The video game industry is a massive global phenomenon that is constantly growing. It was worth an estimated $180.3 billion in 2021, and this number is projected to grow to $300 billion by 2025. While the industry has been growing steadily for years, a new development in the last few months is set to shake things up even more. : blockchain game.
What are blockchain games? Simply put, these are video games that use blockchain technology as their foundation. But what does that mean? And why are people so fascinated by them? Let’s take a closer look.
Blockchain technology is the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is an open source distributed database that enables secure peer-to-peer transactions without a third party such as a bank or financial institution. This makes it ideal for video games, as trust and security are important elements for successful online gaming.
What Laws Affect Blockchain Gaming?
Blockchain games are subject to the same laws as any other type of video game. However, since blockchain gaming is a relatively new phenomenon, there are no laws governing it. However, it is important to be aware of the laws that apply to video games in general and how blockchain technology may affect those laws.
1. Gambling laws
Gambling laws are perhaps the most important thing to know about this form of gambling. Many blockchain games have in-game currencies—used to purchase items, unlock features, or represent a stake in the game’s economy—that can be bought, sold, or exchanged for real money. Therefore, there is a risk that these games can be used for illegal gambling activities.
For example, in the United States, gambling is regulated at the state level, so each state has its own laws governing what is considered gambling and what is not. Some states have very strict laws, while others have more lenient laws. Therefore, it is important to know the gambling laws in your state or country before playing any blockchain games.
2. Token markets as stock exchanges
Blockchain games can also potentially run into problems because many of them have features similar to hedge exchanges. Many of these games use tokens as currency, which can be bought and sold on token markets. These tokens can sometimes be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges or used to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs). These token exchanges can be considered security exchanges, which means they must be registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In the United States, the SEC regulates all securities trading, which includes anything that can be traded for money, such as stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. Although companies may be required to disclose certain information to investors and impose restrictions on who can buy tokens, the SEC has not taken any action against these markets at this time, as the legal classification of these tokens is still a subject of debate in many jurisdictions.
3. Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws
Like any other video game, blockchain games are subject to copyright and intellectual property laws. These laws protect the creative works of game developers, including game code, art, and music.
These laws are important because they give game developers a way to prevent others from copying or stealing their work; they can also be used to prevent players from changing (“modifying”) the game in a way that the developers don’t approve of.
Blockchain games are a relatively new phenomenon and as such are still subject to many of the same laws as other video games. However, because they use blockchain technology, several additional laws may potentially apply to them. Since the exact law is currently unclear, it is important to be aware of the laws that apply to video games and how blockchain technology may affect them.
Suppose you are interested in learning more about the legal implications of blockchain gaming. In that case, I recommend listening to the podcast episode “Season 2 Episode 9: How To Make Money Playing Blockchain Games (featuring Neeraj Kashyap).”