It’s almost incredible to stop and think about how briefly bitcoin has existed in the public arena. Because of its innumerable twists, turns, leaps, and drops in value, it seems as if we’ve been discussing the leading cryptocurrency for decades. This, of course, is not the case, however, but it speaks to how turbulent bitcoin has been, as well as how urgently we’ve attempted to get a handle on what, exactly, it’s main utility will be.
For the most part, the determination has been made that bitcoin is more commodity than a currency and that its chief value in the long term will be as an investable asset and not as an alternative way to spend money. Even this determination, however, rests on the unstated reality that bitcoin needs to have some use in order to maintain its value and convince people to invest. Down the line, if it reaches a greater range of values, it could essentially be traded just as an asset. Right now though, there’s a reasonable chance that bitcoin needs to prove some real-world utility in order to become, for lack of a better term, investable.
The search for that real world utility is ongoing, and it’s likely going to take more than one major market to prop up bitcoin’s value with any real meaning. As of early 2019 though, it might be about time we took a hard look at gaming, which shows as many signs as any other consumer space of becoming a stable bitcoin spending market.
Microsoft is perhaps the main reason for this notion. The company has been mentioned as one of the top places to spend bitcoin for years already because it did indeed make crypto payments acceptable for Xbox gamers looking to download content. This acceptance was halted briefly, but bitcoin was soon thereafter reinstated as an option, and as of now Microsoft remains one of the biggest and most prominent companies that’s stayed in on cryptocurrency as money. Now, however, the company is becoming even more relevant in this conversation given its determination to create the “Netflix of gaming.” With an anticipated 2019 rollout, this streaming service for gaming could completely change the industry. And given that the company currently still accepts bitcoin, it’s at least reasonable to wonder if this new service will as well.
Casino sites are also worth watching as we consider bitcoin’s utility in gaming. This particular area inside of the gaming world is growing and expanding on a near-daily basis, and as such new sites are constantly competing in the most innovative ways they can think of. This typically makes people think of new gaming methods or different specific games, but it can also apply to the process of picking a payment option. This is mentioned as one of the things that directs customers to one casino site over another, and it’s the underlying reason that a growing number of these sites are accepting bitcoin. It simply gives them a way to stand out, and this alone is already spawning a casino industry sub-genre of bitcoin “real money” gaming sites.
The impact of Microsoft and bitcoin casinos are the most significant factors in this discussion. It also needs to be noted though that there are also sites facilitating game purchases via bitcoin that are not connected to any one massive company or specific industry. These sites allow people who want to use bitcoin to at least attempt to eschew more traditional purchasing methods in favor of buying new games with cryptocurrency. Whether or not such platforms have growth potential, we’ll have to wait and see, but their mere existence speaks to demand.
Considering all of this, we can safely say that there are more opportunities to use bitcoin in gaming than there are in most other areas of modern life. This makes gaming potentially significant in the long-term conversation about whether or not bitcoin can establish and maintain a respectable base value.