Since the introduction of Bitcoin (BTC) by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, people have been talking ardently about the transformative properties of the blockchain – books have been written, thousands of panels and presentations have added to the prospect, costumed Bitcoin maximalists have discovered their new find Wealth on display. Despite these awards, the transformation took place slowly.
Whether the delay was due to the global COVID-19 pandemic or just the time it took to innovate, we are now on the cusp of change that is creating new economies and ways of human interaction. The Metaverse creates tokenized incentives in virtual worlds with the powerful combination of game theory and blockchain. Decentraland has already started revolutionizing the lives and interactions of people, and many similar platforms are being built. With the increasing importance of the virtual economy, the metaverse will be expanded to include several cross-chain options.
NFTs and the game industry
GameFi, a term used to describe the burgeoning interface between decentralized technology and the video game industry, is where true value is created. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allow players to own assets with tangible, real value and create incentives for players to participate for longer periods of time, and allow developers to create in-game economies based on creativity and interaction the player is based on creator and owner.
Related: The Metaverse, Play-to-Earn and the New Economic Model of Gambling
Blockchain offers GameFi numerous advantages:
- Transparency: When the gamification mechanisms are clear, transparent and possibly codified by a smart contract, users tend to trust more and therefore invest more resources in terms of money and time.
- Interoperability: The blockchain enables the possibility of creating the portability of virtual resources outside of the previously imposed limits.
- Liquidity: It is now possible to buy, sell, and trade assets outside of individual games.
- Autonomous automation with smart contracts that can enable multiple parties to interact with one another without human intervention.
NFTs can increase player engagement and create better gaming experiences, which ultimately increases the value of NFTs and tokens in-game. Players now have the ability to choose which games they want to play and how those games play out.
Known for its social impact in saving families from poverty during the pandemic, among other things, Axie Infinity has become known for its player-created “scholarly” community development program that is growing rapidly. It is now a multi-billion dollar gaming ecosystem that is player controlled.
BlackPool is another example of an early Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) designed for NFT gaming and trading. This platform is very community oriented; It combines a passion for games and the arts with data analytics and machine learning to deliver returns to users. BlackPool has also launched Axie-like scholarship programs that open up new sources of income for the excluded. Blockchain enables participation, voting rights and monetization within an economy. Interoperability also enables the creation of networks of online communities with exchanges and interactions between them.
The big story here is we’re seeing a shift from Corporation First to Community First. The community is formed around an idea or interest through engagement and collaboration with the community, and concepts arise from the community. It’s called “Community first” and “Community Fast!”.
These communities are decentralized and managed by the community – designs can be put to a vote, and the artwork with the highest number of votes from the community can ultimately be accepted for the final design. Every time someone mints an NFT, the artists who worked on the asset earn royalties for every transaction. This will open up uncharted territory for the monetization of creative knowledge and skills.
Related: DeFi’s drive to rethink finance must start from a community-based design
The create-to-earn model enables developers to take complete control of the game studios and directly participate in the development of the game. This gives the community the ability to create in-game assets, create NFTs, and sell them on secondary marketplaces. This is a powerful new creator economy nascent where gamers and programmers can unleash their ideas, enhance the gaming experience, and monetize their intellectual capital. This will make the gaming ecosystem more community-driven and encourage content creators to improve the overall gaming experience. Anyone with basic programming knowledge can contribute to the game.
This will also lead to the emergence of new social networks between creators and fans. The attention economy is being replaced by social tokens in the Metaverse to create a new immersive fan-run economy. Social tokens based on a brand, community, or influencer enable communities or celebrities to monetize themselves further. You will create two-way relationships between creators and consumers, with benefits for both parties. These Web 3.0 communities work together, evangelize, and create tribal network effects, all of which help each other add value to their platform.
Digital communities form networks through token economies. The more players use or promote the community, the stronger the game and the underlying blockchain become. The actors are the stakeholders.
Related: DAOs will be the future of online communities five years from now
This creates the data infrastructure to enable a harmonized, interconnected metaverse that also enables NFTs converted into tokens to include digital data rights and to store, track and enforce these data rights. We are still at the beginning of this transformation and the future rests in the hands of innovators and creators and the community that supports them. These communities are the new tribes of the metaverse, and the only limit to what is possible is your imagination!
This article does not provide investment advice or recommendations. Every step of investing and trading involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Jane Thomason is a thought leader in blockchain for social impact. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland. She has held several roles at the British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, the Kerala Blockchain Academy, the Africa Blockchain Center, the UCL Center for Blockchain Technologies, Frontiers in Blockchain and Fintech Diversity Radar. She has written several books and articles on blockchain. She was featured in the 101 Women in Blockchain of the Crypto Curry Club, the Top 10 Digital Frontier Women of the Decade of Women Collaboratory, the Top 100 Fintechs for SDG Influencers by Lattice80 and the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Blockchain by Thinkers360.