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Web3 gaming: India should be a leader, not a tech support center

India is a hub of talent, innovation, and technology, and yet the creme-de-la-creme of the country’s talent migrate overseas in search of jobs, money, and better opportunities. Similarly, the digital currency industry in India has also been noticing this trend with reports of halted digital currency trading to exchanges’ operations migrating abroad.

According to a 2021 NASSCOM Industry report on Cryptotech, it is estimated that over 800,000 new Web3 jobs could be created by 2030 in India. But the ambiguity related to forming policies for this industry will likely lead to the chronically prevalent issue of brain drain even further.

Will India ever shift gears and move from solely focusing on the speculative side of digital currencies over to focusing primarily on blockchain, and understand the massive capabilities of the technology? The existing scenario doesn’t reflect so.

Digital currency, or as it is widely known as “crypto,” is what people perceive of this sector right now. But the practical utility and applications of Web3 have evolved past the exchanges and seeped into several sectors, including agrictech, music, gaming, health, and eSports, among others.

Web 3.0 is expected to be the next big evolution for the internet. It could change the scope and spectrum of the gaming industry and improve the overall experience of gamers. India recorded about 390 million online gamers in 2021, which was an 8% growth from 2020. And it is likely to reach over 450 million by 2023. About 95 million of these gamers reportedly paid for online games in 2020.

Currently, majority of online games are owned by a selected number of big platforms, and even though users [gamers] make in-app purchases to play/win their games, they don’t actually own those purchased tools. But the basis of Web3 games is that users are rewarded for the in-game assets they own as NFTs. More so, those assets don’t lose value as soon as that particular game is over.

When asked how Web3 gaming will benefit gamers, Philadelphia-based teen Leonardo DiFelice told CoinGeek: “I think games that offer ownership of in-app purchases [as NFTs] will attract gamers who want to make money by playing games. It would be nice to own game objects I’ve purchased instead of sort of renting them.” 

Regulating NFTs solely based on the risks associated with one particular application isn’t the wise way to go. India should not take on the role of a backend hub to the Web3 hotspots emerging globally right now. Instead, it should be involved at the forefront of Web3 gaming operations.

Web3 offers several advantages over Web 2.0 gaming, aka Roblox. This technology is fundamentally based on privacy-first, decentralized infrastructure where users [gamers], in this case, don’t seek permission or authorization from a particular authority to create or trade.

The need of the hour is to formulate an ideal Web3 policy that will allow Indian entrepreneurs and technology organizations platforms to grow constantly. A sandbox regulatory framework would help facilitate this by overseeing live testing of new Web3 products in a controlled/test environment.

Lastly, an expert panel may be constituted under MeitY with members from NITI Aayog’s Frontier Technologies vertical, experts, and industry representatives. Industry needs can then be tracked, and an open channel of communication be established between regulators and the industry.

It’s time to change the narrative.

Policymaking is crucial to building a future-centric digital economy that promotes India as a Web3 leader instead of a mere supporter or a technology support center. Let the gamers own their purchases and make money by reusing those tools or selling those to other gamers.

The numbers don’t lie—reports indicate that gamers spent $70B on games in 2020 without any possibility of returns globally. However, Web3 gaming could change that. India holds great potential when it comes to blockchain or Web3. It should not let it go to waste.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, Web3 and BSV Blockchain

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