Ethereum
$171.98 -1.83%
ETH · 14w

This blockchain-based card game shows us the future of ownership [MIT Technology Review]

Gods Unchained hasn’t even fully launched, but the collectible card game already has more hype around it than any blockchain game ever. This week a beta version opened to the public after months of private testing. But Fuel Games, the startup developing the game, says it has already sold millions of game cards and generated $4 million in revenue thanks to pre-sales.

So why the excitement over yet another collectible card game (of which there are many)? To understand why people think this particular game could be such a big deal, you have to wrap your mind around something called “non-fungible tokens,” commonly called NFTs.

Sign up for the Chain Letter — blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and why they matter

Though the technical details behind them are complicated, to users NFTs are pretty simple: they are collectibles. Think the digital version of a rare or one-of-a-kind baseball card or Beanie Baby. How do you know it’s real? Thanks to a blockchain network, which can cryptographically verify its authenticity without the need for any central authority. Many people believe the concept is powerful enough to finally inspire the masses to use blockchains. Or at least play games with them.

Competitive collectible card games have been around for decades, in both physical and digital forms. Gods Unchained is similar to the popular physical card game Magic: The Gathering, which debuted in 1993. Players of Gods Unchained must assemble their own personal decks by collecting cards that offer advantages in the game, which plays out like a battle between the characters on the cards. Rarer cards are more valuable.

Blockchain technology, which is notoriously slow and inefficient at processing transactions, will only be used to keep track of the cards and who owns them. The actual game will be played “off-chain.”

Around 20 million people play Magic, and a huge secondary market has formed for players to buy and sell valuable cards. A number of onli...

Continue on technologyreview.com
Recent news