Exploring How Blockchain Technology Is Influencing the Gaming Industry with’s Andrew Wagner

Gaming is a massive industry, and in recent years, it has combined forces with blockchain to create an entirely new experience. CryptoCurrents guest host John Biggs sat down with Andrew Wagner, the leading figure at, to delve into the use cases and how blockchain actually adds to the gaming experience and promises to reshape how virtual worlds operate.

While blockchain is often perceived as a complex and esoteric concept, it is essentially a method of storing and verifying data, particularly data that people might dispute. Wagner explained, “In Bitcoin, that data is money. People fight over that all the time. How much money does he have? Can he afford that?”

The principle of verifiable transactions extends beyond cryptocurrency into the realm of gaming, where disputes over items, scores, and achievements are common. In gaming, blockchain can verify who owns an item, what the high score is, or even who won a match.

Wagner illustrated, “It’s like having unique physical objects in a game that are unique to you and that you can own.” This introduces an increased level of authenticity and ownership within virtual environments.

Decentralization in gaming offers several significant advantages. Wagner highlighted the frustration of “walled gardens” in traditional games. Talking about his World of Warcraft days, he commented, “At the end of the day, I couldn’t sell my account or truly trade the gold I’d earned due to terms of service restrictions.”

Blockchain gaming eliminates these barriers, allowing for true ownership and trade of virtual assets. Moreover, from a developer’s perspective, blockchain opens new avenues for fundraising. Developers can pre-sell items or tokens to raise funds for game development. This not only democratizes the funding process but also fosters innovation by reducing reliance on traditional publishers.

Despite its potential, blockchain gaming faces significant challenges. One major issue is the presence of AI bots in decentralized games. Wagner mentioned, “We lack a decentralized Turing test.” This can lead to scenarios where bots dominate the game, disrupting the intended player experience.

However, Wagner is optimistic about the future. He cited the example of Huntercoin, a decentralized MMO where players battled against a dominant player known as the “Dominator.” Although they had to fork the blockchain to mitigate the issue, the game’s organic evolution demonstrated the unique dynamics of decentralized environments.

One of the promising ventures supported by is Rising Star, a game where players start as buskers and work their way up to becoming rock stars. The game employs a two-tier token model, similar to those in popular mobile games, to manage its in-game economy.

Wagner explained, “The game allows you to promote and sell albums and music through the game, functioning as a music marketplace.”

This innovative approach has resonated with players and investors alike, particularly in regions where transaction fees in other cryptocurrencies are prohibitively high. “For Rising Star, we have a lot of players from Venezuela… where the fees that you pay in Ethereum are a lot to them,” Wagner noted.

The integration of blockchain in gaming is still nascent, with many promising projects in development. Wagner believes that as high-quality, artistically significant games emerge, they will help overcome the skepticism currently surrounding blockchain gaming.

“The better a game is, the longer it’s going to take to make… all the terrible games came out first,” he remarked, suggesting that the true potential of blockchain gaming is yet to be fully realized.

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