New study into popular Ethereum-based crypto-games suggests they meet definitions of gambling


Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Several popular crypto-games based on the Ethereum network, which allow players to exchange virtual goods with cryptocurrency, satisfy the definitions of gambling, according to a research by the University of York.

Many current cryptocurrency games allow players to exchange virtual goods with cryptocurrency, which can then be converted into real money. In their study, the researchers analyzed the nine most popular crypto-games running on the Ethereum cryptocurrency network.

gamble games

They studied game mechanics and explored data on how users spent cryptocurrencies as part of their gaming experience. The legal and psychological definitions of gambling were then applied, which were used in other areas of the game such as booties.

While the current study does not draw conclusions on all the possible types of crypto-games, the researchers found that the sampled games link cryptocurrency investments to objects and in-game actions to case-based mechanics. The crypto games observed in the study require players to pay for such items and actions before random events. This makes these games similar to betting mechanics.

Player spend

Oliver Scholten, Ph.D. Informatica student said: “We found that all the games in the study met with a combined definition of gambling, which raises similar concerns about these games as the widely publicized concerns that they surround the loot. This does not mean that this technology should not be used as a basis for games, but designers must think carefully about how their decisions can affect players’ spending “.

“Unlike games with loot boxes, all the crypto-games in the study have allowed the direct or indirect exchange of in-game objects with real money, making them more easily suited to the criteria of the gambling.”

Last month, the academicians of the University of York contributed to a report from the House of Commons asking that the video game booty boxes be regulated by the gambling law and that the sale be prohibited to the children.


The crypto games are currently a niche phenomenon compared to the larger gaming industry: the games studied include only about 16,000 player accounts. While the underlying technologies are new, the cryptocurrency field is undergoing rapid evolution and it is possible that the types of problems raised by the research may become more mainstream in the coming years.

The call of the “booty” looks a lot like gambling

Further information:
Ethereum Crypto-Games: Mechanics, Prevalence and Game Similarities:… arities-97b7938af9bd

Supplied by
University of York

A new study on the popular Ethereum-based crypto games suggests that they satisfy the definitions of gambling (October 22, 2019)
recovered on 22 October 2019

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any equity for the purposes of study or private research, n
part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

News Source