The likely answer is no — another victory for Betteridge’s Law — but the first step towards a complete separation of crypto church and state has been taken.
When many think of the words “decoupling” and “crypto”, they are drawn to the discussion of cryptocurrencies and the correlation with the stock market. As far as blockchain gaming goes, it is often seen as just a subsidiary of crypto, but 2021 has changed that.
The last 12 months showed the potential of blockchain gaming and has established the trajectory of its immediate future. However, with crypto’s current low period, populated with red candles at every turn, an interesting fracture appeared between cryptocurrencies and blockchain gaming tokens and NFTs. DappRadar’s most recent report on user behavior in the space has highlighted this further.
Blockchain Gaming Grows as Crypto Endures Downturn
The report, as always with DappRadar, has some brilliant insight, but there are some particularly interesting takeaways for us. Firstly, NFTs seemed largely impervious to the slump we have seen in the cryptocurrency market. Instead, it has grown both in trades and in UAW (Unique Active Wallets) connected to dapps.
This is likely connected to the more pertinent finding for us: blockchain gaming has continued its strong growth during the downturn and now, “games represent 52% of the industry’s usage, increasing the usage gap with DeFi dapps.” How much influence the first figure has over the second is difficult to say, however.
I spent much of the last 30 days poring over reports and statistics from 2021 and if you’re interested in some supplementary reading, here are three key articles:
I lean on the same three stats to get my point across when it comes to the growth of gaming, but they tell a story when combined.
- In 2020, $80m was invested in blockchain gaming. In 2021, over $4 billion was invested in blockchain gaming.
- From Q1 2021 to Q3 2021, UAWs interacting with blockchain games went up 2,453%.
- NFT in-game trading volume in January 2021 was $1 million. In November 2021 it was over $1 billion
Blockchain gaming has been building momentum that runs independently of crypto’s hype gauge and now we have proof of that. This decoupling, presuming it continues which appears likely, is necessary for mainstream adoption of blockchain in the games industry. Blockchain gaming must stand on its own two legs, but it wouldn’t be overly presumptuous to suggest it is well on its way to being a force in its own right.
We may start to see a trend of crypto investors entering the blockchain gaming bunker in periods of cryptocurrency uncertainty, which is largely positive for our industry. All signs point towards a pivotal year for our little overlap in the crypto and gaming Venn diagram.