A prototype of game platforms on blockchain was created 20 years ago in South Korea

Aug 7, 2018

It is not a secret that people in different countries treat cryptocurrencies differently. And it’s not about legal regulation. Until now many people from the countries of South America, like Peru or, for example, Uruguay, did not hear about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies at all, but in other places, for example, in South Korea, virtual money has been around for about 20 years.

In December, 1999 an online game portal “Hangame” was created in South Korea. There were casual games of all types, beginning from shooters and finishing with slots, Tetris and roulette. The Hancoin currency operated on the portal. Thanks to the growth of the portal’s popularity in Asia, Hancoin gained wide circulation outside of the game reality two years later and in the summer of 2001, according to one of company’s founders, David Moon, became liquid in the secondary market. In his interview to VentureBeat, Moon told how once a group of gangsters had rushed into the company office because the portal had suspended tens of accounts for suspicious activity.

Certainly, the use of a game currency by gangsters can hardly be taken positively, but it speaks a lot about the level of development and the degree of prevalence of digital technologies in the country.

In same article by VentureBeat it says that now South Korea is one of the few countries of the world where people of all ages invest in cryptocurrencies, beginning from millennials and finishing with pensioners. That is, if in European countries the representatives of the senior generation treat virtual money with suspicion, in South Korea cryptocurrencies enjoy universal distribution.

It is also remarkable that a game currency became the first virtual money of South Korea.

I already wrote that the roots of modern cryptoeconomics should be looked for in computer games, practically every one of which has its own economy.

As a matter of fact, Hangame can be considered a prototype of the existing game platforms on blockchain. After all, the main advantage of blockchain for computer games consists in monetization and the creation of ecosystems, where all participants of the game process (developers, players, streamers) have the opportunity to earn from games.

Game money can be called the closest analogue of cryptocurrencies. The story with Hangame coins proves that virtual money can exist without blockchain, and the idea of monetizing computer games is more than 20 years old.

In theory, the exactly same scheme of popularising a game currency can work, for example, in gambling. The FairWin game platform supposes that tokens will be used in all games on the platform. In the future, it will give a chance to integrate games into a single system and players will be able to exchange achievements from different games.

Interestingly enough, South Korea is not the only Asian country where a game currency is highly valued in the secondary market. Take, for example, the well-known Japanese pinball machines — pachinko. Although officially pachinko is not considered gambling in Japan, there are exchange offices where pachinko chips can be exchanged for real money.

It is not surprising, that the country with a developed game industry is the leader by the number of cryptocurrency owners. What the rest of the world started to speak about only in the last few years, has long been a reality in South Korea.

In a word, it is difficult to disagree with Bernard Moon’s conclusion that the world should look East more often, because the wind has been bringing all the freshest ideas from there and the cryptofever which is raging in Asia will seize the entire world very soon.