“We believe that gaming presents one of Bitcoin’s most exciting growth opportunities, as fast, inexpensive and secure bitcoin payments have the potential to open the global gaming community to players who lack access to a bank account or credit card,” notes the XAPO announcement. “CEVO users will now be able to earn and challenge their friends for bitcoins across some of the world’s most popular games.”
Founded in December of 2004 with the intention to transform competitive online gaming into a professional sport, CEVO (“Cyber Evolution”) hosts free and pay-to-play tournaments across a variety of AAA games such as Counter-Strike, a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation, League of Legends and Team Fortress 2. Most CEVO e-sporting tournaments are based on the latest game in the Counter-Strike franchise, the online tactical first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (abbreviated as CS:GO). Leet also offers CS:GO and League of Legends tournaments.
CS:GO players join either the Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist team and attempt to complete objectives or eliminate the enemy team. Players purchase weapons and equipment at the beginning of every round, and winners receive compensation after the game ends. CS:GO is extremely realistic and addictive to hordes of adrenaline-filled online gamers who enough energy (and money) in the game to justify the label “e-sport.”
Upcoming Virtual Reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, are expected to be able to provide even more realistic 360-degree immersion in online games, will further increase the appeal of e-sports.
“Over the last several months Xapo has invested substantial resources in trying to better understand how Bitcoin can be used to improve a game’s engagement, retention and monetization,” says XAPO’s Director of Business Development Fernando Gouveia. “As part of that effort, we have been developing new APIs that allow game developers to easily build in-game functionality for managing bitcoin deposits, withdrawals and transactions.”
“Do you play @CounterStrikeGO?” – asks Gouveia on Twitter. “Well now you can play against your friends for #bitcoin with @xapo, @cevo and @leetgg! “
XAPO recently partnered with multiuser Minecraft server BitQuest to explore the potential of bitcoin in online games and virtual worlds. BitQuest leverages the Xapo API and the open-ended feature set of the massively popular Minecraft game to create a compelling online gaming experience with an easy-to-use internal economy based on bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is the best candidate to be the official currency of virtual worlds and BitQuest, making it beyond gambling, using it to fuel virtual societies for fun and connecting people together, is a leap forward in the direction we want to see Bitcoin in gaming,” chief BitQuest developer Cristián Gonzáles told CoinDesk.
BitQuest has “serious gaming,” including a virtual architecture contest. That’s but a first example of converging virtual reality and blockchain technology, and shows how bitcoin can be a solid foundation for the in-game economies of social games such as Second Life and forthcoming virtual worlds such as “Second Life successor” High Fidelity.
Giulio Prisco is a writer specialized in science, technology and business. He is persuaded that Bitcoin and its underlying technology are about to bring disruptive positive changes to finance, business, and society.