Vitalik Buterin is one of the most prominent names in the crypto sphere, thanks to its role as Ethereum creator, the second most popular cryptocurrency tailing Bitcoin. The Russian-Canadian prodigy managed to create much more than just a cryptocurrency — he came up with a decentralized platform, enabling developers to create decentralized apps and harness the power of smart contracts.
But what Ethereum can do is just a result, and the real question here is: how did Buterik come up with the idea of creating Ethereum? It turns out it had something to do with him playing World of Warcraft.
Like many people his age, Vitalik was an avid gamer, especially when it came to the most popular MMORPG in the world — World of Warcraft. He was a successful warlock in the game, doing very well in the virtual world, but then something changed the history of blockchain and cryptocurrencies: the Siphon Life spell was nerfed, taking away the power Buterin had in-game.
Young Buterin was heartbroken because of this. He did not believe that anyone could have so much power over his character after all the effort he had put into its development. Vitalik simply didn’t like how centralized servers work.
A centralized server is basically any server nowadays that doesn’t include blockchain or other distributed technologies. It means that everything that happens on the server is in the hands of a few people. In the case of World of Warcraft, those people are developers and server moderators. To put things into perspective, if you have 1000 gold coins in the game, mods need to type a couple of lines into the console to make them go away — or turn them into 10,000 gold. This also applies to in-game arms. Imagine having the best sword in the game and just waking up one morning to see it disappear from your pouch. Unfair, indeed.
The only difference between in-game gold coins and Bitcoin is that nobody can wipe out your BTC, as it’s based on a decentralized technology and uses a distributed ledger. Now, we’ll not go into detail about why BTC has value, as you can read that elsewhere, but what matters is that people agreed that BTC has value and cannot be rigged, which is enough. Therefore, no single person can access the underlying code of BTC and turn your 10 BTC into 10,000 BTC. If blockchain was applied to WoW gold, it would get real value. More importantly, nobody would be able to alter or affect your digital in-game wealth.
But what about your sword, for example? What if its in-game power is nerfed, and it’s not as powerful as it used to be? If in-game arms were to be itemized, that sort of thing wouldn’t be possible, applying the same technology to them.
NFT stands for a non-fungible token, and unique swords are indeed non-fungible in games, which is why the popular technology we apply to digital art can be used to give real value to in-game items.
In fact, a company called Digital Arms already works on a related project to turn all firearm brands into NFTs and make them unique for first-person shooter games. Of course, their scope doesn’t include medieval weapons (at least not at the moment), but if you’re a fan of games such as CS:GO, you could own weapons as non-fungible tokens. Digital Arms is already working hard on achieving its goal and has recently partnered with Metaland, a blockchain-based first-person shooter, laying the path to the first game with IP-licensed NFT firearms.
It’s only a matter of time before this concept is applied to other games and in-game items, spells, and more.
The metaverse is described as a digital realm where people can meet, play games, hang out, and even conduct business. The real question here is this: is World of Warcraft a metaverse? Technically speaking, it is, but it lacks one essential component — blockchain. Namely, the metaverse concept revolves around everything being tokenized, including in-game currencies and all items.
Therefore, nobody in the metaverse can affect your ownership in any way. That’s why metaverse is one of the biggest buzzwords nowadays — it makes digital ownership a reality. Of course, it’s still a very new concept, but we’ll see more of it in the future, as the crypto and NFT craze has been bigger than ever.
If WoW’s creators start accepting this technology, we could even hope to see Buterik’s warlock again dominating Azeroth. But probably not. The guy’s likely to be very busy.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice
NFTs and Guns