As the cryptocurrency world expands, it's difficult to say exactly how many other industries it will impact. Nonetheless, one industry that has already been affected by the expanding digital currency realm is gaming. As mining operations have proliferated and amateur currency miners have sought to set up their own rigs, the price of graphics cards across the globe has shot up. (See also: Ether Mining Boom Causes Graphics Card Shortage in Germany.)
While this effect has so far been negative, there's reason to believe there may be some positive elements that the cryptocurrency space will bring the gaming world. Now, a company called NEVERDIE is capitalizing on the initial coin offering (ICO) trend in order to expand on the possibilities of virtual reality games that make use of cryptocurrency-like tokens.
$2.1 Million So Far
NEVERDIE is a gaming company that has explored the virtual reality space for years. Now, it is engaging in an ICO to raise money (without regulation) for a new venture into the cryptocurrency and blockchain worlds. So far, the ICO has earned more than $2.1 million, with a single investor donating as much as $50,000 toward the project. The ICO is likely to continue to bring in more funds through its closure on August 1.
NEVERDIE CEO Jon Jacobs spoke with Forbes about his company's latest plans. "Esports is a great way for gamers to earn meaningful income, and digital currency makes perfect sense for the purse," he said, referring to online betting. His company will plan to add a blockchain sports book with its own NEVERDIE tokens in the future.
He adds, "betting is really one of the most important ingredients for turning esports into spectator sports. We launched the NEVERDIE coins on the Ethereum Blockchain because it was really much harder to grow an audience for high-level esports, but now there are so many ways we can tackle it. When you combine Twitch streaming and cryptocurrencies, you have tremendous tools at your fingertips for creating exciting events that are inclusive."
More Companies Exploring the Space
Jacobs and NEVERDIE are not the only ones looking to capitalize on the intersection of esports, betting, VR, and cryptocurrencies. Monster Byte Inc. is a similar company that launched an ICO in June. Skincoin is also in the game, with an ICO launched around the same time.
Jacobs feels that esports will be an "essential part of game culture" going forward, and that "competing against other gamers for prizes and titles really keeps things exciting and keeps gamers striving to better themselves." The CEO has experience with money being made in the digital world. In 2010, Jacobs reportedly sold a virtual space station that he had designed for $635,000, netting a cool profit of more than $500,000.