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SoK: Play-to-Earn Projects

by   Jingfan Yu, et al.
NYU college
Tsinghua University

Play-to-earn is one of the prospective categories of decentralized applications. The play-to-earn projects combine blockchain technology with entertaining games and finance, attracting various participants. While huge amounts of capital have been poured into these projects, the new crypto niche is considered controversial, and the traditional gaming industry is hesitant to embrace blockchain technology. In addition, there is little systematic research on these projects. In this paper, we delineate play-to-earn projects in terms of economic governance models and implementation and analyze how blockchain technology can benefit these projects by providing system robustness, transparency, composability, and decentralized governance. We begin by identifying the participants and characterizing the tokens, which are products of composability. We then summarize the roadmap and governance model to exposit there is a transition from centralized governance to decentralized governance. We also classify the implementation of the play-to-earn projects with different extents of robustness and transparency. Finally, we discuss the security societal challenges for future research in terms of possible attacks, the economics of tokens, and governance.


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