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As the popularity of blockchain technology has gained momentum, the industry’s focus has changed from “if it will be used” to “how it will be used.” And blockchain developers are finding that not all options for applying the technology are equal. As the push for mainstream adoption continues, networks, ecosystems, and platforms built on and around the blockchain continue to discover innovative ways to differentiate themselves and attract users.
Using blockchain to streamline game development
In the gaming world, blockchain is starting to be seen as the tech that will usher in a new era. By allowing for digital assets to be acquired and traded within gaming environments as NFTs, blockchain is bringing a new type of utility that allows the pay-to-play model to be disrupted by a play-to-earn model.
ORE System is a complete ecosystem built on the Binance Smart Chain that makes blockchain accessible to gamers, content creators, and game developers.
“Game developers shouldn’t need to be blockchain developers to take advantage of blockchain benefits,” explains Lucas Hamrick, Chief Executive of ORE System. “They should be able to focus on doing what they love, which is making games.”
By providing an integrated NFT marketplace, token, and software development kit, ORE System streamlines the process of developing games, creating tradable assets, and incentivizing gameplay. And because the assets are NFTs, they hold a value for gamers that goes beyond any specific gaming environment.
“Building on blockchain allows for gaming systems in which developers can determine the value of digital assets, but gamers can decide for themselves if they feel the value is appropriate,” says Nick Donarski, founder and technical key expert of ORE System. “It shows the true beauty of decentralized gaming.”
Oasis is a gaming-focused blockchain that was engineered with an eye toward addressing the sustainability issues that have soured some to blockchain technology. By building on proof-of-stake, which requires less energy than the more common proof-of-work methods for verifying blockchain transactions, Oasys believes it offers game developers a better alternative that can help to speed up adoption of play-to-earn platforms.
Gabby Dizon, who is one of the founders of Oasys, highlights the many choices that gaming developers are facing and the benefits that blockchain can bring.
“Developers have a growing number of blockchains to choose from as well as trade-offs to consider,” says Dizon. “Each blockchain solves different challenges and optimizes certain features. Oasys is focused on reducing environmental impact and improving the gaming experience through scalability.”
Using the blockchain to build a community
The popularity of NFT art exploded in 2021, driving USD 22 billion in sales. While the rapid rise in popularity made millions for many artists, it also flooded the market with competition, meaning artists and the platforms through which they sell their art are both looking for ways to stand out.
Some artists, such as Alvin Juano, added value to their NFTs by adding utility. Alvin attracted more than 600,000 followers with The Square Comics on Instagram before stepping into the NFT realm with the creation of the Squarmies collection.
“If you’re an artist looking to make the jump to NFT, holding a Squarmy lets you submit your projects for community voting. If there’s a strong demand from the community, we’ll help you build your NFT. Others can also propose initiatives to grow the brand,” Alvin explains. “Eventually, holders can also stake their Squarmies to get tokens that will allow access to more opportunities, other NFT projects, and exclusive perks.”
Alvin limited the creation of Squarmies, which are on the Ethereum blockchain, to 3,535. All have sold.
For some artists, finding a secure platform for selling their NFTs has been the main challenge as the boom of the NFT market has also led to a boom in NFT art fraud that some are calling “mind-blowing.” To address those concerns, some blockchain companies are leveraging their expertise to assist in providing secure NFT sales services.
NFT technology provider double jump.tokyo announced in January 2022 that its NFTPLUS solution was employed by Tezuka Productions to support the sale of its “Astro Boy” NFT, which sold at auction for 120 ETH, or approximately USD 480,000.
“The successful sale and auction of collectible Art NFTs demonstrate that double jump.tokyo’s technology and tools are the solution for facilitating NFT transactions seamlessly from issuance through the sale and continued management thereafter,” said Hironobu Ueno, CEO of double jump.tokyo.
BlockPack was launched to help provide NFT support solutions in another community: the college sports world. In June 2021, changes Made by the NCAA suddenly allowed college athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL), something that had been prohibited by rules in the past. These new NIL provisions mean college athletes can begin to develop plans for entering the NFT market. BlockPack brings together a unique understanding of NFTs and college athletics to support that development.
“We are still in the very early days of NFTs and blockchain and the crypto early adopters have learned that creating NFTs is easy and selling NFTs is doable if you know the right people and how to do it, but building strong communities is very difficult, ” explains Richard Oh, founder and CEO of BlockPack. “Our mission is to bring the full power of NFTs, the most disruptive community engagement technology, to college sports, the most dominant form of large-scale real-world community engagement in the United States.”
Using blockchain to boost financial inclusivity
Cryptocurrency brought blockchain to the public arena and remains one of the best known and most widely used examples of the technology. However, while crypto’s popularity continues to grow, its volatility continues to challenge mainstream adoption. To encourage a wider adoption, some crypto projects are offering users easier onramps and more purposeful profits.
Crypto without risk seems like something that is either too good to be true or a scam, but that is exactly what some platforms are offering by giving users cashback in crypto for their normal online activity. Rewards Bunny is one platform that takes this approach, offering crypto cashback to shoppers.
“Crypto cashbacks represent the missing link between cryptocurrencies and e-commerce,” says Jacky Goh, CEO of Rewards Bunny. “Platforms like Rewards Bunny democratize cashback, using blockchain technology to bring innovative incentives into the retail experience.”
Rewards Bunny’s latest innovation allows users to install extensions in Chrome or Safari that alert shoppers when they are on a site that offers Rewards Bunny rewards.
Another method being used by crypto platforms to attract users and boost loyalty is integrated philanthropic proceeds. When the crypto profits, so do charitable causes that the coin supports and which are sometimes selected by the coin’s holders. Such coins bring a utility to the world of crypto that promises to be world changing.
“As I developed a deeper understanding of the unifying power of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance, it became clear to me that it could be used to have a profound social impact through not only democratizing finance, but also by giving back to the substantially community.” explains Adam Calrton, CEO and Founder of Pink Panda Holdings, Inc., a cryptocurrency company that has made charitable part of its DNA.
Using blockchain to disrupt and transform
Just ten years ago, few people knew what blockchain technology was. Far fewer soon the suspected disruptive force it would become in a wide range of markets. Today, anyone familiar with blockchain acknowledges that it has the potential to transform daily operations in many industries. For a growing number of organizations, it already has.