It’s no secret that blockchain technology is exploding in the internet world. There have been a massive proliferation of ICOs (initial coin offerings) as well as a huge number of new and improved consumer products and services related to the new technology undergirding Bitcoin. It seems that a new industry is being made over by blockchain almost weekly, with substantial changes coming in entertainment, banking, finance, and now, eSports.
This movement in gaming/eSports is being carried by startup blockchain companies who have made it possible for gamers to get paid while they play games. This, indeed, is a dream job for most teenagers. But the industry is anything but childish. Gaming revenues in the US have topped out over $50 billion last year, and promise to continue growing.
eSports and Gaming are Moving East
However, these technological changes are moving east on the wave a massive blockchain and bitcoin adoption, and the eSports world is not far behind.
Gaming in Asia has always been a huge industry. In fact, the revenues in China from gaming last year outstripped the US market by more than $7 billion. However, the gaming world’s sudden fascination with blockchain technology, and the ability to bring gamers to the table because of play and pay platforms is still catching on.
Part of the pull for the Asian market is associated with the already massive levels of bitcoin and blockchain adoption in Asia for so many other industries. In fact, until the recent ban, China was the number one producer of ICOs in the world. This ubiquitous love affair with the nascent technology has led to a general willingness to ‘try anything once’, as it were, and eSports is the next major category.
Recent Signs of Life
The growth in the blockchain related gaming community in Asia has been made clear by a number of recent factors. For starters, simple metrics about numbers of gamers, coupled with the widespread open-armed acceptance of blockchain technology has created a perfect storm for adoption.
Additionally, important connections are being made around the Asian market space at meet ups that are drawing big crowds. A recent meetup in Asia called the Blockchain Unchained Asia Tour was widely attended by some of the brightest up and coming blockchain based eSports platforms.
BUFF sponsors Digital Devils eSports team in Mobile Legends competition.
For example, BUFF, a crypto-based loyalty program for gamers is positioned for success. With its partnership with Overwolf, it is set to launch with a 15 million userbase “off the bat”. The project is linked with some of the biggest games in the industry like Hearthstone, Fortnite, League of Legends, and others, the platform has drawn a substantial user base already.
The entire process of the BUFF platform is seamless and takes place in the background as players play, without affecting overall performance. After playing, the participants are able to exchange their earned cryptocurrency for in-network items, in-game discounted purchases, or even exchanging them for fiat currencies on local cryptocurrency exchanges.
Other platforms represented have similar structures. Companies like UNIKRN offer similar types of platforms and lure gamers with offers of bounties and one time prizes for winning, as well as the ability to earn cryptocurrency while playing.
Not If, But How Much
While the meetup above represents a special part of the eSports blockchain movement into Asia, the question is not if the market will grow, but how much. With such a huge number of gamers already in the marketplace, and a willingness to embrace the technology, particularly with financial benefits involved, the market is sure to continue catching fire in the Asian region.
While the eSports market has continued to grow at an unprecedented rate, the addition of monetization on a trust-based blockchain platform, as well as discounted P2P sales that these platforms offer, users will continue to move into the arena. With systems like BUFF and others, the market is moving toward a seamless integration of blockchain technology that will likely become as common place as gaming itself.
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