Blockchain mining can be a profitable pursuit if you know what you’re doing, but it would be inaccurate to describe it as fun. It’s hard work, and it’s hot work too, with the need to overclock high performance ASICs to extract every last piece of computational power.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if there was a way for anyone to mine a new cryptocurrency, providing equal parts pleasure and profit? That’s the concept underpinning Trilium, the native currency of Alien Worlds, a new blockchain-based metaverse that’s caught the cryptosphere’s attention. On Friday, a live auction for its virtual land parcels will commence, after which the real fun can begin: mining plots of land for precious Trilium.
Traditional Proof of Work mining will likely be needed in perpetuity to secure dominant chains such as Bitcoin. For PoS networks, as well as for crypto projects that release native tokens in a mining-simulated process, however, the possibilities are endless. The yield farming craze that took defi by storm this summer is proof of that, as LPs rushed to stake Uniswap tokens into smart contracts and mint new tokens as reward.
Alien Worlds takes the concept of blockchain mining and transports it to a fantasy world whose assets reside on the WAX and Ethereum chains. It combines the rare item collection and battling of an MMORPG with the tokenized ownership of in-game assets, using NFTs. But it’s the way in which the game’s native asset is disbursed that could be such a game-changer for the future of mining and fair token issuance.
From Nonces to NFTs
Bitcoin miners compete to find the correct nonce, a 32-byte field that confirms the hash of the next block is less than or equal to that of the current network target. This number is virtually impossible to guess, and thus miners must perform the ‘work’ in Proof of Work by crunching trillions of calculations until they calculate the correct answer, earning the right to publish the next block and claim its attendant reward.
In Alien Worlds, computational power is replaced by brain power. Players must use their intuition and accrued knowledge from lurking on official channels to deduce the best spot to set up their mining operation. With six planets to choose from, each with an array of diverse and challenging terrain, this decision is not as straightforward as it may seem.
To further gamify matters, players must pick the best tool for the job, in a manner that evokes Minecraft and countless hours spent mining for metals to craft into weapons. The creators of Alien Worlds are making the experience easy enough to get started, while presenting depth and strategic challenges for more experienced users. This has led the team to remain circumspect about the best places to mine in the metaverse. What is known is that certain planets are more efficient than others to mine on, and with land-owners entitled to vary the reward rate (their commission is set to 20% by default), there’s plenty of scope for strategy.
Will you find your fortune on the lush and verdant planet Eyeke, or on the dark and brooding Magor? These are the questions that aspiring miners must ponder as they pinpoint the best place to mine Trilium, a rare element that sounds as otherworldly as Alien Worlds itself.
In the 19th century Californian gold rush, the smart money was to be made selling picks and shovels, so the adage goes. It may be a similar case in Alien Worlds, whose land auction will provide early prospectors with an alternative means of turning a profit. Owning land and then receiving rent for allowing others to mine on it may prove to be the smartest play, rather than blindly scouring the galaxy for the most fertile land to mine.
In truth, no one – bar the game’s creators themselves – knows exactly how Alien Worlds will play out once the Dutch auction has counted down and the final of the 3,343 Land Packs have sold out. Only once the dust has settled, and each winning bidder has opened their pack to determine which plot of land they’ve won, can the real reckoning begin and the games commence. The gamification of cryptocurrency mining was inevitable.
If Alien Worlds prove a success, expect many more projects to follow in its footsteps, transforming a digital process into a meta-experience that generates assets with real-world value.
Written by Adam Eaton