Why blockchains have to embrace gamification if they want to survive
In the ever-changing digital landscape, we live in it can be very hard to grab, and hold people’s attention. If something doesn’t immediately grab people’s attention or provide some benefit to them then it is quickly discarded for a better version. That’s where gamification comes in. Gamification is when a developer adds game-like features to their website or app. They do this to encourage user interaction, and to keep customers interested.
Where gamification began
Banks and airlines were among the first to catch onto the idea of offering rewards for use of goods and services. We’ve all heard of air-miles. These are points you can acquire when buying a plane ticket that you can use to get discounts and rewards on future flights. Banks do a similar thing; you can earn points when you swipe your credit or debit card that can be used at certain retailers to earn discounts. This incentivizes people to use these products often.
Gamification and the blockchain
Well, blockchain’s are already gamified. They offer tokens that can be used to perform tasks using their software. The difference is that the user usually has to buy or mine these tokens. So instead of a reward for using the product, it’s an entry fee. Another problem with this is that with cryptocurrencies reputation as a valuable investment, people hold onto their tokens instead of using them to interact with the blockchain. Most companies are not using the full potential of the blockchain and token system as a marketing tool.
Example of how it can be done
HotNow is a mobile advertising network based in Thailand. They provide users with specials and discounts based on where they are at the time. They have created a cryptocurrency of their own called HoToKen, with the aim of improving interactions between merchants and consumers. To earn these tokens users have to participate in mission-like games. When the mission is complete they earn HoToKens which can then be used to unlock discounts and promotions at HotNow’s partner stores. The benefit to the retailers is that they are able to gain insight into their customers as well as testing the elasticity of their prices.
Why blockchains should embrace gamification
In order to keep a financial ecosystem healthy people, need to be interacting with and buying into it. The more tokens moving around and being used to pay for goods and services the more sustainable value these ecosystems have. As explained earlier people tend to hold on to cryptocurrency tokens, so developers have to find a way to get them to spend them. Ethereum has done this to an extent. Their crypto-coin Ether is used to pay for smart contracts on their blockchain. They also created the incredible popular Crypto Kitties game which runs on their blockchain and uses Ether as currency. This and more have made them the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world and growing.
There will come a time when just releasing a token will not be enough to incentivize people to use your platform. If there is no intrinsic value in what you have created, then it will quickly fall by the wayside and it will fail. The crypto-craze can’t last forever and it is those companies who have created products with a value outside of their tokens that will stand the test of time. That is why NEO, Ripple and Ethereum are the names you hear when people talk about sustainable cryptocurrencies.
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