Blizzard, one of the biggest game producers, announced the release of an in-game digital currency tradable as tokens in their upcoming patch of World of Warcraft.

Blizzard’s new token buyable with fiat

The new feature allows players to securely exchange Wow gold, not real gold, and time between each other. As described here in details, players will be able to purchase this token with fiat money through the in-game shop. Players are also able to sell and purchase these tokens on the Auction house for in game gold at the current market price.

The game-maker hasn’t announced the pricing yet and expects it to be defined based on supply and demand of the users. One interesting point is that if a player purchases these tokens from the Auction house in WoW gold, the token becomes Soulbound so it can only be sold once and should be redeemed within 30 days. The fact that this WoW gold is not tradable multiple times makes it more secure against attacks and compromised accounts.

However, one big question that arises here is why did Blizzard opt for in-house digital currency? Simply to get some cash flowing from their users? But then why didn’t they make it freely tradable by accepting bitcoin?

The answer is simple: Because they appreciate a closed market where they can control the supply of their coins, and also their proposed system is simpler to maintain against cyber-attacks on accounts.

World of Warcraft certainly dwarfs any other online multi-player game in the gaming industry and this news has gone raised the hopes for gamers in the Bitcoin community toward bitcoin acceptance across Blizzard games.

Bitcoin is already in use in several games because, due to its digital nature and low transaction fees, it can easily be integrated into any game enhancing the experience by rewarding users.

World of Warcraft logo

Why not Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has been implemented and developed in an open source community in different languages and platforms such as in C++, Python and Java and thus, it can be really efficiently and easily implemented in any platform. However, any open market such as what see in the crypto space cannot really be centrally controlled in a way that Blizzard or some other gaming companies would prefer.

They generally look for a feature in the game that can be valued such as gold and time, and in return want to sell it in exchange for consumers’ money, in such a way that the users cannot discover its real value in an open market.

Business-wise, this makes sense for the game creators. However, many games, such as Sarutobi that rewards users with bitcoin and the ability to trade a real valued currency in games, are gaining in popularity. Therefore, as more and more gamers realize the advantages of using open-market cryptocurrencies in the virtual world, we can certainly expect World of Warcraft to shift in this direction sooner or later. 

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