There are a number of industries that, on the surface at least, make for a natural fit for blockchain technology. Leveraging the blockchain’s security, logistics is one; leveraging the blockchain’s transparency, finance is another.
However, neither of these – like many other besides – imply direct contact between the technology and consumers. And this is why many argue that it is gambling and gaming that should be seen as the leading candidates for taking cryptocurrencies mainstream.
With gaming, blockchain tech will largely be leveraged to create cryptocurrencies to serve a virtual commerce universe whose size is growing exponentially. Gaming as an industry is expected to grow by 25% between 2016 and 2020, and the lion’s share of this will take place in Asia.
Ecommerce is expected to serve as one of the main drivers of that growth, and this is the reason why Enjin – the world’s largest social gaming platform – has been so aggressive in getting Enjin Coin to market. The project is setting out to create the universal currency of the entire gaming universe. Making that currency a cryptocurrency was a no-brainer – and if the concept takes off, then gaming could potentially become the world’s leading use-case of crypto.
User Experience Key
Gambling, on the other hand, seems to present more of a mixed bag. The release of Augur – an entirely decentralised predictive markets platform – represented a truly profound step for the gambling industry that went largely unnoticed.
And the reason why not too many people appear to be paying attention? User experience. Augur currently requires its users to download an entire copy of the Ethereum blockchain – and also presents a high entry barrier in terms of learning your way around the platform itself.
As a result of the Augur experience, other blockchain-based gambling platforms are beginning to understand the need for testing user experience. Mevu is one such project whose team decided to roll out its Beta during last year’s world cup as a chance to test the general features, usability and attractiveness of its platform for users.
A project that has been three years in the working, its team is aiming to be the major player in a blockchain gambling sector whose worth will be worth as much as $150 billion by 2020, according to one estimate.
“It is not enough to offer transparency. To take a lead in this emerging industry, your platform needs to be just as – if not more – attractive than any traditional gambling platform,” states Tucker Robinson, the project’s marketing lead. And to make the platform more attractive to users, the project’s developers are planning on offering users the ability to create their own markets.
In other words, expect to see new blockchain gambling ecosystems that now differentiate themselves from traditional gambling environments through one key difference – users themselves will define their own markets.
And it is by marrying usability to this aspect of blockchain technology – the democratisation of markets that distributed technology naturally brings to gambling (which it cannot offer for gaming) – that gambling may ultimately become the Blockchain’s most successful proponent.