Deloitte, across a wide variety of sectors in

Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, published a massive report detailing the most exciting tech trends for the new year. Because of the massive outbreak in cryptocurrencies in 2017, the report contains its own section on blockchain technology.The article examines how the growing technology could see standardized implementation across a wide variety of sectors in 2018. Most notably, the report suggests that “distributed ledger technology’s business value-add will grow to $176 billion by 2025.”The report takes a refreshingly positive view on the blockchain, commenting “Though a lack of standardization in technology and skills may present short-term challenges, expect the broader adoption of blockchain to advance steadily in the coming years as companies push beyond these obstacles.” In other words, the blockchain boom of 2017 is just the beginning.How the Video Gaming Industry Desperately Needs ChangeAnother fast-growing segment of the economy is the video gaming industry. Estimates suggest that last year, there were 2.2 billion global gamers that contributed to over $100 billion in revenue. Digital game revenues accounted for around 87% of the global market, with Asia-Pacific dominating the scene.Research firm Newzoo recently announced, “We expect the current growth of the global games market to continue with a compound annual growth rate of 8.2 percent from 2016 to 2020.” As with blockchain technology, 2018 is poised to be a good year for the video game industry.However, the video game market isn’t without its flaws. Outdated revenue models have left production companies scrambling for new ways to bring in money. One popular model is to introduce game-specific money that can only be used in-game.┬áThese tokens allow players to spend virtual money in the game in order to level up and unlock featured content. Though the money can be earned by gameplay, levels are designed so that users are highly encouraged to purchase the game’s virtual money with real money and quickly receive the virtual funds they need.The downside of in-game tokens is that they have no value outside the specific game. Thus a player can spend thousands of hours playing a game to earn tokens, only to have a newer version of the game released the next year.Unfortunately for the player, the hard-earned tokens are useless in the new game. The lack of integration between games, platforms, and networks has created a siphoning effect where in-game currencies become obsolete. They are stuck in the game’s virtual world with no apparent way to extract them.Blockchain Technology to the RescueSensing the need for change, several blockchain companies have introduced platforms that attempt to solve this problem. Three main solutions have been offered:I. Decentralized Marketplaces for In-Game Items:The goal of these platforms is to monetize digital goods. Many companies are working on exchanges that allow users to sell their virtual coins, tokens, and items directly to other players. Examples include Gameflip, WAX, and DMarket. These platforms utilize a crypto token that serves as the medium of exchange so users anywhere in the world can trade.Obsolete in-game tokens have a new purpose–they can be sold to other players who may want to continue playing the game, even if others aren’t. In return, sellers can receive digital money that can be used to purchase items of games they currently play.These marketplaces are a step up from the outdated method of searching for buyers on third-party websites like Reddit or on online forums. Decentralized blockchain marketplaces offer a more secure and transparent medium of exchange.II. Parallel Gaming Universes:Another option is to create parallel gaming universes. Distributed ledgers can be used to enable interlinked gaming environments that let gamers use characters and items in multiple games. Data could be utilized by algorithms to determine a player’s preference and customize the user experience, providing a flexible experience that is implemented several parallel universes. Think what Marvel has done with Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, etc. and the Avengers, but with video games.III. The Tap Project:The Tap Project is working on a platform that will break down the barriers of in-game items and currencies. They are creating the Tap Coin, a full utility token which requires users to hold a certain stake in order to use the platform and play games.Tap Coins, through a Proof-of-Stake consensus, earn players money no matter their skill level. Any player that puts up enough Tap Coins to play a game will earn a reward. The platform decentralizes all in-game currencies into a single currency that can be exchanged across the globe.The company has already successfully launched the Tap Platform conceptual alpha, which allows players to create an account, view games on the marketplace, and test the functionality of Tap Coins. They can select games and input the amount of currency they have in the games, and the platform will generate an output of how many Tap Coins can be earned. Though these are not the exact amounts, they have a close relation to the value of the in-game currencies.With the release of the full platform, the Tap Project will provide a way for players to earn one in-game currency that is transportable across multiple platforms and games. Currency earned from one game can be used in another game, breaking down barriers to entry and allowing players to interact with games in a way they never have before.The Tap Project will target mainstream games as well as indie games and new developers. It hopes to accumulate a large user base across multiple segments of the video game industry, enabling players to avoid wasting time on games that quickly become out-of-date.As blockchain technology begins to intersect with the video game industry, there is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to create platforms that unite the global gaming community across multiple platforms. From the trading of virtual goods to inter-game interactions, developers have ample opportunities to connect players in new and exciting ways.