Blockchain gaming is a growth sector. Currently, four of the top ten dApps are centred around games, gambling and the joy of play. The chance for gamers and gamblers to wrest control of their experiences from centralised authorities is a compelling one.
For a long time, the custodial approach of online casinos has meant players could never be sure if their funds would suddenly be locked for arbitrary reasons or, crucially, if the games they were playing were legitimately fair. Add to this arduous KYC requirements and the need to deposit and withdraw fiat funds, often at a snail’s pace, meant that the younger, tech savvy crowd were steering clear of these platforms.
In gaming, the walled gardens of MMOs like World of Warcraft led to players losing all their hard earned progress at the whim of an overzealous mod. Items earned in game were similarly valueless, as companies controlling the game placed limits on fungibility. There was always a sense that your experience was being rented rather than owned.
How Blockchain Creates Trust
Trust is essential – and this is where distributed ledgers offer incredible possibility. By running games on the blockchain, many of these challenges can be sidestepped. By being governed by publicly auditable smart contracts, gamblers can see that the games they are playing are provably fair. What’s more, the visibility of the funds as they travel through the blockchain means gamers can track how the money they put down is distributed to the last Satoshi – either to the institution running the game or to the other players they have wagered against.
The extreme fungibility of cryptocurrencies makes transferral of winnings instantaneous. Moreover, the ability to gamble directly from your wallet, rather than placing your funds in temporary escrow before later having to take them back out, means eGaming on the blockchain has the potential to be the most seamless way to integrate online gaming and gambling communities.
Not Exploiting the Edge
However, despite this potential, blockchain casinos have so far struggled to leverage the huge advantages possible. The difficulty of scaling on Ethereum has also resulted in experiences being slow and cumbersome.
What’s more, the potential for games and gambling to co-exist has not been fully exploited. What if, in a game of online poker, you wanted to wager your legendary sword instead of your cash? Perhaps you’ve accrued gems in a game and want to bet them at the Blackjack table. A synthesised gaming and gambling platform offers these opportunities – but none has yet taken off.
CryptoPunt Enters the Game
CryptoPunt, whose beta is set to launch this year, and what is currently the fastest growing blockchain-based gaming community, aims to fully realize the potential of a blockchain casino and gaming platform. By having partnerships with veteran backers PolkaBridge and Polygon, it’s aim is to create a platform that will appeal to traditional gamblers and show them the enormous benefits crypto offers.
By supporting the Polygon ecosystem, the gas fees which hindered early gaming efforts on Ethereum are reduced to negligible, and the transaction speed means pay-outs are seamless and near-instantaneous. Furthermore, punters can play in a variety of currencies that suit them. To play, users just need to hook up their wallet – no KYC, accounts or passwords necessary. They wager from their wallet and their pay-outs are instantly returned to their wallet. It all takes less than a minute and makes the fun accessible for everyone – even crypto-novices.
Fully decentralized, it means that punters are entirely in control at every moment. There is no need to deposit funds, no way for bets to be rescinded and – perhaps most importantly – the games are verifiably fair. Cryptopunt has spent a ton of effort and market research to create a UX that makes the experience feel like a traditional app, with notifications, gaming chat and an emphasis on user-experience.
Cryptopunt will release a steady stream of games alongside its initial offering of Blackjack, Jackpot and Coinflip. The native $PUN token will even offer committed users a reduced house edge, the ability to engage in chat, and chance to earn passive income through referrals. By focusing on creating an eGaming community that is fair, fun and trustworthy – while bridging the gap between gaming and gambling – Cryptopunt’s platform seems sure to finally make good on the potential of blockchain gaming.