Gaming has evolved rapidly in recent years, with eSports becoming more mainstream than ever before with a global audience size of 600 million people, with 400 million people tuning into game streaming in 2017. Streaming platform Twitch has 100 million unique monthly users and 2.2 million streamers, with 241 billion minutes of gaming content streamed since inception. Revenue of $1.488 billion is forecasted for eSports in 2020, and each year, 400 million gamers purchase $50B+ in virtual goods worldwide. eSports is already a massive business and will only get bigger.
This being said, the way that gamers interact with eSports and with each other is evolving as well. With the arrival of blockchain onto the tech scene, the virtual goods trading industry is evolving as well. The founders of OPSkins — the largest centralized exchange for trading virtual assets — are building a new blockchain platform called Worldwide Asset eXchange™ (WAX), which will decentralize virtual goods trading and allow every gamer who owns video game assets to seamlessly buy or sell without ever clicking off their gaming screen.
With WAX, purchasing a new gaming skin is as simple as clicking on a listing widget that any site can implement. Any WAX user may list their virtual goods on the WAX platform, and instantaneously connect to a giant network of other sellers, and once the seller has put the item up for sale, it’s accessible on any website via the WAX widget.
To understand the importance of this and realize how much the blockchain will change the virtual goods market, consider the following use case: a gamer is competing in an eSports tournaments, sees a gaming skin that another player has, and wants to purchase it. In the prior centralized setup, the gamer would have to identify the skin, go to a centralized marketplace, and purchase the skin, forcing the gamer to leave the game. A lot could go wrong with that scenario that prevents the purchase of an asset, including the inability to find the gaming skin for sale and a lack of desire to leave a game, and everyone who understands e-commerce understands the importance of making a sale exactly when someone wants to purchase something given a user’s short attention span. Now consider the same situation with the WAX widget being in place: a gamer sees a skin they want to purchase, they click the widget, and they purchase the skin. This is the sort of simple, seamless transaction that WAX enables, and it will transform the virtual goods space.
WAX’s blockchain protocol is a decentralized innovation that facilitates the transfer and exchange of virtual goods, meeting the needs of the gamer who uses multiple fragmented gaming platforms that have different exchange models and transfer conditions. Without the blockchain, users have no choice but to deal with the fragmentation and assets not being on the same basis, which causes a giant headache for users. And all of these seamless transactions are powered by WAX Token. WAX Token is a utility token that allows users to list their virtual goods for sale, purchase virtual goods, seamlessly settle the transfer of video game assets, and enforce contracts. With WAX Token, virtual assets previously illiquid and not easily exchangeable are now seamlessly tradable with the SDK widget. All of this is enabled by WAX’s distributed ledger technology.
eSports and virtual asset transfer are early early perfect applications of blockchain technology, with blockchain solving a difficult technical problem that requires decentralized transactional verification. WAX’s blockchain will allow the virtual goods space to perfectly scale, and expand the size of the virtual goods market in the process.