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The value of ION recently jumped by over 70%. Designed for gamers, this cryptocurrency is meant to reward achievement in a variety of mobile games.
Think of it as a decentralized cross-platform currency if you like. Unlike some popular MMORPGs, you aren’t stuck with choosing between earning Linden Dollars to use in the Second Life ecosystem or gold to use in World of Warcraft. You can earn ION in all of Ionomy’s current and upcoming games that you can use to buy swag, staker upgrades, drones, and electronics.
The Ionomy ecosystem is designed to be friendly towards game developers. This includes making it easy to use its system to facilitate crowdfunding and beta-test new games.
Ionomy’s developer tools may still be under development themselves, but developers are encouraged to sign up for the newsletter to get news about new and upcoming tools. This is a good thing because ION is going to depend on game developers to expand its ecosystem.
The first (and so far only) game to be released specifically for ION is a Super Mario-like side scroller called Crypto Gravity. The reviewers on Google Play seem to either love the game or hate it, with frequent crashes, shoddy controls, and poor developer support being the most frequent complaints. As of March 2017, the developers seemed to be paying attention to the poor reviews and promised to fix some of the issues in updates.
Which means that anyone who is purely interested in earning ION might be better off staking or going for a bounty rather than spending time on games or game development.
The development team uses 33% of their earnings from the store to buy ION off the market to ensure that prices stay reasonably high and ensure funds are present for the occasional tournament. That means staking could theoretically be worth your while, especially if you have a staker skin or “electrify” your staker for extra rewards.
Is ION a good cryptocurrency to invest in, though? Just going by the Google Play reviews, creating a cryptocurrency that’s geared purely toward gamers who also happen to be gadget geeks is a good idea in theory, but it’s more difficult to implement in practice. Good cryptocurrency developers do not necessarily make good game developers, and vice versa.
The whole thing appears to be funded purely by in-game purchases, which can be chancy unless a developer happens to be part of the team for a popular mobile game like Game of War.
One could give them credit for attempting to make their games somewhat unique rather than making Crypto Space a complete Super Mario clone. However, one does have to pay close attention to the back end so that the controls work well, the game doesn’t crash frequently, and people’s high scores don’t disappear without explanation.
There’s also the fact that gamers tend to dislike cryptocurrency users for driving the price of graphics cards for mining POW cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
However, they might let up a bit if the developer team can create games that actually function smoothly and earn them some actual cryptocurrency just for playing.
This means that the Ionomy structure could be either good or bad. It could be good because the cryptocurrency community will finally have a way to get gamers on board, especially since they’re used to MMORPGs in which the in-game currency has actual monetary value.
It could also be bad if the developers fail to get game developers who can resolve the issues with Crypto Space and create popular games of their own. The ION team has made the decision to make games in which the “native currency” can be redeemed for real world prizes central to their ecosystem, so obviously they hope that it won’t backfire and turn gamers off the world of cryptocurrencies for good.
So this is a case of a promising system that needs more developers with experience in creating mobile games to get on board and more visibility with gamers before it can be called viable.
Its ecosystem is very dependent on both in-game purchases and the sale of gadgets in its store. It’s recent 70%-plus growth shows that it could work if it isn’t just being pumped and if more developers and gamers find it an attractive enough system to incorporate it in their gaming experience.
Current stats as of 9/10/2017: 16,116,739 ION circulating. 22,016,739 Total Supply.
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