The Rise of Blockchain-Powered Play-to-Earn Games in Africa: An Economic Frontier

June 3, 2024

The Rise of Blockchain-Powered Play-to-Earn Games in Africa: An Economic Frontier

The past couple of months have been viral with the launch of play-to-earn games on Telegram. With the likes of NOT coin and Tapswap taking the current lead in Nigeria. TapSwap coin mining simplifies the process of earning Tap tokens by engaging with the Telegram bot, allowing users to start mining by tapping an icon, enhancing the gaming experience with social interaction.

In Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economies, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that 33.3% of the labour force was unemployed in Q4 2020. P2E games offer an alternative income stream, helping to alleviate economic pressures. The ability to earn from gaming provides not just a leisure activity but a viable financial opportunity, making blockchain technology more appealing and practical for everyday use. Luckily according to the GSMA Mobile Economy Report 2023, smartphone adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 67% by 2025, up from 50% in 2020.

The integration of blockchain technology with popular messaging platforms like Telegram has catalyzed the growth of play-to-earn (P2E) games in Africa. This innovative approach not only enhances blockchain adaptability among users but also presents a significant opportunity for economic improvement in the West African region. The fusion of these technologies is transforming the digital landscape, providing new avenues for income generation and economic empowerment.

Leveraging Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) for P2E Game Development

The Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) offers a powerful platform for developers aiming to create P2E games in Africa. ICP, developed by the DFINITY Foundation, allows for scalable, efficient, and secure decentralized applications (dApps). This makes it an ideal choice for P2E game development, providing several advantages:

1. Scalability: ICP’s architecture can handle large volumes of transactions, essential for games with a high number of users.

2. Low Costs: Transaction costs on the Internet Computer are significantly lower than traditional blockchain platforms, making it more feasible for developers and users.

3. Interoperability: ICP can integrate with other blockchains and traditional systems, enhancing the gaming ecosystem.

Other earning mechanisms to explore

Beyond Play to Earn, the gaming system has many variations that blockchain innovators can also explore, and that can be built on ICP through the DAO system set in place.

Learn to Earn, L2E

This is a gaming mechanism that fuses education with earning. This system deals with both learning experience for the user and rewards like financial incentives.

Quest to Earn, Q2E

This involves completing certain tasks for rewards. This could involve playing games, solving puzzles, and completing surveys.

Move to Earn, M2E

This mainly deals with physical activities, most times linked to fitness and wellness applications. Players are incentivized with real-world rewards for completing movement tasks.

The ICP platform's P2E game development could significantly boost the West African economy by creating jobs for developers, graphic designers, and community managers. This would also foster financial inclusion, allowing individuals without traditional banking access to participate in the economy. Additionally, the tech industry in West Africa could benefit from the skills developed through P2E game development, contributing to a more robust tech ecosystem.