The Top10-CasinoSites Guide to NFT Gaming and NFT Gambling
Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and NFTs have been disruptive technologies in the world of finances, casinos, and video games, leading to the rise of NFT gaming. Their popularity has contributed to the rise of play to earn games with NFTs at their heart, all running on the blockchain.
How NFT Games Came to Be
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of NFT gaming and NFT games, we'll first take a look at the rise of NFTs themselves.
NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are digital items stored collectively on the blockchain like cryptocurrencies. Unlike cryptocurrencies, each NFT is unique and irreplicable. This is verified through a unique numeric code forming the essence of the item.
You might’ve heard about NFTs through a variety of different channels. Whether it’s because of the infamous Nyan Cat meme being sold as an NFT, or because of Tesla Founder Elon Musk’s back and forth tweets about the phenomenon, NFTs have entered into everyday discussions.
NFTs most often take the form of a piece of digital art, which could be a static image, GIF, or a video.
Once the initial craze over this new and innovative method of value storage calmed down, people wanted their NFTs to be useful for something more than just a store of value. That’s how NFT-based games were born.
NFT games are online video games which make use of or integrate NFTs into the gameplay. This could come in a few different ways. The NFTs themselves could be used for/as:
- In-game items (such as virtual clothing which could be unlockable or winnable in the virtual world)
- In-game assets (such as background artwork, icons, or symbols)
- In-game transactions
This collision of the NFT world with the one of gambling and gaming has created an interesting new generation of blockchain games. Since these games are connected to the NFT market, the industry has gained a new gamified financial element which wasn’t present before. This new kind of game gave rise to a never-before-seen gaming phenomenon: play to earn.
Play to Earn Gaming
So what’s a play-to-earn game?
Play-to-earn games are online blockchain video games that allow players to make a profit from gaming.
The game developers themselves make a small portion of profits from the exchanges and transactions of in-game assets. Through this play-to-earn model, a whole NFT market exists within the game, alongside the ability for players to get paid in-game tokens for playing.
This creates a kind of economy within the game, allowing players to make money, own NFTs, and cash out their NFT assets for traditional currencies!
Apart from play-to-earn titles, NFTs can be integrated into blockchain gaming platforms in a multitude of other different ways.
Game assets within are just one form of high-utility NFTs. This kind of NFT gets its name because it performs a function outside of storing value on the NFT marketplace.
As we’ll see in sections below, the functions themselves can be a number of different things, from allowing entry to exclusive video games and NFT casinos to allowing you to earn part of a casino’s income!
The Metaverse and Web3
All of this conveniently ties into the new buzzword that’s floating around these days: the Metaverse.
So what is the Metaverse? How does it tie in with blockchains, cryptocurrencies and NFTs? And how does it all contribute to what many are calling the third generation of the internet: Web3?
At the risk of perhaps digression, let’s dig in!
Web1.0 was the first generation of the internet as we know it, lasting from the early '90s to the mid '00s. Many call this generation of the internet the ‘read-only web’, as pages often consisted of static text with little to no interactivity possible.
Web2.0 is the internet as many of us know and love today. That means the introduction of social media platforms and user-generated content in the mid-to-late '00s. It also means graphics and video content never before experienced on the internet now became commonplace.
While content may be generated by users, all data is centralised and stored by the platform you upload it to. Companies monetize this data, and sometimes suffer data breaches as a result of the centralised way the information is stored.
Web3.0 fundamentally centres around the decentralisation of the internet. This means the information is not stored in centralized data centres.
Instead, each user of a platform holds an encrypted chunk of the network’s data, leading to a collective, decentralised whole. This is achieved through technologies such as peer-to-peer networks and the infamous blockchain.
Because the blockchain is often such an integral part of these networks, platforms and decentralised applications (Dapps), cryptocurrencies are an easy and convenient payment system for Web3.
The rise of the internet as a virtual world independent from our physical world (what some have endearingly called ‘meatspace') has meant the creation for a space where purely the digital exists. This is what is called the metaverse.
You might have recently heard about Facebook’s (the company, not the social media platform) rebranding as Meta. This signals a mainstream change toward purely digital environments, rather than the internet spaces representing and interacting with physical reality that we’re used to.
Ah! We’ve come full circle back to the topic at hand. Phew! That was a ride, wasn’t it?
The Best NFT Games Integrations
NFTs are an integral part of both Web3 and the Metaverse. Many NFT games act almost like metaverses of their own, with separate economies and exclusive online-only events attached to them. Let’s check out some of the more popular games with NFT integration.
Axie Infinity is an online game which sees players growing, battling, breeding and trading Axies.
You might be asking “What the heck is an Axie, anyway? Am I that out of touch with modernity? Does this mean I’m a dinosaur!?”
No need for panic! Axies are completely made up animal characters. Players need to buy at least 3 Axies to start playing the game. The Axies themselves are NFTs, meaning they’re verifiably unique and owned by the player, stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
Axie Infinity uses the play-to-earn model we mentioned above. After purchasing your starting 3 Axies, you can start playing with them and earning tokens (called Smooth Love Potion) back. With these tokens, you can then purchase more Axies or cash out, depending on what you’d prefer!
Gambling Apes NFTs operate in a completely different ballpark. Purchasing a GamblingApe NFT not only means you own a verifiably unique digital artwork, but also co-owning a metaverse casino and being invited to exclusive events and meetups! How’s that for high utility?
The NFTs themselves are 7,777 unique anthropomorphic monkey characters with a penchant for all things gambling. They’re formed from 120 different traits, and in our humble opinion, they fall smack in the middle between cute and creepy.
In October 2021, a metaverse GamblingApes casino was opened on the Decentraland metaverse (which we’ll cover later on). GamblingApe owners co-own this casino, and each gets a share of the profit.
CryptoPunks are a collection of 10,000 retro-themed pixelated characters, each unique and generated through different traits. They’re Ethereum-based, and have gained notoriety in the casino world as they were purchased by Red Tiger Gaming for their NFT Megaways™ slot.
NFT Megaways™ was one of the first casino slot games to integrate NFTs as part of its digital assets. Since then, NFT games have changed the gaming industry, with many huge companies regarding non-fungible tokens as an important part of the evolution of the online casino and video game worlds.
NFT Gaming Platforms
Due to the blockchain technology in use, an NFT game needs a platform to host the NFTs themselves and to allow for people to actually play games in a decentralised way. Because of this, many metaverse casinos and platforms are competing to be the go-to spot for both paid and free NFT games alike.
Traditional Games Platforms
Depending on the one in question, it could be possible to access an NFT game through one of the traditional video game platforms we know and love. Unfortunately, some of these platforms, like Valve’s Steam, have placed a hard ban on these kinds of games.
Other platforms, like Epic Games, are more open minded, while Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play Store have yet to take definitive stances on the issue at the time of writing. These kinds of platform wars could see the gaming industry split on whether to mass-adopt NFT game technologies or not.
Blockchain-Based NFT Casinos
Some games and NFT casinos, like the aforementioned GamblingApes, forgo traditional games platforms altogether. Instead, these non-fungible token gambling sites are based solely within a metaverse or blockchain.
GamblingApes, for example, have gone with Decentraland as their platform of choice. Decentraland is a budding metaverse where users can buy plots of digital real estate through the MANA cryptocurrency, which is based on the Ethereum network. Decentralised finance plays a big role in such metaverses, being the go-to choice for various platforms.
Pros & Cons of NFT Games
Like any rapidly evolving technology, NFTs and NFT games have a few burrs to sand down. That’s not to say that they aren’t one of the most exciting things to have happened online in the past decade. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons below.
- Impressively advanced technology
- Secure and verifiable
- Very close to mainstream adoption
- Worldwide and borderless
- Vast wealth of game options
- Built-in incentives and potential to earn rewards
- Unregulated new market
- Extremely volatile in value
- Environmentally unfriendly due to emissions to keep blockchain networks running
NFT Gaming FAQs
NFTs (short for Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital assets (like images or videos) which are verifiably unique, and stored using blockchain technology.
NFT gaming is a new phenomenon in the gaming industry, which is adopting NFTs and integrating them into free-to-play and paid games alike.
Play-to-earn games reward players for their time spent playing – this is done by paying them in native tokens, which they can use in-game or cash out for traditional currencies.
Games using non-fungible tokens can make a small commission from transactions or use the pay-to-play-to-earn model, where players have an upfront cost for entry.
NFTs are a speculative market, meaning that buying into NFTs which you think might become popular is how it’s done. Of course, this is risky, and we ask you not to consider this as financial advice.
An NFT casino is a gambling website or platform which allows you to stake, gain entry, win, or otherwise integrates NFTs into its gameplay.
NFT gaming platforms are websites or online spaces which host NFT games or NFT casinos.
Depending on what kind of games or casinos you’re after, Axier Infinity’s Axies or GamblingApes might be the NFTs for you!