I’m proud to announce Enjin’s new cryptocurrency for gamers, launching this summer. We’re calling it "Enjin Coin," and it’s an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

You can check out our official whitepaper for the in-depth concept.

In this article, I’ll begin by talking about the Custom Coins feature and how virtual assets will benefit gamers, developers and community owners.

Creating Game Items

The core purpose of the platform is to create and sell virtual assets. Enjin Coin allows you to create new tokens called Custom Coins. They represent any kind of game item, currency, or permission token.

To create a new custom coin, you begin by defining some parameters:

  • Name
  • Icon
  • Maximum Supply
  • Exchange Rate
  • Decimal Places

This creates a mint contract for your coin on the blockchain. A mint contract can receive and store ENJ, and produces the new custom token in return.

You might create a custom coin called “Emerald” and set the exchange rate to 5 ENJ per Emerald. Five (5) ENJ is sent and stored inside the mint to create each Emerald.

All custom coins are backed with ENJ, which gives the tokens liquidity. Anyone holding the custom token could send it back to the original mint contract to receive the ENJ that was used to produce it.

You’ll notice that this is similar to a reserve currency—but with the guarantee of the smart contract adhering to the exchange rate rules. In an upcoming article, we will explore the options for increasing value and inflation as a Custom Coin becomes worth more in the economy.

By default most creators will lock the ability to mint Custom Coins to only themselves, but the access settings can also permit anyone to mint new assets.

Why represent game items with Custom Coins?

Practically all games today use an internal, centralized database to represent items. It’s fast and cheap, and it’s been the standard for decades—but there are some compelling reasons to look to using the blockchain instead.

The world is becoming more decentralized.

Just like the move from hard-drive backups to cloud storage, people are now moving their assets to the decentralized internet. Bitcoin, along with Ethereum and other innovative blockchain technologies have had over eight years to evolve and enter the public consciousness. We are in the midst of an explosion of decentralization.

It’s creeping into every aspect of our lives: from identity, to law, to politics and medical research. People are recognizing the security and sovereignty of the public ledger and they will begin to demand it anywhere they commit their time and money.

Virtual worlds are becoming part of people’s identities.

With players often spending hundreds or thousands of hours in a single online game, they are investing a lot of energy into their virtual characters and assets. If players had full ownership of these assets, they would value them more. Assets gained years earlier could also increase in value and draw the players back into the game.

Player accounts have been accidentally wiped in many games or hacked:

An Entire MMO Was Accidentally Erased From the Internet
And you think server downtime is bad. Spare a thought for players of Japanese/Korean MMO M2, which thanks to a little accident has actually been deleted. Forever. Like, it’s gone, and is never coming back.

Players might be falsely banned, losing all their items, or companies could purge their player database and delete older characters:

Aion Online
Become an active member of the Aion community and meet new friends on our gaming forums.

Anyone who has experienced an unfortunate event like this might never play the game again, and would become disillusioned with centralized game items having any worth at all. We need a system where players have full control and ownership over their virtual assets.

Payment fraud, trust, and security

Merchants suffer from a lot of payment fraud. It is estimated that for every legitimate virtual purchase made, there are 7.5 virtual items lost to fraud. This can be drastically improved because of the reliability of transactions on the blockchain.

Persistence between different games and communities

A glance at any self-respecting gamer’s Steam collection will show you tens (if not hundreds) of games. Even hardcore MMO enthusiasts will drop into new games for some novel variety.

If a player loses interest in a certain game, their assets would normally be left to decay, devoid of all value. At best, their old account might be sold off on eBay, if the game developer doesn’t outright ban such activities.

With each new game, players have to start from scratch, and while this is often an interesting element of gameplay, it shouldn’t be the only option available.

Imagine being able to play in different games that share economies and certain item types between their game-worlds. This opens many possibilities for new game experiences that haven’t been explored yet by game developers!

Decentralized assets create real in-game economies

Using cryptocurrencies will allow for free markets in games. Trading in-and-out of the game itself. Since the currency cannot be manipulated or banned by arbitrary game rules, it will behave and feel more like a real economy. This can make games much more immersive, and it’s something that has been missing in gaming for a long time.

Game companies might need to plan carefully when allocating items, but it reflects the real world better. Players will truly value their game assets.

Access & Privilege Tokens

Custom coins can be used for access in a game or website.

  • For example, a custom “Chest Key” token could be required to open chests containing rare items in a game.
  • On a website, a “Forum Post” token could allow users to create a single post in a VIP forum per token spent.
  • The website owner may sell a limited number of “Ad” tokens that allow uploading an ad to the news page or message board. These could be traded further by players.

The integration between games and websites allows for some powerful privilege dynamics between the two platforms.

Final Thoughts

The gaming world is ready to experience a revolution in decentralized game assets and currency with Custom Coins on the blockchain.

We’ve only scratched the surface of features that could be implemented into future games when real asset ownership is introduced.

Head to our website to learn more.