Gaming is one of the most exciting areas of opportunity for blockchain and cryptocurrency right now. There are clear and compelling use cases for blockchain within a massive industry and a clear path to capitalize on them with relatively low costs compared to other industries. Top this off with a community of gamers who are generally more tech savvy and perhaps more willing to try out new things and you have a great recipe for success. The best gaming cryptos could indeed become huge successes if they play their cards right (pun intended ;)).

This is why many people are expecting gamers to be among the first to take crypto mainstream, with mass adoption and use. For example, founding partner of Outpost Capital Ryan Wong spoke at the Block Forum conference about how he expects the use of decentralized apps to take off in a big way – with games leading the charge.

In this article I’ll introduce you to some of the projects that I find most interesting. They all have tokens / gaming cryptocurrencies that you can buy now and which are expected to reflect the value of the project and may therefore be seen by some as a kind of investment in this exciting frontier of technology.

BitCrystals

This is the OG of the sector – the original blockchain trading card game which was launched with an ICO way back in the summer of 2015, long before the hype over Ethereum’s Crypto Kitties. But despite its age, I think this could be the best investment for 2018 / 2019.

While it is true that the flagship ‘Spells of Genesis’ game hasn’t been a massive hit in terms of users, it is a decent phone game with over 1000 active monthly players and a track record of collectors trading the cards, at times for thousands of dollars each.

In addition to this they have recently released an innovative blockchain gaming focused wallet called Casa Tookan, which can hold both Ethereum and Bitcoin (Using the counterparty protocol) based coins and assets and has an integrated browser for playing games. They are just about to release a new game with Ethereum collectibles, and have several third parties creating games which will use their collectible cards, the Bitcrystals cryptocurrency, or both.

With Bitcrystals BCY coins at all-time lows following de-listing from two major exchanges this may be a great time to pick some up as an investment.

Visit: https://bitcrystals.com/

Playkey

A much more recent entrant into the space is Playkey, who are building a unique ‘decentralized cloud gaming platform’. Essentially, this platform will allow players to stream their favourite games rather than running them on their own computer, with the hosting provided by a decentralized network incentivized by the the PKT crypto coin.

So-called ‘cloud gaming’ is a growing sector with huge growth potential, and the Playkey decentralized network is aiming to provide faster streams at a cheaper price than more traditional service providers. This is also another very low marketcap coin as of today, meaning there is plenty of space for an investment to generate outlandish returns with even fairly modest success of the platform.

Visit: https://playkey.io

Ionomy

Ionomy is another well established gaming crypto with over two years under its belt since launch. They have several games which you can play and compete to win Ion crypto coins, as well as an API for developers to use to easily add the advantages of blockchain to their games.

But the Ionomy platform actually goes beyond the games as well. They are aiming to use gaming to attract new users to crypto, and then offer them additional crypto-related services. At the moment this includes a trading platform and hosting services for masternodes. 

Its an interesting concept, and while the number of users is low they recently released a slick new version of the platform and any renewed uptick in interest for crypto in general could see significant numbers of new users following this path to get into crypto.

Visit: https://ionomy.com/

Reality Clash

Of all the projects listed here this is the one with the game I am most looking forward to playing. It is an ‘augmented reality’ shooting game which will let you use your phone as a window onto the gaming world, which will be a mixture of real life as viewed through your phone’s camera and another virtual world. It looks great fun, capitalises on two new and exciting technologies – augmented reality and blockchain – and has a beta version which is just about to be released for testing by early backers.

The RCC coin is used for buying and trading limited edition weapons which are blockchain assets you can use in the game. How the economics of this will play out is hard to gauge, but if they get the game right I think this one could really pull in a lot of players.

Visit: https://realityclash.com

Game.com

As you can see from the heading title, this project has an uber-premium domain name; they also have grand plans to go along with it to become the number one blockchain gaming platform. 

These plans include creating their own game content and a platform for gamers to access it, the release of a global developer platform for games makers wishing to integrate blockchain, and a hardware wallet and trading platform for storing buying and selling blockchain based games assets. While there is not much to see just yet, making this a rather uncertain bet, it has great potential and is certainly one to watch at the very least.

Visit https://game.com (obviously, lol)

GameCredits

This project is aiming to create an ecosystem of gaming services all utilizing their cryptocurrency as an in-game currency, for trading blockchain based gaming assets, or for rewarding players and incentivizing competition. This one seems to have pivoted from its earlier days where I can remember reading about the in-house development of games which I can no longer find mentioned on their site, but development activity seems to have picked up recently along with an interested partnership announcement. While it is still fairly unclear exactly where they are heading with all this, it could turn out to be a good time to pick up some GameCredits as an investment.

Visit: https://gamecredits.org/

Databits

Databits is the crypto of augmented reality game ‘Augmentors’. As the first blockchain project to get backing on a an episode of the ‘Shark Tank’ TV show (in South Africa), this one has some strong backing and the potential to generate some good publicity when the game launches. I guess you could say that the game is a cross between Pokemon Go and Crypto Kitties, and looks like it should be great fun to play.

The full release is not too far away and the token price has followed the market down through 2018 to hit less than $3 million at the time of writing. Once the game is out and we have some idea of how successful it is I think this will either look very expensive or very, very cheap. 

Visit: https://www.augmentorsgame.com/

First Blood

Based on Ethereum, First Blood is building a competitive online gaming platform with real (crypto) prizes for the best players. You can already compete in tournaments for some of the most popular games, and there seems to be strong development going on to realise the potential that this project undoubtedly has.

Visit: https://firstblood.io/

Nexium

This project already has quite a fun and well made game available to play. It is a free to play RTS game based around battling star ships competing over planets and their resources. It doesn’t have too many players, but a great game and few players equals a low price and plenty of potential for growth if continued development and / or increased interest in blockchain games overall increases the popularity of the game in the future.

Visit: https://beyond-the-void.net/

Playgroundz

These guys are building out an ecosystem of blockchain gaming services based around their token including a marketplace with escrow for P2P trading of in-game assets, and a community hub with a place for players to discover new games, a rewards system and various social features. 

Visit: https://www.playgroundz.io/

Bonus points

I’ve already reached the ten cryptos I promised you, but here are two extra that didn’t quite fit into the main list:

1 Warriders – You can’t actually buy their coin directly at the moment, but you can buy cars (as Ethereum based assets) for a pretty cool looking game which will come loaded with their BZN tokens once the game goes live.

2 Etheruem – Obviously you can’t call this one a gaming crypto because it is so much more, but since so many of the best blockchain games use Ethereum it may well be the case that success in this one field could drive some great investment returns for Ethereum holders in the future.