How To Get Started With Crypto Gaming, Blockchain Gaming & The Metaverse
Let’s get something straight — I am a completely biased crypto gaming fiend. I’m such a zealot that I started the Crypto Gaming Insitute and now I sound the alarm whenever any of my family, friends or acquaintances doesn’t know about the coming revolution.
In one of these “I HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS” conversations with a very dear friend of mine — nod to you Dale — I was asked “Okay, but how can I actually get started with this?”
The purpose of this article is to give complete newbs an onramp into the wonderful world of crypto gaming.
Now, since there are billions of people who don’t know about this yet, and everyone has their own skillset, resource pool, etc. I want to tackle this from a few angles, so bare with me here.
Crypto Gaming 101: Getting Your Feet Wet
First and foremost you need to conceptually understand what the ever living f$ck crypto gaming / blockchain gaming / the metaverse actually means.
Unfortunately, we are in the wildest of wests so there is no one agreed upon definition, but I’ll do my best to explain it.
At the most basic level, this is the intersection of cryptocurrency/blockchain with the video game industry.
Traditionally, video games (regardless of how big their own in-game universes are) and their players are confined to that game. Let’s take World of Warcraft (WoW) for example. No matter what, everything that you do in WoW stays in WoW. You can put in 100 or 100,000 hours into grinding out characters, gear, gold, ranking, etc., but the second you stop playing you’ve lost everything.
With crypto/blockchain gaming (essentially synonyms for our purposes), however, you open up the game to the world.
Let’s say you grind out for 100 hours and obtain the Sword of 1,000 Truths (nod to South Park) within Crypto-WoW. Instead of only being able to trade that for other in-game things, you can actually sell that sword to somebody for Bitcoin or Ethereum or United States Dollars.
But I could do that beforehand, right?
Technically yes, but it was a super inefficient and insecure pathway (meet in-game, time trade in-game with PayPal transaction, trust that nobody screws over anyone else, now a stranger has your PayPal, etc.).
With Crypto-WoW however, you can simply trade in-game by connecting to your Crypto wallet of choice (MetaMask, Ledger, etc.). It happens instantly, securely, and with NO trust involved thanks to crypto/blockchain technology.
Think of the implications of this seemingly simple breakthrough though. Instead of being confined to the in-game world of Wow, players can now give a REAL economic value to their time investments in video games because you can sell literally anything (characters, items, land, in-game currency, etc.). If it exists, it can be tied into the greater crypto economy.
A step further, this means that for the first time ever, people can actually build a full time income from gaming without having to do anything else like streaming or tournaments or going pro, etc.
This also means that people aren’t stuck to one single game. Let’s say they grind out 10,000 hours of game A, get bored, and want to go to game B, but don’t want to lose out on all of that time invested. Well, now they can simply sell everything in game A and use the earnings to buy an equivalent amount of stuff in game B.
THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS!
Gamers can now be game-agnostic and fluidly switch between games as quickly as they can trade, sell/buy, and exchange their way from game A to game B. The gamers now have the power.
This means that video games who have integrated crypto/blockchain technology into their games have now created a bridge into the greater crypto/blockchain economy.
This isn’t a dream by the way, already as of November 2021 there are MILLIONS of people around the world (typically lower-income countries like the Philippines) who are quitting their jobs and going full-time into gaming…
…AND MAKING MORE MONEY THAN EVER BEFORE!
Let that all sink in for a second.
The Metaverse 101: The Bigger Picture
Hopefully now that you see the opportunity this technology presents to the world, we need to expand our understanding to The Metaverse.
So all of these crypto games are now connected to the broader crypto economy. These games come in all shapes and sizes, from browser games to full virtual reality games to esports to entire universes built within code, anything and everything you can imagine.
The cliché example is Ready Player One. But it is cliché for a reason — it gets the point across.
In my humble opinion, this intersection and collection of games, technology, finance, players, and everything else all make up The Metaverse.
However, this is still hotly debated amongst nerds and irrelevant non-nerds (kidding) around the globe. Some games claim that they have built the true metaverse. Some people think like me that the collection of everything is the metaverse. Others think that the internet in it’s entirety is the metaverse.
And everybody is kind of right because this is so new nobody really has the ability to be correct or incorrect, it is up for personal interpretation.
But for the sake of this article, just think of all of crypto gaming as one big metaverse of separate in-game universes that are linked financially by cryptocurrency in one big, as of right now incredibly inefficient but still better than anything we had before, economy.
This is the metaverse.
How To Actually Participate In The Crypto Gaming Revolution
Okay so now that you’re .001% caught up to speed on this whole thing — but enough to now start wrapping your beautiful brain around it —it is time to start getting involved.
There are an infinite number of ways to be involved, so let’s break down a few of them and see what happens, but first comes research.
Before you get into anything, you should know what you’re getting into or it becomes gambling. For the world of crypto gaming, I would suggest you start thinking about it in terms of layers.
Layer 1: Technology Infrastructure
There must always be a foundational layer of technology that things are built upon. The base layer 1.0 is the concept of a blockchain, and if you don’t understand that then you need to start there.
The next base layer 2.0 is the technology we’ve built using the blockchain concept, like Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, etc. You will quickly realize that I’m bastardizing this for the sake of getting people familiar with these concepts, as there are layers within these layers, but I have to start you somewhere.
For this phase, literally go to CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap and start looking at the biggest cryptocurrency projects to learn about the space as a whole. Start with Ethereum and just devour content to understand what a smart contract is, layer 1 and 2, sidechains, etc.
You’ll discover many layers to the crypto world, and so many things are interwoven behind the scenes that it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s okay, just get started with your research and it will start making sense eventually.
Please note, people make entire careers out of just this layer alone, and you can certainly do this too. I’m just giving a disgustingly high level overview.
Layer 2: Gaming Accelerators, Incubators & Launchpads
I’m taking the massive liberty of assuming you went and researched the stuff above and know what I’m talking about a little bit more at least. But once you understand how the infrastructure works, we can take the huge leap forward of talking about how a lot of the new games are spun up.
Some games will sprout out of nowhere, and we’ll cover that in the next layer, but a lot of great games will be launched using accelerators, incubators & launchpads (AILs). In the startup world, there are companies who help other companies get started. The crypto gaming world is no different.
There are a ton of great AILs out there that are finding new projects and bringing them to the masses (us). I would familiarize myself with some of these AILs so that you don’t have to do the work of figuring it all out for yourself.
Research these and learn about how/why they choose the games they do. This will give you insight into how the business side of crypto gaming thinks which will give you a clue of where the industry is heading next.
Layer 3: The Games
Hooray! We made it to the thing you were looking for initially! The games themselves are built on the infrastructure and sometimes launched by AILs.
Just like any industry, there are winners, losers, and everything in-between. You’ll find loads of games already being built and played by people.
This is what the end user (gamer) logs into to actually do stuff. By now in your research you understand the technology these games are built on (games on Polygon are different from games on Solana), the types of games being created (RPG, MMO, MOBA, etc.), and much much more.
Layer 4: In-Game Assets
Within every game there are characters, items, land, etc. The ownership of these is often publicly agreed upon via the blockchain using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which are essentially digital assets — again I’m bastardizing this concept and you need to dig deeper outside of this article.
This is what people are buying and selling and what gives gamers the ability to assign monetary value to their gaming.
Now that we’ve done our research and have a rudimentary grasp of the layers of the metaverse, let’s talk about how to take action and find your slice of the pie. We will customize this journey for people from various perspectives, but there is a common get started step for everyone.
Get Started Step For Everyone
Get A Wallet!
First and foremost you need a wallet to store/exchange your assets. You can head over to the Crypto Gaming Institute Treasury to find some recommendations I have for you.
You will be prompted to “Connect Wallet” on every crypto website you visit. This is essentially your login for this world, and you will want to make sure you read up on necessary security precautions to protect yourself.
However, once you set up your wallet, you are officially ready to begin your crypto journey! Hooray! Let’s break it down by the type of person you are or want to become.
So you are or want to be an investor in this space and get rich. Good idea! As of 11/6/2021 you are probably in the 99.99 percentile of investors on the bleeding edge of this space. Most people don’t know it exists. Fewer understand it. Microscopically fewer know how to put money into it. Geometrically fewer know how to intelligently put money into it. Exponentially fewer know how to actually profit.
But here’s how you can begin!
Buy & Hold Method.
So with a buy and hold perspective, you need to be able to turn your US Dollars (or whatever your fiat currency of choice is) into the crypto that you want to hold.
Unfortunately there is no ONE way to go about this because you can invest up and down the value chain (see layers above) and typically the more niche you get the more steps you need to take to invest (typically infrastructure is easiest to get into, assets are hardest).
But anyways, you will need to find where the asset you want to own is located by knowing the chain it is build on and the exchange that allows you to buy it. Typically the asset you want will have instructions on how to buy, but you should be familiar with the concept of centralized and decentralized exchanges.
A centralized exchange (think Coinbase or Gemini) has a portal for you to log in to, is typically very user friendly, and will let you buy/sell/trade things that they support. This is an easy way to get into the infrastructure assets and is what most “retail” investors are going to do to participate in this economy.
A decentralized exchange (think Biswap, Uniswap, PancakeSwap, etc.) is where you can buy/sell almost anything under the sun by exchanging an asset you already own with an asset that you want (e.g. ETH for CAKE). This is where you start getting more advanced because you need to have something already in your wallet to trade for what you want AND you need to pay a small tax (gas fees — yuck) for the privilege of trading.
The name of the game here is to plan out what you want to do ahead of time, figure out which chain the asset you want is located, where the smallest gas fees are, and then do it all with larger chunks of money. Small money movements get absolutely destroyed by fees, so just do your research here.
Also, you need to be aware of something that will f*** you if you’re not careful — these currencies exist on the blockchain they were built on and sometimes others, but to move from chain to chain you need a bridge (for example, Binance Bridge). Seriously, watch some tutorials before you put money in or you may just get rekt on spawn.
Another way to skin this cat is to trade using software. In my experience, this is typically best accomplished using trading software like 3Commas because you can have robots buying low and selling high for you 24/7 with the ability to get into and out of deals much faster and more profitably than you ever could.
You’ll need to hook up your trading software with a centralized exchange (the place you hold your money for this type of action), and then you control it from your trading software. This can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, but incredibly profitable if you do (or get lucky).
Do your research, get good software, find a low fee exchange, and off you go.
This is one of my favorite parts of crypto. You know how the stock market average growth target is 7% interest per year right? Well all of those financial advisors who are peddling mutual funds (I feel very strongly about this but we’ll cover this in another piece of content) have no idea that we can easily generate over 100% interest on our money per year by just holding our crypto in the right place — pools and farms.
Pools are my favorite because you literally just hand your crypto to a company and they will give you a ridiculous amount of crypto in return for doing absolutely nothing (passive income on steroids).
I like using pools created by Biswap & PancakeSwap because they range anywhere from 50% interest per year to over 100% interest per year — again you do absolutely nothing but keep your money in the pool and earn. Your are basically lending your crypto and getting paid back with interest rates that the financial advisors of the traditional financial world would cream their panties to achieve.
Farms are a little more complicated but you can earn a bit more from them if you’re willing to get your hands slightly dirtier.
In order for anything to be traded, there must be liquidity for it to be traded against, and in crypto a lot or all of that liquidity comes from the community.
Instead of lending your crypto to a specific company (pool), you can essentially lend it in the form of a pair (BNB-CAKE, ETH-BNB, ETH-BSW, etc.) to the market and allow people to trade against it. It is riskier for reasons you will need to research, but the interest rates you can earn are higher (sometimes 300% per year or more) because you get paid interest PLUS a percentage of transaction fees on the pairs you lend (so if you lend BNB-CAKE, you will earn a percentage of all transactions fees generated by people trading BNB-CAKE on the platform you’re using).
How You Can Combine These Strategies
So you may be super overwhelmed at this moment, which is okay, but I’ll give you a strategy you can use as an example to help you start thinking about how you want to tackle it!
You can start by acquiring some crypto and getting it into a pool to earn some interest on your money. I like using Biswap’s auto-compound function because they will — at the time of writing — give you 125% interest (double your investment every year, suck it you 7% per year mutual fund peddling financial advisor mothe********* — sorry coming back) on your money just for holding it here and you can remove it anytime you want.
Next, I would do your research and find a couple of projects you really like and want to involve yourself with for the long-haul.
Then I would set price alerts on CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap for the projects you want to monitor and wait for a dip (don’t buy pumps or FOMO in please) so you can buy into it at a good price.
You need to be willing to wait a while for a good dip, which is why you’re letting your money grow in the pool so you’re always putting your money to work for you.
Then, whenever you find a good time to buy, you withdraw however much you want to withdraw from your pools and swap into the currency you want to hold (may take a few swaps to get to the currency you need, for example BSW-BNB-Your Target).
THEN you want to look for pools or farms where you can let the new currency grow while you hold that. For example, let’s say you want to buy Ben coins ($BEN). You would look for pools or farms where you can place your $BEN so that it grows at a nice percentage interest while you hold it (because you’re holding it anyways, you may as well earn the maximum you can). This essentially allows you to double dip!
Clearly I’m not going to be able to get you from 0 to 100 in a single article, but hopefully this at least gives you the foundation to be able to go research on your own and not get absolutely annihilated by sharks.
Gamers, Entrepreneurs & More
There are so many more way to get into the world of crypto gaming and make money, have fun, etc. After finishing up the investor section I’m realizing the rabbit hole I’ve gotten myself into and do not have time right now to finish.
So, if you want me to continue this article (or otherwise have thoughts, comments, questions, etc.) please drop me a line below and I’ll do my best to answer or if there is enough interest keep writing!