Why Crypto Speculators Should Keep Their Eye On Gaming
Cryptocurrency is off to an interesting start in 2019. While there hasn’t been dramatic movement in any of the major currencies, there have been whispers of a bull run, and it hasn’t been a negative start to the year, for the most part. That more or less puts the crypto market in 2019 on firmer footing than it ever seemed to find in 2018.
Mostly, this is interesting from an investing perspective. For the most part, people seem to want to believe in cryptos’ potential, and even a relatively uneventful start to the year is encouraging. That’s not to say “want” should ever dictate investments (it shouldn’t), but the idea is that we’ve entered a climate in which it’s at least possible to imagine people buying back into cryptos in the hopes of another surge. The hope, if and when this happens, is that this time it will be more sustainable than it was in 2017.
While the primary focus is on investments, however, a more stable cryptocurrency market may also mean that cryptos will become more useful in a practical sense. In other words, if cryptos stabilize, they might become more appealing alternatives to currency for a greater variety of industries and merchants. There could conceivably even be a snowball effect in the best case scenario, such that a stable market makes cryptos more useful, thus making them more valuable, boosting the market, and so on.
If such a cycle materializes, or even if cryptos simply become marginally more useful, one area we may all want to remember to look in on is gaming. This is an expansive and dynamic industry that has in some cases already had brushes with cryptocurrencies and is in other cases primed to. Some examples that come to mind are as follows:
- PC Downloads – Relatively early on in crypto’s growth, PC download games looked like one of the most promising areas for adoption. Steam, perhaps the most well-known platform for these downloads, jumped on the bitcoin train fairly early. Unfortunately, late December of 2017 we saw Valve (the company behind Steam) ceasing to accept bitcoin payments on the grounds that they were too volatile. However, if they’ve done it before they can do it again. A more stable crypto market could well lead this and similar companies to accept Crypto payments for a huge volume of gaming downloads.
- Mobile & Online – There hasn’t been much momentum toward the ever-expansive mobile and online gaming sectors accepting cryptocurrencies. One interesting, if indirect potential in-road though, comes from Facebook. Various reports have cited the company as being interested in establishing a crypto payments system. This would seemingly be for peer-to-peer transfers at least in the early going, but given that Facebook is in and of itself a fairly large online gaming platform, a move like this could also serve as a sort of testing ground for online and mobile game payments using digital currencies.
- Casinos – If you don’t frequently visit online or mobile casinos yourself, chances are you don’t realize just how big they are and how many games they offer. It’s no longer about poker tournaments and crude imitations of slot machines anymore. Poker comes in all shapes and sizes, and the slots are like full-fledged video games. There are additional table games like roulette and blackjack offered digitally. Bingo comes in so much variety that there are guides for how to pick the right site. All of this – thousands of gaming options within one genre – could soon be open to crypto deposits and payments. A few small casino sites already accept cryptos, and a more stable market could make these currencies more appealing to the big ones also.
- Consoles – Console gaming involves direct payments these days as well given that more and more gamers are downloading games (and additional content for them) rather than buying them on shelves. Additionally, console systems facilitate other purchases and downloads, such as films, shows, and even music to stream. Microsoft, which controls the entire Xbox network, somewhat quietly accepts crypto payments already. Here again, we could see an existing idea expand if only cryptos gain a more reliable reputation.
Because of these factors, gaming should be one of the first areas to catch our attention if 2019 rolls on without major issues for cryptos, or even with a bull run. Investor opinions and outcomes will get the most attention. But more practical usage can only help the crypto market along the way.
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