Good News for Cryptocurrency Payment Adoption
4th January, 2019
2019 started with good news for the crypto proponents. With a tweet on January 1st Monero announced that the Fortnite merchandise store has started “exclusively” accepting Monero as a cryptocurrency payment option. Fortnite was developed by Epic Games in 2017 and has fast become the world’s most popular video game, played by approximately 125 million players worldwide. While the game is 100 % free to play, the experience is not entirely free and the players are encouraged to purchase everything from outfits and vehicles to in-game currency called V-Bucks. This micro-transaction method of monetization reportedly brought Epic Games 318 million in revenue in May 2018 alone.
Fortnite’s adoption of Monero offers a significant boost to the cryptocurrency payments popularity by allowing users from many different countries to pay for game items with one of the world’s most popular virtual currencies. Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency system. It reaches across borders and platforms and comes with low fees and zero intermediaries. Monero uses a special kind of cryptography to ensure that all of its transactions remain 100% unlinkable and untraceable, which seems to be the main reason for its endorsement by Epic Games. When asked why Fortnite is not accepting bitcoin, Monero’s founder Ricardo Spagni outlined concerns about Bitcoin’s perceived lack of privacy features. (But he went on to express interest in the Lightning Network and its ability to solve the Bitcoin scaling problem.)
An interesting side effect of the Monero adoption is the creation of a user-powered economy where Epic Games’ items will be validated and regulated by the Fortnite community. Games with in-game marketplaces can generate an infinite number of items for sale which creates an artificial supply based solely on the items in circulation that are being bought. Because it is possible for all of Fortnite’s 125 million players to buy an item, this supply is artificial. By managing its merchandise on a blockchain, Epic Games can now create a finite amount of any given item. That way a legitimate supply and demand would be controlled by the market. Each digital asset purchased would be fully owned by the person who bought it and stored in their account, in a way similar to a cryptocurrency wallet. With each user owning their items there is a potential of a marketplace where items could be bought and sold securely.
Monero’s advantages as a payment method are now gaining popularity due to the Fortnite adoption, but its list of merchant adopters has been growing steadily through last year. You can pay with Monero for everything from guitar lessons and psychiatry consultation through dog training and lawn care. A full list of merchants can be found here: https://ww.getmonero.org/community/merchants/