Gaming applications of blockchain technology have emerged as one of the most promising use cases, according to Justin Sun, Founder of the Tron blockchain. In April 2021, the billionaire entrepreneur launched the $300 million Tron Arcade project, which has a mission of funding innovative Tron-based projects that combine gaming and decentralized finance, known as GameFi. Since the project launched, several promising GameFi projects have gained traction, and Sun believes the smart-contract-based Tron platform is ideally suited for developers working in this next generation of game design.
“GameFi is going to be the next big thing that makes the DeFi, NFT [non-fungible tokens], and larger crypto space easy to understand and be involved in,” said Sun in a statement when the project launched.
“By leveraging the interests of gamers in various genres, the play-to-earn mechanism suits players’ tastes while offering them a host of attractive activities and the value to match,” said the announcement. “Decentralized environments offer endless opportunities for developers to launch entire universes [and] even internal economies.”
How Is GameFi Different From Traditional Gaming?
In a recent appearance on Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire’s “The Money Movement” video series, Justin Sun elaborated on what he sees as the evolution from traditional games to a blockchain-based GameFi approach, citing several key differences.
“Now, with NFT technology, you can literally trade your character with others, trade all the equipment, everything, so the game becomes super liquid,” said Sun.
A decentralized approach and NFT technology put the ownership of game-based assets in the control of the user rather than the developer of the game. These assets accumulate real value in the form of tokens and can be traded and sold directly user-to-user on the blockchain. Rather than being confined to the game, the assets are assigned to a user’s crypto wallet, where they can then be exchanged and stored as desired without interference from a central authority in control of the game.
“The tokens you earn in the game are also liquid, and you can bet on the ecosystem of the game,” Sun went on to explain.
As the popularity of a GameFi project grows and the game accumulates more players, the native tokens earned by playing the game increase in value. In addition, GameFi projects often involve NFT characters that a player can mint or acquire using crypto, with these NFTs also potentially increasing in value over time.
Developing Decentralized Gaming on Tron
Tron was one of the first smart-contract-based blockchains, and it has focused on the potential of blockchains to produce innovative content, rather than merely enable the exchange of tokens, from an early stage.
The coding of smart contracts enables transparent, automatic, verified transactions, including the transfer of NFTs and in-game assets for users engaging in GameFi on the Tron network.
TronNinja, a GameFi project that recently won first place in the GameFi track of the 2022 Tron Grand Hackathon Season 1, is a good example of how the Tron network supports GameFi development.
The project enables players to mint characters, “TronNinjas,” as NFTs, which are then transferred to their crypto wallet. Of the 10,000 randomly generated characters, some are rarer and more valuable than others. Players mint the NFTs using TRX, Tron’s native token. They can then use the players as avatars in various games in the TronNinja arcade, collecting TronNinja Tokens (TNT) through successively accomplishing tasks in the games. These tokens can increase in value as the project’s ecosystem and audience grow, and they can be used to purchase upgrades that help players’ characters succeed in the virtual arcade’s games.
TronNinja is the first GameFi project on the Tron network that allows users to stake their NFTs and earn a share of the sales from the arcade’s store. This option allows players to bet on the project’s success through staking. In addition, TronNinja is planning to hold competitive events for cash prizes, following the model of esports that has exploded in popularity in recent years. The project aims to generate sponsorships and additional partnerships with other projects to increase the value of prizes available.
This project, which combines aspects of decentralized finance, NFTs, and play-to-earn (P2E) gaming, is an example of how developers are combining several innovative applications of blockchain technology using the Tron network’s flexible development capabilities. The 2022 Tron Grand Hackathon (Seasons 1-3) received a dramatic increase in NFT and GameFi submissions, with thousands of developers competing for cash prizes and future support from the Tron community.
“The Tron Grand Hackathon is a great opportunity for the community to come together and learn about the technology while experimenting with building projects that could have a real impact on the growth of the Tron/BTTC ecosystem,” said Justin Sun in a press release on Season 1 of the competition.
Justin Sun on GameFi and the Bigger Picture
According to Sun, GameFi is one of many interesting use cases of blockchain technology, along with other applications such as NFTs, stablecoins, and DeFi. The Tron community, which became completely decentralized in 2021 and is now one of the world’s largest decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), continues to pursue innovative development in all of these areas.
Sun explained this multidimensional approach in a recent interview with blockchain.com.
“I think blockchain is still in a very early stage. So, it is kind of like we don’t know which [use cases] are going to become the bigger things in the future,” said Sun. “I think stablecoins, the network itself, DeFi, NFTs, GameFi, all possibly can become big things for the blockchain industry. So that’s why basically I think we bet on everything. I think we just try our best to develop the products which are very important to the customer.”
Sun noted that recently Tron has made the greatest leaps in stablecoins and DeFi, but GameFi is still in a nascent stage and has tremendous growth potential, with thousands of developers working on new projects, as evidenced by the recent Tron Grand Hackathon submissions.
According to a recent report, blockchain gaming is expected to become a $50 billion dollar industry by 2025, growing at a rate of 10 times that of the traditional gaming industry. With a smart-contract-based platform designed to support a variety of decentralized applications for gaming and other use cases, Tron is well positioned for a role in this expanding industry.