Founded in May 2017, DMarket is the world’s first blockchain-based marketplace for buying, selling, exchanging, and collecting in-game items.
Blockchain is the technology used to create, update, and maintain a decentralised, trusted log of transactions that occur within a network.
DMarket is built on blockchain technology, and is essentially a token created for the gaming community that can be used to pay for and trade virtual products and assets on a virtual marketplace.
In-game currencies have been around for years, but DMarket and its fellow blockchain-based currencies hope to turn gaming, a leisure activity, into a potentially economic pursuit where gamers can reliably and safely trade.
DMarket received a large amount of support from the gaming community, raising over $19 million during its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). More than 60% of DMarket’s contributors are gamers.
“With DMarket, gamers will be able to make their virtual items available on the global economy, creating a new billion dollar market,” DMarket founder and CEO Volodymyr Panchenko said in a statement.
“We are utilizing blockchain technology to act as a matchmaker between virtual and real economies. DMarket will satisfy the demand of more than two billion gamers across different platforms.”
What’s the difference between DMarket and traditional in-game currencies?
Unlike cryptocurrencies like DMarket, in-game currencies can rarely be used to buy real-life assets, limiting players to buying and spending within one game or platform. They both enable players to buy products without relying on traditional financial institutions, but the point of DMarket is that it’s designed to be universal.
Most gaming universes and platforms can’t be connected. There’s rarely an option to purchase external items using in-game coins, and when there is, the options are limited – though some companies have attempted to increase the real-life value of in-game coins by enabling users to buy assets outside of the game.
Similar to cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase or Kraken, some in-game currencies also let users trade in-game coins for fiat currency – legal tender whose value is backed by the government that issued it.
Games developer Blizzard, meanwhile, accepts World of Warcraft gold purchases within other games that it sells.
Cross-platform buying and selling
DMarket provides a solution to cross-platform, cross-game trading, allowing gamers to buy or sell any virtual item from any game on any platform.
With DMarket, most cryptocurrencies can be integrated into any game and support any kind of transaction.
DMarket has also partnered with various games developers including Unity, creator of the world’s most widely used game development platform.
“I see our alliance with Unity as a huge step forward and benefit for the entire gaming and Esports ecosystem all over the world,” said Vlad Panchenko in a statement.
“Unity powers more than half of all new mobile games and 60% of all VR and AR content. DMarket enables every Unity game developer to receive access to the unlimited blockchain universe in order to make virtual items real, level up gaming experience, and be the first to reap the benefits from skyrocketing blockchain markets.”
Peter O’Reilly, head of asset store at Unity Technologies, added that the partnership makes “in-game assets more accessible for users,” explaining that DMarket is “tailored to each particular game developer and doesn’t affect existing game balance or gameplay.”
The total audience of Unity-based games is about 770 million players. Players of any Unity-based game can easily connect to the DMarket blockchain and make in-game assets available for virtual trading and exchange. Unity gamers are also able to connect their game account to DMarket, where they can create their asset inventory and trade and track transactions.
More on DMarket
In March 2018, DMarket released its product version 2.0 beta, less than six months after the launch of the alpha version 1.0. One of the beta’s key updates was Steam integration, enabling players to trade Steam-stored in-game items.
Last year also saw the company launch eight new language versions of its platform. It’s now available in Russian, Korean, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, and Turkish, as well as English.
Enabling users to manage their crypto assets and digital products, DMarket also launched its mobile wallet, available on both iOS and Android. The app supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, DMarket Token, DMarket Coin, ERC-20 tokens, and DMarket Blockchain items.
Will gaming developers sign up for a universal blockchain-based cryptocurrency?
According to DMarket, in the $100 billion-plus gaming market, only about 4,000 gamers can profit from gaming.
There’s already a first-person shooter on the market that lets players win or lose cryptocurrency based on the amount of kills and deaths they record.
One game currently in development focuses on ‘digital scarcity‘ and in-game item ownership, while another game developer has rallied a team of industry veterans, including a former Rockstar CEO and the ‘Father of the PlayStation,’ to develop a series of blockchain-based games.
It remains to be seen how DMarket and similar projects will fare, but decentralised, universal in-game currencies would certainly benefit gamers and game developers by eliminating the need to build a separate economy.