Online gaming is a huge, fun, and innovative industry. It has the power to connect, entertain and empower people from all across the globe. No wonder that Bitcoin has made its way in one of the most popular online games of all time, Minecraft.
Minecraft is a video game where the player has the option to survive in a randomly created world and/or create anything within that world. Everything is made out of block-shaped materials and just like in the real world anything can be crafted by harvesting these materials.
Minecraft also offers the ability to create and design worlds with games within them. Through designing a world within the game and applying rules through code there are infinite possibilities. People can come together on servers and play these games within Minecraft together. One of the popular games played in Minecraft is a Treasure Hunt. With the ultimate treasure being Bitcoin of course.
How does it work?
The participants can join a Minecraft server where somewhere within that world, loot is hidden. Whoever finds the loot will be sent a Bitcoin reward.
To be able to participate in the treasure hunt, users will have to pay for their lives. Prices are synched every 15 minutes to maintain a $1 entry fee.
Ninety percent of the fees will be bundled together in a treasury wallet and the rest goes to the developers. If you win the price you will be rewarded with eighty-five percent of the total amount from the treasury wallet, while five percent stays in the wallet until the next round. When there are not enough people playing, it could be that the transaction fee is higher than the amount in the treasury wallet. In that case, the reward won’t be paid out.
Since the project is open-sourced on GitHub, maybe there could be future integration of a real-world exchange so you can sell your Bitcoin rewards and for example, buy Litecoin or some other cryptocurrency. Users have the possibility to use an in-game wallet, but it is also possible to connect an external wallet. You wouldn’t want to lose your private keys to a zombie or creeper of course.
Play To Earn
This interesting combination of earning Bitcoin whilst playing Minecraft is a great example of the concept ‘’Play To Earn’’. Play to earn is the exact opposite of ‘’Pay To Win’’, where you pay money to get the best in-game items that improve your edge. Which will result in you winning more matches, but financially you’ll only lose.
The future of Online Gaming will probably shift more towards business models where you Play To Earn. Since the incentives for people to play those games will get bigger and bigger then to keep playing Pay To Win games. The business models of those games are, demonstrated by the Minecraft Treasure Hunt, simple and effective.
Imagine that instead of paying X amount of dollars for a new video game and you get the video game for free (or very low cost). The storyline of that game will be the same as always but when you want to take up your skills online you’ll have to pay a small amount for every match. If the entry fee is small enough, maybe a few hundred Satoshi’s, the barrier to enter will not matter for casual players.
The developers of that game could take whatever percentage they need from all the matches and the rest of the amount will be distributed to each winner. With multiple models to win and different kinds of bonuses these Pay To Earn games could become an income source for the serious gamer. There are a bunch of in-game economies that already exist and have existed for some time now, so why not take the extra steps to get instantly paid with Bitcoin while you slice your opponent’s head off?
With E-Sports becoming larger every year, and children basically being born holding an iPad it’s not so crazy to think that not only the option to buy Bitcoin but also the network itself will be integrated into these games. It certainly wouldn’t be possible to integrate the traditional banking system globally, across all gaming platforms and all the different games, with instant access to send/receive funds without high fees.
But since Bitcoin is computer code, it is built specifically for the internet, the obvious choice would be for gaming companies to just use that.
We’ve seen that technology and technology trends can happen very fast, so whenever a large gaming company will take the leap to figure these things out others will follow. In the future, Minecraft may not only be remembered for the digital Lego game that it is, but also for being one of the first games in a new era with Pay To Earn as the standard.