As CES 2016 gets underway, it’s becoming clear that Virtual Reality (VR) is set to be one of the big things in technology during 2016. Across the Internet, tech websites are reporting on various VR developments coming from CES, ranging from Oculus giving Kickstarter backers Rift headseats for free to the Immersit VR experience. With all the hype surrounding VR going into 2016, you can be sure that entrepreneurs are currently racking their brains, trying to figure out how to get into this fledgling industry.
Can Bitcoin Capitalize on the 2016 VR Hype?
But what about Bitcoin? Can our beloved digital payments system capitalize on 2016’s apparent VR trend? The two seem unrelated on the surface, but if we dig far enough, there is a connection that can be made. Both Bitcoin and VR are on the cutting edge of technology; Bitcoin is revolutionizing money, and VR is expected to revolutionize the way we play video games. So, certainly VR developers can find a way to leverage Bitcoin to revolutionize the way people pay for video games.
Of course, the Bitcoin community has been wishing for a way to buy games with bitcoin for a while, and, a few companies have obliged. Green Man Gaming was one of the first online game retailers to accept bitcoin, and the popular G2A marketplace started accepting bitcoin in late 2015.
However, judging by the initial hype surrounding VR, working bitcoin into VR gaming would make a much bigger splash than online retailers accepting the digital currency. Combining two cutting edge technologies into one Space Age gaming ecosystem is the stuff that sci-fi dreams are made of. More importantly for us, though, catching the VR wave would bring much more attention to Bitcoin, possibly sparking a large growth in users.
One company has already realized the potential of combining VR with cryptocurrency. In October 2015, Brave New Coin reported on Voxelus, a VR content creation firm that has created its own cryptocurrency for use in its VR content marketplace. These tokens, called “Voxels,” will be the only accepted form of payment on the Voxelus marketplace. The company partnered with ShapeShift to hold a public sale of the token in order to achieve some level of distribution in the lead up to the Voxelus marketplace’s early 2016 launch.
While Voxelus is attempting to spread cryptocurrency use through its VR content marketplace, we can only imagine how much more successful an already-established digital currency like bitcoin would be in terms of VR integration. With Bitcoin, no crowdsale would be needed, since the currency already has a broad user base relative to other cryptocurrencies. Additionally, with Bitcoin’s established network effect, it already has the potential to be used on several VR platforms without needing much marketing, unlike the Voxels.
Beyond marketplace monetization, VR content creators could have a lot of fun developing a game about Bitcoin. Similar projects have already been successfully completed; Bitcoin billionaire was a raging success on the mobile phone platforms. Plus, although not a video game, the popular comic book, Bitcoin: The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto, succeeded in giving Bitcoin some pop-culture recognition. In fact, a copy of the comic book — autographed by many popular members in the Bitcoin community — was recently auctioned at a conference for $10,000 USD worth of bitcoin.
Imagine turning that comic book into a VR game, or creating a game with a similar concept. Not only would it have the potential to be an extremely fun game, but it could expose a whole new audience of tech and gaming enthusiasts to Bitcoin.
Even though the idea of a project that allows Bitcoin to capitalize on the VR trend sounds far-fetched, it’s worth a shot if we consider the potential success it could bring. The VR hype is real in the PC gaming community, with popular tech personalities like Luke from Linus Tech Tips expressing their excitement for the phenomenon. Furthermore, hardware companies like Nvidia are working to prepare their products to support VR gaming, anticipating the large demand for VR-capable PC components. If only an entrepreneur could dream up an innovative way to get VR geeks excited about Bitcoin, we could see a possible wave of new Bitcoin users.
Can you think of a good way to integrate Bitcoin into VR gaming? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Huffington Post, CNBC, and Noodlecake Studios