What is Bet-to-Play (B2P)?
The Play-to-Earn (P2E) cryptocurrency gaming model has led to the development of other models, such as Play-to-Own (P2O) and Bet-to-Play (B2P), offering gamers alternative ways to profit from playing online games.
Bet-to-Play brings gambling to gameplay by allowing gamers in multiplayer games to bet on themselves against other players rather than earn in-game assets from playing. This model allows gamers to wager on their own skills, leveraging cryptocurrency payment rails and smart contract logic to execute real-time payouts.
This has the potential to tap into the popularity of both gaming and gambling markets to increase engagement and create a level of excitement that sets it apart from traditional gaming experiences.
The popularity of e-sports has attracted new users to online gambling platforms by enabling them to place bets on various sports tournaments around the world. These new users may also opt to participate in gambling on gameplay.
How Bet-to-Play Works
B2P allows players to place bets with real money or virtual currency for the right to play or, on the outcome of a game, to win rewards.
Players can contribute to a collective prize pool before they start playing, with smart contracts facilitating rewards for the winner.
In a winner-takes-all model, for instance, 10 players could each pledge 0.05 ETH for the potential to win 0.50 ETH.
This model operates on a per-game fee structure that emphasizes skills-based competition. This shift to a direct, continuous pricing model positions B2P as an alternative to P2E or P2O, enabling developers to derive 100% of revenues directly from gameplay.
Advantages of Bet-to-Play
B2P can be applied to various betting options, including prediction markets, decentralized gaming tournaments, and so on. The transparency of blockchain platforms can build trust among gamers who may have concerns about the fairness of traditional centralized gambling platforms.
As cryptocurrencies are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, they can provide a global audience for B2P game developers and allow users from around the world to participate in decentralized betting in ways that may not be available locally.
By reducing intermediaries and streamlining transactions through cryptocurrencies, B2P can reduce operating costs, resulting in better odds and higher payouts for participants.
The vast size of the gaming and gambling markets position B2P as a potential major use case for cryptocurrency.
Challenges of Bet-to-Play
A lack of regulatory clarity and consistency around gambling in various jurisdictions creates uncertainty for developers and players looking to incorporate betting into gaming.
Gambling legislation in various countries could limit the development of Web3 B2P applications, blocking access to certain users. Governments could require geo-blocking to prevent access to users in their jurisdictions, which is contrary to the principles of decentralized Web3 applications and would require gaming studios to compromise on their models.