I’m proud to announce Enjin’s new cryptocurrency for gamers, launching this summer. We’re calling it Enjin Coin (ENJ), and it’s an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.
You can check out our official whitepaper for the in-depth concept.
In this article, I’ll begin by talking about the Custom Coins feature and how virtual assets will benefit gamers, developers and community owners.
The core purpose of the platform is to create and sell virtual assets. Enjin Coin allows you to create new tokens called Custom Coins. They represent any kind of game item, currency, or permission token.
To create a new custom coin, you begin by defining some parameters:
This creates a mint contract for your coin on the blockchain. A mint contract can receive and store Enjin Coins, and produces the new custom token in return.
You might create a custom coin called “Emerald” and set the exchange rate to 5 ENJ per Emerald. 5 Enjin Coins are sent and stored inside the mint to create each Emerald.
All custom coins are backed with ENJ, which gives the tokens liquidity. Anyone holding the custom token could send it back to the original mint contract to receive the Enjin Coin used to produce it.
You’ll notice that this is similar to a reserve currency—but with the guarantee of the smart contract adhering to the exchange rate rules. In an upcoming article, we will explore the options for increasing value and inflation as a Custom Coin becomes worth more in the economy.
By default most creators will lock the ability to mint Custom Coins to only themselves, but the access settings can also permit anyone to mint new assets.
Practically all games today use an internal, centralized database to represent items. It’s fast and cheap, and it’s been the standard for decades — but there are some compelling reasons to look to using the blockchain instead.
Just like the move from hard-drive backups to cloud storage, people are now moving their assets to the decentralized internet. Bitcoin, along with Ethereum and other innovative blockchain technologies have had over 8 years to evolve and enter the public consciousness. We are in the midst of an explosion of decentralization.
It’s creeping into every aspect of our lives: from identity, to law, to politics and medical research. People are recognizing the security and sovereignty of the public ledger and they will begin to demand it anywhere they commit their time and money.
With players often spending hundreds or thousands of hours in a single online game, they are investing a lot of energy into their virtual characters and assets. If players had full ownership of these assets, they would value them more. Assets gained years earlier could also increase in value and draw the players back into the game.
Player accounts have been accidentally wiped in many games:
Players might be falsely banned, losing all their items, or companies could purge their player database and delete older characters.
Anyone who has experienced an unfortunate event like this might never play the game again, and would become disillusioned with centralized game items having any worth at all. We need a system where players have full control and ownership over their virtual assets.
Merchants suffer from a lot of payment fraud. It is estimated that for every legitimate virtual purchase made, there are 7.5 virtual items lost to fraud. This can be drastically improved because of the reliability of transactions on the blockchain.
A glance at any self-respecting gamer’s Steam collection will show you tens (if not hundreds) of games. Even hardcore MMO enthusiasts will drop into new games for some novel variety.
If a player loses interest in a certain game, their assets would normally be left to decay, devoid of all value. At best, their old account might be sold off on eBay, if the game developer doesn’t outright ban such activities.
With each new game, players have to start from scratch, and while this is often an interesting element of gameplay, it shouldn’t be the only option available.
Imagine being able to play in different games that share economies and certain item types between their game-worlds. This opens many possibilities for new game experiences that haven’t been explored yet by game developers!
Using cryptocurrencies will allow for free markets in games. Trading in-and-out of the game itself. Since the currency cannot be manipulated or banned by arbitrary game rules, it will behave and feel more like a real economy. This can make games much more immersive, and it’s something that’s been missing in gaming for a long time.
Game companies might need to plan carefully when allocating items, but it reflects the real world better. Players will truly value their game assets.
Custom coins can be used for access in a game or website.
The integration between games and websites allows for some powerful privilege dynamics between the two platforms.
The gaming world is ready to experience a revolution in decentralized game assets and currency with Custom Coins on the blockchain. We’ve only scratched the surface of features that could be implemented into future games when real asset ownership is introduced.