New Developments in GameFi: Play-to-Airdrop and Prediction Markets

Both play-to-airdrop and prediction markets have blurred the boundaries between Web2 and Web3. Our latest report looks into new developments in GameFi by delving deeper into these two trends.

Jul 04, 2024
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Key Takeaways

  • Recently, a new form of Web3 gaming has quickly accumulated users – play-to-airdrop, and in particular, tap-to-earn. At the same time, prediction markets have become popular in 2024. Our latest report looks into new developments in GameFi by delving deeper into these two trends.
  • Play-to-airdrop allows users to earn rewards while completing certain in-game activities, and the rewards are often related to a future token airdrop. It represents a new ‘twist’ to the play-to-earn model, where users have a built-in ownership of an existing cryptocurrency or NFT collection. Under play-to-airdrop, barriers of entry are often lower for players given the simple features and absence of initial requirements for a wallet or cryptocurrency holdings. 
  • Tap-to-earn is when players simply tap or click in the game to earn in-game currencies. Telegram is one of the key enablers of this trend, as it supports building embedded applications (called bots) to host popular tap-to-earn games like Notcoin and Hamster Kombat. The integration with The Open Network (TON) has also greatly simplified the crypto onboarding process for games on the network. 
  • Launched in January 2024, Notcoin is a Telegram-based game in which users just simply ‘tap’ the image of a gold coin to earn rewards. Notcoin has quickly gained a lot of attention, garnering 20 million signups within the first 26 days of launch. As of 9 June, Notcoin has 40 million users.
  • Hamster Kombat, a tap-to-earn game launched in March 2024, surpassed Notcoin and became the largest Telegram channel globally with 44 million subscribers. Every player is the hamster CEO of a virtual crypto exchange, and players tap the hamster to earn gold coins. Players can also complete various daily combos, boosters, and refer friends for more earnings.
  • Tap-to-earn games are a great way to drive crypto adoption, as they’re easy to play, hooking both newbies and crypto enthusiasts seeking rewards. The combination of the ‘dumbing down’ of gameplay and airdrops helps projects spread widely, but the long-term sustainability after airdrops ends is unclear. 
  • Prediction markets can act as a bridge between GameFi and SocialFi by enabling users to place bets on future events related to both gaming and social interactions. This might involve predicting the results of diverse topics ranging from politics, sports, and macro events. 
  • Polymarket is one of the largest crypto-based, decentralised prediction platforms. Its weekly trading volume has seen a spike in 2024, showing an 830% year-over-year increase comparing January-May 2023 to January-May 2024. Polymarket allows users to deposit stablecoins and buy/sell shares on how a future event will resolve. Value of each share ranges from $0-$1, representing the probability of occurrence of an event. The platform operates on a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) model, a hybrid-decentralised version in which order matching, ordering, and execution happen off-chain, while settlement is on-chain.
  • Prediction markets contain the element of relevancy, as topics capture popular narratives and often reflect what’s top on the audience’s mind. It potentially enhances crypto adoption and serves as a gateway to introduce new users into Web3 by integrating trending web2 topics. It acts as a “high signal information source”, and the data can potentially help users make more informed decisions.
  • Both play-to-airdrop and prediction markets have blurred the boundaries between Web2 and Web3. Play-to-airdrop made cryptocurrency onboarding simple, while prediction markets provide a wide variety of relevant and interesting topics for people to bet on. We see the success of projects like Notcoin as blueprints for future developments in Web3 gaming, and we look forward to seeing how these can potentially aid mass adoption in cryptocurrency.

Read the full report: New Developments in GameFi: Play-to-Airdrop and Prediction Markets

Authors Research and Insights team

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