The ability to leverage the network effect of a platform gives an advantage over competitors in every industry. It is evident by seeing the results from Microsoft Windows in the 90s and Apple’s iTunes store over the last decade. More recently, Uber and AirBnB are examples of some of the most disruptive companies in their respective industries that leverage the network effects when a new technology arise. The network value leads to a snowball effect that allows these companies to dominate the multi-billion dollar markets.
In the recent years there is a new platform technology called “Blockchain” and for the first time we have a trustworthy ledger to define ownership of digital assets in the gaming world.
A real blockchain platform is about a distributed ledger that is open, decentralized ownership, with an emphasis on a strategic focus.
When trust on the ledger is created, a new class of asset called “Crypto” becomes available and the first creature is a digital asset called bitcoin. The creation of bitcoin has been only the beginning. With smart contracts alongside the maturing of blockchain technology, the new creatures of crypto assets has continue to explode beyond bitcoin — CryptoKitties, Etherbot, etc. The demand of a new computing platform for the gaming industry is driven new forces to unlocked potential use cases that were not possible before. Tokenization of virtual goods is just one example. With a distributed computing platform enabled by the blockchain technology, the game providers and players will be able to able to interact closer than ever before.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” — Albert Einstein
We are still in the early stages of the blockchain technology and the use cases within the gaming industry is still experimental. The second layer technology and ability to connect multiple blockchains synergistically will be the next milestone of technological advancements that we can foresee today. Creation of quality games will follow once the associated blockchain technology (and financial benefits) becomes accessible to the game developers. A new chain of gaming ecosystem will form in parallel during the whole process. Whoever can see the future coming will have the first mover advantage to leverage the new wave of network effects, which can potentially be bigger than the web 2.0 /3.0 combined in term of economical impact to our society.