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As we round out the year, we’ve seen cryptocurrencies rise and fall, Bitcoin increase by about 336% percent in price in 2017 (as of October 6, 2017, 23:07 UTC-4), and cryptocurrencies being released for everything from outright scams, to parodies of the scams, to WhopperCoins for Burger King, and more.
However, one of the more interesting uses we’ve seen for cryptocurrency is its use in eSports (competitive videogames). For those that are unaware, eSports events sell out entire sporting stadiums like the famous Madison Square Garden in New York City, with gamers taking home nearly $2 million for winning a single event.
According to Sports Illustrated (yes, that Sports Illustrated), eSports saw $493 million in revenue in 2016 (an increase of 51.7% from 2015). However, the games don’t stop there – that revenue figure is set to pass $1 billion by 2019.
With so much money being thrown around and eSports getting more popular by the day (22% of American male millennials watch it – almost the same as baseball and hockey), naturally there are blockchain or cryptocurrency companies looking to get into the action.
However, are any of these eSports cryptocurrency projects actually legitimate? Here are 3 of the best eSports altcoins we think people should look out for in 2018.
Unikrn: eSports Betting Backed by Mark Cuban
With so much money in eSports, you can be sure like in all sports, some of that money is going toward betting. In fact, a lot of that money is going toward betting, with more than $2.3 billion being bet on eSports in 2015.
Unikrn, an eSports betting company that is the only fully-licensed and regulated eSports bookmaker in the world, is looking to take advantage of that trend and has received investment from a group that includes the likes of Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher.
While eSports betting is technically only legal in a few countries, such as the U.K., Ireland, and Australia, Unikrn, through its currency, UnikoinGold, aims to allow people from the United States and other jurisdictions to make bets as well.
With a strong team at its helm (CEO Rahul Sood was the creator of Microsoft Ventures and founder of VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard), we think this is a project to look out for.
Skincoin: Trade In-Game Skins for Cryptocurrency
Skincoin (SKIN) is a cryptocurrency that is meant to be used to buy “skins” for popular games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. Skins can be thought of as customization for mostly in-game items and characters.
For example, in CS:GO, as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is usually called, players can purchase or otherwise acquire skins for their weapons, which make them look different – a shotgun can look plain and metallic or it can also look camouflaged and arboreal.
The idea of having different looks or skins for virtual weapons may sound inane to an outside observer but the figures definitely do not: players will often bet skins (which can be sold for cash) on the outcome of eSport events. As mentioned, $2.3 billion was bet on eSports in 2015 – that money was bet using skins.
Along with buying and selling skins, SKIN is to potentially be used for buying and selling games as well as making bets. The problem that SKIN looks to solve is becoming a “centralized” or universal currency for the various skins and games that exist.
To facilitate adoption, there will be no fees on trades, which the Skincoin team hopes will drive people to SKIN. With a team that has a solid background in gaming and eSports betting, we think this project has some potential if it manages to come to full fruition.
Teleport Token: NEVERDIE’s Virtual Reality (VR)-based Currency
The brainchild of Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs, an English entrepreneur who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for owning the world’s most valuable virtual item (2008) and who sold a “virtual space station” in the game Entropia Universe for $650,000 (2010), NEVERDIE, Jacob’s company, aims to make Teleport Token the cryptocurrency used across all of virtual reality to pay wages (for jobs in the VR world) among other things.
Unlike many, who think that technology like augmented reality and virtual reality will eliminate jobs, Jacobs believes that entirely new industries can emerge in these “fake” worlds, the same way that entire industries, such as search engine optimization (SEO) emerged because of the Internet. His goal, then, is for the Teleport Token to become the currency for all kinds of virtual reality-based value exchange to be transacted with.
Although the idea is bold and daring, (Jacobs’ goal as the 2016-elected “President of Virtual Reality” is to create one billion virtual reality-based jobs), we do think that the risk is quite high (even more so than other projects) because while most believe that virtual reality has a lot of potential, it is still yet unproven in relation to other eSports, such as traditional PC games like CS:GO and Dota 2, which have established audiences and monetization.
Combine the unproven nature of the VR industry along with the notoriously volatile worlds of blockchain and cryptocurrency, and you have something that you should do more research on before investing in.
2017 has been a big year for cryptocurrency and as both cryptocurrency and eSports are rapidly growing fields, we think the combination of the two is something to look out for – eSports altcoins like UnikoinGold, Skincoin, and Teleport Token should definitely be considered by both cryptocurrency investors and eSports enthusiasts alike.
Thanks for reading!
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