. After all, who doesn’t like winning?
It sounds perfect, but does it really work?
This chapter provides data to back the claim that gamification does work for increasing engagement and attracting users.
Something to start with:
Game-based learning for kids is predicted to be among the leading revenue opportunities for developers from 2019 until 2024, registering a growth of 21.4%
Challenge-based gamification in education leads to an increase of 34.75% in student performance.
71% of employees believe that gamification leads to an increase in energy levels.
66% of employees say that gamification at work reduced their stress levels.
The gamification market was estimated to be worth $5.5 billion in 2018, and in 2021 it was estimated to reach $11.94 billion. Gamification market value is growing at a steady pace.
It seems that gamification is taking the world by storm. What’s interesting is that its use goes beyond business and education. Even marketing campaigns benefit from implementing this trend.
Below is the data from the gamified Molton Brown Christmas campaign. The numbers are stunning. In just one week, the campaign achieved the desired goal. The details can be seen on the graph.
If gamification is successful even in inducing people to join the mailing list, there is hardly any task it can’t do.
Gamified Wallet as a Crypto Game
As demonstrated in previous paragraphs, one of the turning points in cryptocurrencies’ journey towards mainstream was the invention of crypto games. They are one of the most accessible forms of taking part in the crypto craze and often serve as a gate to the more advanced crypto investments.
It’s estimated that there are more than 3.2 million gamers worldwide. Obviously, not all of them are into crypto gaming. Yet, many of them constantly explore the gaming landscape looking for new titles to test. They can be considered likely to give a new game-centered solution a try.
GameFiWallet – a game-centered, gamified crypto wallet is directly targeted at the community of gamers. By adding gamification features, GameFiWallet gives investing in crypto a familiar game-like feeling.
Thus GameFiWallet can be viewed by some as another game-like entertainment. Especially in the view of the phenomenon described in the next section.
GameFi – Gaming and Finance
A few years ago, there were few words with as much distance between them as gaming and finance. Those two rarely went together in one sentence. Gaming was seen as childish and trivial, while finance needed adults to suit up. Those times, however, are the past now.
Gaming – An Adult Hobby
For a long time, video games have been regarded as a childish hobby. But with the passing time, children and teenagers who were once into gaming grew up and became adults. Yet they didn’t drop their hobby. Quite the contrary, they took gaming into adulthood with them.
This shift didn’t go unnoticed by the game development companies. There were more and more titles openly addressed to adults. And now, just like in the movie industry, every age group has its own selection of titles.
The shift is visible on many levels. Even the naming had changed. Instead of playing video games, people are into gaming. This, indeed, sounds far more serious. It sounds like something adults can be interested in. And it started to become an industry of its own.
Of course, hardware manufacturers didn’t miss their chance, and they started to offer gaming accessories at prices no reasonable parent would spend. But they were addressed to gamers – adults devoted to gaming. That was the first time gaming and money started to come closer together.
And finally, eSports emerged – a professional arena for gamers to compete, show their expertise, and earn real money. And in this case, real money stands for millions of dollars – a very grown-up amount.
The first step towards the close relationship between gaming and money was completed.
Esports and Crypto
Esport is much older than crypto. In the twenty-first century’s second decade, crypto was in its infantry while eSports were already gaining mass recognition.
In 2011 there were 1676 tournaments held, with the total prize pool amounting to $10591113—numbers sparking the mass imagination.
On the one hand, the main difference between eSports and crypto games is that you don’t have to go pro to earn money by devoting your time to the latter. As tempting as it looks at first sight, becoming a pro gamer takes a lot of time and effort. With play-to-earn mechanisms, one can skip the tiresome process and go straight to the point – the money.
On the other hand, though, the crypto industry is well aware of the similarity between the crypto and gaming industries. Thus the 2020s are bringing more and more eSports and crypto cooperations. The biggest crypto exchange markets sponsor leagues, events, teams, and individual players. And some well-known gamers experiment with their own crypto tokens and branded NFTs.
It’s anticipated that the future will bring even more of those kinds of cooperation. Especially in the view of the fact that even gaming giants like the Twitch platform show increasing interest in crypto.
Given that sponsorship is the main revenue stream for eSports, crypto partnerships are likely to be thriving.
Game-Based NFTs, GameFi, and the Metaverse
GameFi consists of several trends and phenomena.
The three most important ones are:
- Play-to-earn crypto games
- Game-based NFTs
- The metaverse.
The three following sections will discuss each of them in more detail.
Play-to-earn Crypto Games
Play-to-earn crypto games are sometimes referred to as GameFi, though this term has a broader meaning. Those kinds of games allow users to monetize their performance. They have some built-in economies and marketplaces where users can trade game assets for in-game tokens that can be traded for other kinds of cryptocurrencies.
Some games issue the in-game assets as NFTs, which allows them to be traded directly at various open crypto marketplaces.
Game-based NFTs are all the non-fungible tokens that relate to games. They can be in-game items from various crypto games or just game-themed art. With the growing community of devoted gamers, the game-based NFTs market is booming. More and more people are interested either in trading their game assets or just purchasing original merchandise from their favorite titles.
However, the biggest promise connected with game-based NFTs is the metaverse.
The metaverse is the ultimate marketplace or a solution every crypto gamer is waiting for. The idea behind it is to allow trading and using of game-generated assets across different titles. The metaverse would work in a similar way to the modern economy, where people can devote themselves to what they do best and then monetize it. However, such a metaverse would need an entire ecosystem. First, the library of titles it supports, and then the marketplaces and wallets.
An Ecosystem for the Metaverse: a hypothetical product
The metaverse is the dream of every crypto gamer. Yet, it’s not easy to deliver on this promise from a technical perspective. Creating a metaverse, as the enthusiasts of this idea describe it, would require the cooperation of most of the players in the crypto industry.
Given that the core idea of crypto is rooted in decentralization and retaining privacy, would companies with individuality in their DNA be willing to cooperate to create something bigger? Or should the metaverse be created by an external company?
Before this crucial question is answered, there are other initiatives taken around the idea of the metaverse. While the in-game items can only be used within the titles they were created, the market for game-themed and game-centered NFTs is booming.
NFTs are traded on open crypto exchanges. There are also initiatives that explore the link between gaming and crypto to address their offer specifically to gamers. However, one thing is still missing from the picture – a wallet designed for those interested in game-based NFTs.
GameFiWallet is addressing this niche.
Wallet for Game-based NFTs
The crypto industry is full of different wallets. One can choose from a variety of options. There are even hardware devices specifically designed for storing crypto. There are wallets only for storing and those that allow trading within the same application.
Apart from “regular” wallets, there are also solutions that leverage crypto but advertise themselves as more of banking systems. Users can use them as crypto savings accounts, borrow money leveraging their assets, or even treat them as regular checking and savings accounts with interest much higher than in any banking system.
There are plenty of options designed for different users with different needs. One option is still missing from the crypto picture – a wallet created for gamers.
Considering that crypto games are often the first contact people have with the crypto industry, along with the considerable (and growing) number of gamers around the world, such a wallet is very likely to be precisely what the market needs right now.
A wallet like this may be considered a first step towards creating a metaverse because it is exactly the tool needed to finally make it happen.
GameFiWallet – What’s This?
With the above in mind, we are creating GameFiWallet. But we don’t stop at targeting the most promising group of crypto users. We added one more feature to make our solution even more appealing – gamification.
We are rewarding our users for transactions they make. The more they trade, the better rewards they get. What kind of rewards are we talking about? Game-themed NFTs, of course, are the assets our target customers are after.
This is how joining the three hottest trends in the tech industry, we introduce you to the GamweFiWallet – a gamified crypto wallet designed specifically for gamers.
How is GameFiWallet going to be different from all the other wallets available now?
Essentially in three aspects:
- Game-inspired user interface
- Gamification features
- Game-centered trading.
Each of those differences will be discussed in more detail in the following paragraphs.
This chapter will introduce the general idea behind the game-centered crypto wallet.
GameFiWallet is designed as a gateway for gamers who would like to dip their toes in the crypto ocean. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be used by seasoned investors. It can, but its intuitive gaming-inspired interface is designed to feel cozy and familiar to people spending their time playing video games. Along with the simplicity of use, it will serve as a perfect tool for those who aren’t willing to devote their time to studying all the facets of the crypto market.
Gamification will serve as a further invitation to the crypto world. After all, gaming is what the gamers are after. Gamification features will encourage users to engage even more, resulting in an increased number of transactions.
Active users will be awarded game-themed NFTs and the native GameFiWallet token – GAMEWALL.
Since the user base will primarily consist of gamers, GameFiWallet transactions will be game-centered too. It’s the place to trade game-themed NFTs, game tokens, and other game-themed and game-based assets.
Gamers are familiar with a specific type of interface. GameFiWallet is designed with this group in mind, and hence, its interface is intended to refer to the game aesthetics. Gamers must feel familiar in this new crypto environment as much as possible.
Another consideration is to make GameFiWallet’s interface extremely user-friendly. Trading has to come naturally without tiresome authentications and endless processing. Since GameFiWallet is designed to open the crypto market to everyone interested – the simplicity of use is of key importance.
The goal is to make GameFiWallet resemble the video game as much as possible. This is not only to win the taste of the target group. It is more about winning their attention and making the entire crypto trading experience as engaging as possible. Transactions with GameFiWallet should feel as natural as the hobby they already know.
Of course, the game-inspired user interface is only one way to make it happen. The true magic comes from the gamification features. They, indeed, make trading assets with GameFiWallet a game. A game in which one can win more tokens or some rare NFTs from their favorite games.
As it was demonstrated in previous chapters, gamification is one of the most successful strategies for winning users’ engagement. If it is so powerful when applied to “regular” users, what can it do for gamers who are naturally more likely to participate in any game-like activities?
In GameFiWallet, gamification serves as a second layer for inviting gamers to crypto trading. First, the user gets the interface they love and feel familiar with. Then they are given an activity that resembles the one they enjoy the most. In the view of the studies about gamification, this strategy has to be successful.
To strengthen users’ motivation to trade, the prizes are also game-themed. Most active users will be rewarded with GAMEWALL tokens and game-themed NFTs. Additional tokens will let them trade even more without any risks, hence further increasing their activity on the platform.
Apart from serving as a financial incentive – both tokens and NFTs have value – gamification has an additional goal. It gives GameFiWallet an even bigger similarity to a video game. Thus making it familiar and comfortable for users to engage in activities that are relatively new to them.
The third distinctive feature of the GameFiWallet is closely related to the previous ones. Since the solution is addressed to gamers and newcomers to the NFT and crypto trading, it’s only logical that assets to be bought and sold via this dapp are going to be game-related.
GameFiWallet is going to be dedicated to trading all game-related items. It can be seen as a pre-metaverse platform where devoted fans of games can trade their items or game-themed art in the form of the NFTs. GameFiWallet will also welcome any in-game tokens.
Gamers should be much more likely to engage in transactions concerning assets they are already familiar with. Considering the surge in the number of crypto gaming enthusiasts, the number of potential users is steadily growing. It can be safely assumed that any player engaging in the play-to-earn kind of gameplay will one day be interested in trading their assets. GameFiWallet, with its gamer-friendly interface and additional gamification features, should be the first place they visit.
Gamification encouraging a higher volume of transactions should render GameFiWallet even more appealing as a large number of transactions means users won’t keep their assets for collecting purposes and instead put them into the market. This implies that GameFiWallet will always be full of exciting assets available for sale.
We share the belief expressed in this paper that there are generally nine types of crypto gamers. We further agree that real people very rarely represent just one type. People tend to be much more complex than the models we like to apply to them. Hence from the spectrum illustrated below, we address the GameFiWallet to the Player 2 type. We feel that it captures most of the traits that are important when it comes to using our product.
Who Is Player 2?
The persona of Player 2, illustrated by the above diagram, consists of three significant traits. In simple terms Player 2 is relatively new to crypto games. They don’t seek to earn money, they are more after fun, and play-to-earn mechanisms are a nice addition to their gaming hobby. Furthermore, they are not investors, or at least the main part of their income doesn’t come from investing money. They are more likely to have a steady full-time job.
How Does GameFiWallet Appeal to Player 2?
GameFiWallet is a direct response to the Player 2 crypto-related needs. It’s intuitive and easy to use. It doesn’t require any in-depth crypto knowledge. The game-inspired interface looks and feels familiar to devoted gamers, reducing the initial friction of trying something new. And on top of that, the gamification features add thrills needed by their fun-seeking nature while at the same time providing additional earning opportunities.
A perfect mix for gamers wishing to give the crypto industry a try.
In technology, there are two industries whose growth doesn’t seem to stop – gaming and crypto. But growth is not the only thing they have in common. They share a similar path towards mainstream popularity as well as the core user base. Gamers and crypto enthusiasts are often the same people.
No surprise, those two industries are joining forces resulting in the growing number of crypto games. Such titles often serve as a gateway for gamers to take a more profound interest in the crypto industry.
Our hypothetical GameFiWallet is the trading tool created with those people in mind. It is a crypto wallet with an intuitive game-inspired interface that allows for trading game-themed assets and other crypto tokens. To encourage even more users to give crypto trading a chance GameFiWallet comes with gamification features. The more you trade, the more native GAMEWALL tokens you earn. Not to mention badges, levels, and progress bars that strengthen the motivation even more.
GameFiWallet is created to make crypto trading as easy and enjoyable as playing video games.