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What is the difference between crypto and blockchain gaming?

We often hear about “blockchain gaming” and “crypto gaming”. But what are the concrete differences between these different notions? Is there any difference between them?


In a world that begins to look like “Ready Player One”, two main tribes had time to settle. These tribes keep different promises to the players:

  • Crypto gaming
  • Blockchain gaming

Knowing that these worlds can overlap, the communication of the different projects is sometimes ambiguous. When we talk about “Play to earn“, we’re easily tempted to think that it’s going to be easy to earn crypto-money while having fun at the same time. It is important today to define what these terms mean so that a neophyte does not feel cheated and the elders can advise them.

[The definitions set below are personal observations, so they may be subject to change according to uses]

There are two kind of video games in the Crypto industry: the blockchain game and the crypto game. The terms themselves can be ambiguous and confusing, not necessarily set in stone, but there are key differences between the different types of crypto/blockchain games.

Crypto gaming

Crypto”: diminutive for Crypto-currency. Plus “Gaming”: “Crypto Gaming” : Games where the “Crypto” is the financial assets in circulation on the blockchains, so the gameplay will utilize and payout using this cryptocurrency.

It is the most common term but also the least clear, since it combines two very common words. It is so vague that it could include all styles!

Crypto gaming is defined by a game that rewards players in crypto or NFT. It is your skills and the amount of time you will invest in the game that will determine the odds of winning. Even if at the beginning there were games that resembled the Flash games of the 2000s, the gameplay and the styles offered have evolved enormously. 

To give you an idea, take a look for yourself at Satoshis’ Games. Compared to today’s gaming standard, this may make you smile, but this site is “Legit” and very popular.
Today, this studio is working on Lightnite, a Fortnite-like game but would reward players with Bitcoin dust through the Lightning Network.

With the arrival of “non-fungible tokens”, the games that were only available on the browser are working hard to have their mobile version (Axie Infinity, MyCryptoHeroes, 0xWarriors…) to reach an even wider audience. Other games, more greedy in hardware resources, preferred to focus on fixed versions (Crypto Space Commander, Forgotten Artifact, Gods Unchained…).

Some challengers have appeared in recent months (CelerX, IOST, Lynx, Ziliqa for example) and offer applications directly from their dedicated portfolio. These players are still young in the sector, so they still have to prove themselves in the field in order to grow.

The pros:

  • Game fluidity
  • Possibility of better graphics
  • Immediate rewards

The cons:

  • “not your keys, not your crypto.”
  • Earning dust
  • Difficulty withdrawing earnings
  • Centralized governance

Blockchain gaming

Blockchain”: decentralized data ledger. “Gaming”: games. “Blockchain Gaming” will highlight the technology itself, independently of financial assets. Thus, the values of decentralization, true ownership, and resistance to censorship will be promoted and are the only option.

The “blockchain gaming” aims at the most decentralized format possible. For the purists of the blockchain, reaching this level of development is a real dream! At the moment there are no such games available, but some are trying to get closer to them. As an example, we can talk about Decentraland based games such as Battle Racers or Chainbreakers or, Decentraland itself.

Total decentralisation is an enormous technical challenge as many questions are raised about its possible realisation:

  • Do the rules of the game have to be written on the blockchain and thus make them immutable?
  • Do the graphics have to be generated by a central server or will one day each computer be able to provide some resources to host an entire MMORPG?
  • What is interoperability in a metaverses?

The pros:

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Security
  • Control

The cons:

  • UX
  • Graphics and Performance
  • Accessibility


The challenge in defining these terms is to strike a balance between a centralized and a decentralized universe. The challenge in defining these terms is to strike a balance between a centralized and a decentralized universe.

The worst-case is an exit scam for crypto and provably fair games because the team flies away with the money. Same for the Blockchains games because it leaves players with items that will not be used until a new team takes over the project.

Another risk is “the modification of the rules“. Even if the characteristics of an NFT are engraved in the metadata, nothing prevents developers from manipulating the environment in which the NFT is used.

If we take the example of MegaCryptoPolis, the whole business model has been changed during their last update. (which makes our previous article obsolete). So, yes, those who invested money a year ago have kept their buildings but, they need to reinvest and rethink their strategy to get any return. The developers quickly change the rules to force consumers to purchase again and again.

As another example, if there is no longer an interface to open the vaults of a presale, you will have to go through a third party other than the original creator to use the NFT for the vault. At worst, it will be useless.

So be sure to find out which rules you agree to when you sign with your crypto wallet!

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