Blockchain has its sights set on electronic gaming after disrupting the financial services industry and becoming a bedrock of the cryptocurrency movement.
As gamers increasingly purchase digital avatars and tokens to customize their experience, a growing number of observers think blockchain technology will play a bigger role in the explosive growth of electronic sports.
"We see blockchain adding a whole new dimension to the gaming industry on many different levels — to extend the life of a game, to make it more interesting to gamers and to provide experiences that couldn't have been provided before,"" said Steve Grossman, CEO of Planet Digital Partners, a digital securities-funded game publisher.
In fact, blockchain's buzz in the gaming community could have wide-reaching implications for the entire industry, some observers say. One example is in a cooking simulator game "Cooking Mama," where players are tasked with completing recipe challenges.
Grossman said the private keys generated for users, which are essentially a series of numbers and letters known solely to the user, can allow players to change expression algorithms in the game.
In turn, players can customize the characters, as well as alter in-game recipes. The private key's knowledge and accessibility solely to the user also means that players can claim full digital ownership of their creations. In addition, users can share their creations with the "Cooking Mama" community at large, deriving a public key that can then be used to transfer those digital assets between players.
"Digital assets moving around in the PC world have been huge for years, [but] consoles have mainly blocked that," Grossman said. With blockchain, however, "we found a way to let users work with digital assets on private, key-driven elements … for unique 'Cooking Mama' experiences."