Home / Opinion / Technology / To Supercharge Web3 Adoption, Financial Apps Are Silver—But Gaming Is Golden

To Supercharge Web3 Adoption, Financial Apps Are Silver—But Gaming Is Golden

Published April 24, 2024 2:35 PM
Published April 24, 2024 2:35 PM
By William Paul Peckham
Verified by Ana Alexandre
Key Takeaways
  • The entry of blockchain into gaming establishes a new paradigm for the ownership and trade of digital assets.
  • This evolution highlights gaming’s pivotal role in shaping the future of digital interactions and economy.
  • These advancements are supported by a surge of applications and platforms that leverage the immense processing power and ubiquitous nature of cloud technologies.

Those old enough to remember 1994 will recall that it was the last time computers were seen as niche and nerdy. Nothing was the same after Windows 95 put a computer on every desk and in every home, with Internet Explorer—the “killer app” that enabled so many people to take the leap into the online world.

Web3 adoption has been growing steadily, but not—yet—on the spectacularly sudden scale of the post-1995 Web. When (and, more importantly, how) will Web3 make the leap to ubiquity?

McKinsey predicted  way back in prehistoric times (well, in 2022) that decentralized finance would put a rocket booster under Web3, and the stream of innovative crypto- and blockchain-based applications has only strengthened  this view.

But transformative as these are, the true “gateway drug” is not finance… it’s gaming.

Gaming—Web3’s passport to the first three billion

Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes on the planet. In fact, at the last count there were almost three billion players  of mobile games alone.

If you look at the stats, it’s gaming rather than finance that is the true bulwark of the blockchain industry, comprising  almost half of all blockchain activity. Popular Web3 titles like Fortnite and Roblox are driving significant levels of adoption: in 2022-2023, there were 73 million  Web3 gamers, and the numbers are rising all the time as innovative and immersive titles come to market.

Players have been increasingly engaging with Web3 games like Mighty Action Heroes, Heroes of Mavia, with 2.6 million  MAU in the first 30 days and more than 3 million  global downloads, and Pixelmon, with an engaged on-chain community of over 60,000 wallets purchasing in-game assets.

Popular as they are, why should Web3 mobile games be the primary passport into the world of Web3? The answer is simple: because they provide incredibly clear and compelling examples of how decentralization changes the game for everyone.

Web3 gaming transforms the traditional model by rewarding players in terms of direct ownership, data privacy, and the ability to generate value for their time spent in-game.

This model replaces the existing mobile norm of microtransactions with a more robust economy that gives every player access to a secondary market. This enables them to capitalize on their skills and achievements by selling in-game assets and getting compensated for contributing to games.

This gives gamers a direct stake in the gaming economy and an increasingly important voice in governance, game design, and much more. That ability not only to take part in, but actively to shape communities is what Web3 is all about, along with a host of principles like self-sovereignty, digital assets, online marketplaces, and new rules of ownership.

And it does all this by rewarding fun. Gaming provides user incentives decentralized finance cannot match. That’s why it is the answer to mass adoption. Gaming drives capital, engagement, and communities, creating a feedback loop for other games and decentralized applications.

Putting Web3 in gamers’ hands

All of this sounds great, but it doesn’t mean much until this is firmly in the hands of gamers. Fortunately, that’s already being addressed, with multiple businesses now poised to begin delivering these services to users worldwide.

Multiple Web3-native mobile devices have started to hit the market. These phones are designed from the ground up to utilize secure blockchain wallets and integrate with decentralized services, including games. However, new cloud-based use cases continue to negate hardware altogether, providing true streaming access to a range of gaming titles.

These services will undoubtedly continue to grow and evolve as new options come to market. This will be the catalyst for the mobile revolution to become the Web3 revolution. Gone will be the limitations on access, and gamers all over the globe will be able to begin playing titles that grant them ownership, privacy, and value generation.

Blockchain and cloud computing will unlock this new epoch in gaming, and some of the first projects leveraging them are becoming available. Other decentralized apps will follow in gaming’s wake, but for now it’s gaming that is driving Web3 towards its golden future.

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