Tag: blockchain (page 1 of 8)

The economics of blockchain-based gaming don’t add up

Blake Robbins, who used to work on game design at Roblox, has written an in-depth post on why blockchain-based gaming will never take off.

TL;DR: not only is it likely to be a Ponzi scheme, it’s just a really bad idea for basic economic reasons.

The policy trilemma

Narratives can be moulded, but unfortunately crypto gaming evangelists will not be able to change basic economics. The fact that the problem with the Mundell-Fleming trilemma and how crypto games fall on the wrong side of them from a pure game design perspective which ultimately prevent large developers from creating AAA games with open economies as well as ruining user experience is totally ignored by VCs who are funnelling absurd amounts of money into these projects makes me question if they actually believe in the narrative they’re pushing, or if they’re simply investing in token pre-sales and planning on dumping on unwitting retail bagholders.

For the record, I’m not a crypto hater or anything… [h]owever, I just don’t see the application of decentralised blockchains in gaming, there isn’t a need. Putting games on the blockchain will just result in really slow servers as everything would constantly have to be verified by a decentralised database. No one gamer has ever said: “I don’t trust Rockstar to store my data correctly which is why I won’t buy GTA V”. Building games for the sole purpose of “play to earn” or “play to own” means that players are no longer playing games for enjoyment, but rather the hope that they can monetise their holdings. Inevitably, this means that the quality of game experience will drop, as developers focus solely on how to turn every single aspect of a game into an NFT which can be traded. Collectible trading should be complementary, like in Roblox or Counter-Strike , it should not be the whole purpose of a game. You might as well scrap the game altogether, and just focus on making NFT collections like Bored Apes or Cryptopunks. Recreating games to have a similiar culture will not work out.

Source: Why crypto gaming is not the future | blakeir

Blockchain and trusted third parties

As Cory Doctorow points out, merely putting something on a blockchain doesn’t make the data itself ‘trusted’ (or useful!)

In passing, it’s interesting that he cites Vinay Gupta in the piece, as Vinay is someone I’ve historically had a lot of time for. However, Mattereum (NFTs for physical assets) just… seems like a distraction from more important work he’s previously done?

In other words:

if: problem + blockchain = problem – blockchain

then: blockchain = 0

The blockchain hasn’t added anything to the situation, except considerable cost (which could just as easily be spent on direct transfers to poor farmers, assuming you could find someone you trust to hand out the money) and complexity (which creates lots of opportunities for cheating).

Source: The Inevitability of Trusted Third Parties | Cory Doctorow

Co-ops and DAOs

Handy article, especially for those deep in the ‘capitalist realism’ (or neoliberalism) that the author describes.

Although co-ops and DAOS are both collectively owned and co-determined organizational forms, there are some key differences. Primarily, cooperatives have one-member, one-vote governance. This means that people vote, not dollars. No single member of a cooperative can purchase more power than anyone else.

While it is possible for DAOs to emulate cooperative governance, it’s more common to observe the easier-to-implement governance pattern of one-token, one-vote, since verifying one’s personhood is still a nascent field in the world of blockchain.


From my experiences in the two spaces, I have noticed that DAOs tend to be better at enabling collective ownership at scale, even if their cultural understanding of the rights, responsibilities, and accountability associated with ownership is comparatively underdeveloped. And while cooperatives tend to be less successful in securing funding, they are also more likely, through their sober rejection of capitalist realism, to correctly address the root causes of inequity. Below, I’ll share some of the key takeaways I have gleaned about what DAOs and co-ops can learn from each other.

Source: What Co-ops and DAOs Can Learn From Each Other