After watching a fascinating video about block chains, the narrator brought up the idea of using block chains in video games. The example he used was in an MMO type of situation where the player used a sword to defeat a dragon and then the sword became known as Dragon Slayer and its stats would go up and the value of it would increase as well. The player would then sell it to another player who used it to defeat some other powerful monster and it gained more stats and its name changed again. Obviously, it needs to be fine tuned a lot more before it is a feasible idea considering if a sword is owned by say 1000 players then, its description couldn't hold that much information and would need to be limited.

I am thinking of using the block chains similar to the above example except bring it to more of a market place type of mechanic. The player maybe goes through dungeons to defeat monsters. The deeper you go the higher the value of your weapon goes up (stats and gold value) and the higher dungeon you get to the more powerful weapon you will need.

As I think about this concept more I find myself wondering how I could avoid extreme inflation of the in game currency. I'd like to get away from micro-transactions but, I know that is a big tool in helping keep inflation down. (i.e. a second currency). What are some other key ways to keep inflation down in a fast growing in-game economy?

I guess the main thing I see happening is that the balance between the skills earned vs. value earned on a weapon need to be extremely similar so that combat farming doesn't occur in the lower levels but also so that players don't just hold onto the same weapon the whole time they play the game either.

I guess that could be part of the solution but, maybe there are more concrete answers out there that may prevent extreme inflation of in game currencies.


1 Answer 1


Let me first clear up some misconceptions you seem to have.

The thing a block chain (by itself) provides is a way of cryptographically proving that no-one tampered with previous records. That is, if you know block N is correct for whatever reason (you trust whomever signed it) then you know all blocks prior to that one were at some point also trusted (also fault tolerance and help writing a distributed system).

But, you're asking, how can you prevent inflation with a blockchain? To which the answer is... well... you can't. They're completely unrelated. The blockchain is a datastructure you should probably replace with a database with proper backups and only letting your servers write to it.

A datastructure isn't going to help run an economy, trading doesn't care if you write the history of everything that happens on a piece of paper or if you're permanently storing it across millions of PCs in a blockchain datastructure. It's irrelevant

tl;dr; Yes you can create a market place without extreme inflation with a blockchain. You can create the same market place without extreme inflation with pen and paper and a lot of interns to keep track of it. The blockchain does nothing except add complexity.

(well, it'd be easier then the interns probably, just stick to a database)

  • \$\begingroup\$ To be more specific, he thinks inflation will be caused because of the way cryptocurrencies are typically implemented with limited release of coins into the market place over a long period of time. It may be worth adding something about how the release of coins is not tied to the implementation of enforcing their accuracy (the blockchain itself.) I say this because the fundamental misunderstanding the OP is having is not yet addressed; but your answer is good enough that I think writing a second one isn't useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – blurry
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ And another note you didn't ask about. Proof of work like bitcoin has is also unneeded. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are systems that have taken various complicated measures (blockchain, proof of work) to make sure that everything is verified to be correct and true without having to trust anyone. They are as such irrelevant for games as there is always at least one party to trust, the game developer (or the host, depending on the situation). \$\endgroup\$
    – Elva
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ But the information on the block chain itself would create the value of the item. So if Player A kills 5 slimes with the sword maybe the sword gets +1 damage against slimes and the value of that same sword goes up from 10 gold when they bought it to 15 gold when the player goes to sell it. Player B buys it, kills a bunch more enemies increases in value, sells it to Player C for 25 gold, etc. You're saying that wouldn't affect an economy? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dtb49
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dtb49 Depends on how it's organized. The sword may be worth more, but if you have a nearly unlimited supply of gold (64bits worth, let's say) then it's safe to say that the amount of total gold in existence will rise linearly over time; but the amount in circulation will be some stable amount relative to the size of the player base. The economy is unrelated to the block chain, even in your example. \$\endgroup\$
    – blurry
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dtb49 Yes, I'm saying that wouldn't affect an economy. If you're buying a car and everything it had ever done was stored on a blockchain, would the car be worth more? Blockchains are not magic, they're just a datastructure, what you've described doesn't need a blockchain if you have someone you trust. \$\endgroup\$
    – Elva
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 8:38

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