Blockchain will transform the business of gaming – VentureBeat

The gaming industry has been experiencing major shifts for a decade now. First came broadband internet, then the rise of Steam. Before long, these developments quickly gave way to the biggest gaming disruption of the last decade: digital gaming. And with the rise of digital games, the console model that had dominated the industry since the 1980s was challenged by the now-ubiquitous “free to play” model.Today, digital gaming accounts for 87 percent of the industry’s $108.9 billion annual revenue, a true disruptor.

But as we all know, new technology never stays “new” for long. The gaming industry is now on the verge of yet another wave of disruption built on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Gamers have typically been some of the most eager consumers to embrace cryptocurrency.  Valve recognized this early on and started accepting Bitcoin payments on Steam last year. On our digital goods platform, Gameflip, many of our 2 million gamers make regular transactions with Bitcoin. But the value of blockchain extends well beyond merely accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

From esports and betting to the digital goods marketplace, blockchain’s decentralized system is being used to solve core problems and transform the business of video games.

Esports betting

The esports industry is booming, and that’s an understatement. A Newzoo report released this year shows that esports will generate $696 million in revenue in 2017, a growth rate of 41.3 percent. If projections hold true, the total market size will reach $1.5 billion by 2020, as brands double down on their esports investments.

Given these growth figures, and the growing pains of this young industry, it’s no surprise that platforms are using the blockchain to boost transparency and efficiency. Blockchain is essentially an incorruptible digital ledger that can be programmed to record anything of value, such as transactions.

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